Abigail Johnson Hess
October 26, 2021
Since taking office, the Biden Administration has approved over $9.5 billion of student loan relief — a significant, but still relatively small, percentage of the over $1.7 trillion worth of student loans that Americans still collectively owe.
On the campaign trail, President Joe Biden issued his support for some form of student loan forgiveness and since then, House and Senate Democrats have repeatedly urged Biden to “broadly” forgive up to $50,000 of federal debt through executive order during his first 100 days in office. Biden has repeatedly pushed back against these calls, stating that he will only support up to $10,000 of debt forgiveness and that he would prefer Congress craft the legislation.
On Tuesday, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told Adam Harris, staff writer for The Atlantic, that the Biden Administration is still examining broad-based loan forgiveness.
“Student debt is largely an equity issue. Black student borrowers, for example, are more likely to take on student debt, more likely to take on more student debt and more likely to default on that debt. And [they are] more likely to have either left college or graduated without a degree,” said Harris. “You mentioned that the administration is still sort of considering the executive authority that you all have on debt cancellation, what is this sort of state of that? And where do you see that conversation going?”
“We recognize that student debt is holding people back. And unfortunately, there are many who are in major debt that weren’t even able to finish their degree, who do not have the means to remove that debt,” responded Cardona. “So we’re focused and it’s a priority for me, and for President Biden to make sure that part of the conversation is examining loan forgiveness. Those conversations are continuing.”