By Evelyn Perez Garnica
The student loan relief plan aims to help many students and alumni, not only by providing economic relief, but also by potentially alleviating stress levels. The real problem lies in how expensive universities are, and how increasing levels of inflation do not make students’ situations easier. In order to properly tackle this problem, tuition prices should be reduced to also lower the amount of loans students are forced to take.
On October 17, 2022, President Biden announced that he had finally released the official student forgiveness loan applications to support both the working class and the middle class. The application can be found on the student aid site, FAFSA.
To be qualified for it— if marked as an independent person, the maximum a student should be making annually is 125,000 dollars. If the student is dependent on their family maximum wage is 250,000. If the student receives a pell grant during their undergraduate years, then they are most likely eligible for 20,000 dollars in loan forgiveness— loan forgiveness mostly for those students who have the lowest incomes. If the student is still an undergraduate, however, then the determinants of their loan relief will be determined by their parent’s income and FAFSA reports. This may be an important factor for current students who are looking to have their debt paid off.
The steps to completing the student loan forgiveness application are very simple, requiring only the student’s name, date of birth, and social security number, hence, allowing for a wider amount of students to fill it out. In hopes for a fast and easy transaction, students who fill out the application by mid-November will see their loans taken care of by January.
In his announcement, President Biden mentioned that the loan relief plan would help relieve up to 10,000 dollars of loans and help a lot of individuals who struggled during the COVID pandemic. Due to COVID, many students had to get more than one job in order to support themselves and in many cases, to help out their families— a very stressful and difficult situation to be in.
It is important for applications to be filled out on the official government student aid site rather than responding to any email asking for personal information. There have been multiple emails sent to students asking for information in relation to student loan relief, but it is essential for students/graduates/alumni to only trust the official student aid website or app. These emails are scams sent out by companies who are looking to get a hold of private information.
President Biden clearly stated that no loan relief will go to those who are in the highest five percent income, which should allow for a more fair disbursement of government funds. I believe this is one of President Biden’s best decisions because it will help individuals who are actually in need for government support, especially due to the setback COVID caused many families.
According to experts, the student loan relief plans may cause university prices to increase due to inflation growth. With the hope of having their loans relieved, students will most likely take out more loans causing inflation to increase as the cost of universities also increase. Other experts believe that instead of offering so many student reliefs, the government should make college more affordable and create larger pell grants for students entering college. In my opinion, it would be beneficial for the government to make education more accessible by reducing the prices. This is worrying because students may not be able to finish school due to their low income and little help received by the government.
Despite these justifiable concerns, the loan relief plan is overall beneficial because it provides students with a more affordable education, while also alleviating current stress over economic setbacks due to covid— potentially resulting in an increase in good academic performance.