Biden executive order to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt

Bailey Reed, SGA Reporter

The Biden administration on Wednesday announced an executive order to forgive student loan debt for millions of Americans.

The administration’s student loan debt forgiveness plan will forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loans for Americans who make less than $125,000 a year or households making less than $250,000 annually. Pell Grant recipients will be eligible for up to $20,000 in federal student loan forgiveness.

“In keeping with my campaign promise, my Administration is announcing a plan to give working and middle class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023,” President Joe Biden wrote via Twitter. 

The Federal Student Aid website provides more details about the plan. Additionally, the student loan repayment pause will be extended to Dec. 31, 2022.

Those that meet the requirements will automatically be eligible for forgiveness.  The Biden administration is planning to launch an application later this year for borrowers who do not know for sure if the U.S. Department of Education has their income data, and those who wish to be notified when the application is live can sign up here.

According to the New York Times, current students will still qualify. If they are filed as a dependent, their eligibility status will depend on the income of who claims them. Students who did not finish their degrees are still eligible if they meet the necessary income requirements.

The plan will no doubt affect present and past WKU students. Jace Lux, the university’s spokesperson, provided the following statement:

“The university is aware of President Biden’s announcement this morning to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans for some borrowers. This plan will certainly have implications for some of our recent graduates and current students. The university will continue to monitor the rollout of this plan and will work with our students to help them understand how they may be affected.”

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) responded to the news with a press release, calling the wave of forgiveness “astonishingly unfair.”

“President Biden’s student loan socialism is a slap in the face to every family who sacrificed to save for college, every graduate who paid for their debt, and every American who chose a certain career path or volunteered to serve in our Armed Forces in order to avoid taking on debt,” the statement reads.

At the time of publication, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) has yet to comment on the executive order.

Biden said in the plan’s formal announcement he is aiming to provide aid to those struggling with student loans during this time of economic hardship as part of a promise he made during his presidential campaign. 

“Our middle class families deserve breathing room. It’s the whole reason I ran. And this plan will give opportunity to millions of families who need it the most,” Biden wrote on his Instagram page.

More information about student loan debt forgiveness can be found here.

SGA Reporter Bailey Reed can be reached at [email protected]