Biden pushes against canceling student debt

College community questions Biden’s campaign promises concerning student loans


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College community questions Biden’s campaign promises concerning student loans

As House and Senate Democrats make the urging call for the cancelation of $50,000 in student debt, President Joe Biden debunked the idea of signing an executive order that addresses the pressing political issue among young adults.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are just a few from the Democratic leadership pressing the president to move forward with an executive order that will cancel $50,000 of student debt.

Last week, Warren and Schumer sat down at a closed-door meeting with the president and his advisors to discuss the possibility. However, Biden’s plan is focused on forgiving just $10,000 of debt — an idea he started campaigning for after he received the nomination for president.

“I wasn’t expecting any loan forgiveness from him, to be honest,” said Denise Santos, a 2020 nursing graduate at the University of San Francisco. “But I know a lot of people need it during the pandemic. That can literally be the difference between life and death.”

During a Feb. 16 town hall event organized by CNN in Milwaukee, Biden responded to a question from an audience member who claimed that his plan of $10,000 of forgiveness isn’t enough to help those in need of financial assistance.

“I can’t make that happen,” Biden told Joycelyn Fish, a marketing director for a community theater.

Instead, Biden spoke about using those funds to invest in the members of earlier education levels who come from “disadvantaged circumstances”.

Biden then reiterated his stance on keeping community colleges free of cost, estimating that the overall cost would be roughly $9 million, which would be covered through federal taxes. Biden also expressed his support for state universities being tuition-free for members of families who make less than $125,000 a year.

“I went to a private university,” Santos said. “That isn’t cheap, but I chose to do that because it was actually the fastest and most cost-efficient way to go through nursing school right out of high school.”

Taking part in giving back to the community was another highlighted aspect of Biden’s plan.

“The thing I’d do about student debt that is accumulated is to provide for changing the existing system now for debt forgiveness if you’re engaged in volunteer activity,” Biden said. “For example, if you are teaching school after five years, you would have $50,000 of your debt forgiven.”

Emilio Gorog is in his second semester studying bioengineering at Santa Clara University. Gorog’s goal is to graduate college without any student debt but sees the political effect the issue has on the president and other political leaders.

“Biden’s appeal to the more fiscally conservative wing of Congress is detracting him from his promise of forgiving more student loan debt,” Gorog said. “Republicans and Democrats alike need to step up and make a deal that forgives way more than just $10,000 because the average student loan debt is around $32,000.”

In one of his first acts as president, Biden furthered the extension on student loan payment and interest through Oct. 1, which was a part of the COVID-19 relief bill signed into law during the Trump administration.

“People have to realize that education is what will make this world a better place,” Santos said. “Preventing people from attaining higher education because of the cost of money is not going to make anyone better.”