January 9, 2023
Pending lawsuits stand to reshape the higher education landscape in the next year. The U.S. Supreme Court, which now has a strong conservative majority, is expected to rule on a handful of cases concerning higher education.
That includes lawsuits over new policies, such as the Biden administration’s attempted plan to forgive broad amounts of student loan debt, and longstanding practices, such as affirmative action in college admissions.
Legal challenges have also stemmed from controversial borrower defense to repayment regulations, which allow students to have their debts cleared if their colleges misled them. And more lawsuits could be on the horizon as the Education Department implements an ambitious regulatory agenda that attempts to crack down on for-profit colleges and make it easier for borrowers to have their loans forgiven.
Below, we rounded up five lawsuits to keep tabs on throughout the year.
The state of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan
Shortly after the Biden administration unveiled a plan to forgive large amounts of federal student loan debt for most borrowers, the program drew a flurry of lawsuits. Federal courts have blocked the administration from carrying out the program, which would forgive up to $10,000 for borrowers who earn up to $125,000 annually and $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants.
So far, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on two cases.
In one, six conservative states argue that the debt forgiveness plan oversteps the Biden administration’s authority and could rob some of them of their future tax revenue. In another, two college graduates have contended that the plan arbitrarily boxes out some borrowers and that the Biden administration didn’t follow required regulatory steps.
The Supreme Court plans to hear the cases in February. It also declined to lift the court orders blocking student loan forgiveness.