On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced his administration’s plan to forgive student loan debt, according to a statement from the White House. Despite the numerous benefits it will bring, people have been complaining about it still not being enough.
This is monumentally beneficial for Americans, since it’s never been done before. To strictly criticize this move from Biden’s Administration is undermining the positive impact it’ll have on the general public.
The plan has three parts, according to the White House fact sheet. First, it will provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education, and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients.
Those who make under $125,000 on their own are eligible, as are married couples who make a combined income of under $250,000.
Second, the program cuts monthly student loan payments in half and gives those with public service history a credit toward their loans. Last, it aims to reduce the cost of college and holds universities accountable for raising prices.
The main group of people upset with Biden right now are those who just finished paying off their student loans, rendering them unable to benefit from this program.
“I paid my student loan in full. Where do I go for my refund?” said user @StevenErtelt in an Aug. 24 tweet.
Others feel as though Biden is copping out of his promise to cancel all student loan debt, and don’t think up to $20,000 is nearly enough, when in actuality, it unloads much of the burden that comes with having student debt.
These both come off as ignorant to the unprecedented positive effects it’ll have for current, and past, students in America.
The Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid has data that shows canceling $10,000 of debt would completely relieve 43 million borrowers of their student debt, nearly 34% of Americans struggling with student debt. It would also highly benefit the 9.6 million Americans with student loan debt between $20,000 and $40,000.
Many USF students are among these 9.6 million Americans after only four years of college.
About 35% of all USF’s Tampa campus undergraduate students utilize federal student loans to help pay for their education, averaging $7,679 per year, according to CollegeFactual’s website. This means one student would end up with $15,358 after graduating with their associate degree and $30,716 after graduating with their bachelor’s.
There’s been dispute on whether or not Biden originally promised to forgive all student loans in his campaign website, with users wanting to hold Biden accountable.
“What you actually promised is literally still up on your website. Why are you lying to us?” said user @WaitingOnBiden in an Aug. 24 tweet.
At the end of the day, loan forgiveness is loan forgiveness, no matter the amount. To criticize Biden for his lack of effort in debt relief is diminishing the impact this will have on individuals, and the nation as a whole.