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Secretary Cardona in PA.
Photo from Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona last visit in Pennsylvania, to launch Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, in September. Photo credit: Flickr.

Secretary of Education encourages borrowers to keep applying for student loan forgiveness

The announcement comes after the federal court decide to block the loan forgiveness plan that had been promised by President Biden since his campaign.

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Many students and graduates have celebrated the long-waited loan forgiveness plan that had been promised by President Joe Biden since his campaign. 

The official announcement happened late August, canceling $10,000 in student debt for borrowers who earn less than $125,000 (individual borrowers) or $250,000 for married couples who file taxes together. Pell Grant recipients can have up to $20,000 of debt relief.  

However, a couple of Republican states have expressed their position through lawsuits against the plan announced by President Biden. Some say it goes too far in terms of budgetary cost, while others contest who has the right to receive the benefit — with some borrowers being unfairly boxed out while others who don’t need it were included. 

On Friday, Oct. 21, a federal appellate court decided to block the loan forgiveness plan while it considers the Republican lawsuits. The list goes on as two other cases have also been appealed and at least three more high-profile lawsuits are still pending, according to Higher Ed Dive

Despite the hold, on Saturday, Oct. 22, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said the administration is “full speed ahead” in preparing for the implementation of the loan forgiveness plan, according to The Washington Post. He also called the lawsuits seeking to block President Biden’s debt relief program “baseless,” and advised borrowers to keep applying. 

“Today’s temporary decision does not stop the Biden Administration’s efforts to provide borrowers the opportunity to apply for debt relief nor does it prevent us from reviewing the millions of applications we have received,” Cardona tweeted on Oct. 21st. 

Until Friday, the Biden administration had won two preliminary victories defending its student loan forgiveness program. A federal judge in Missouri dismissed the six-state coalition by saying the states lacked the necessary legal standing, according to Times Higher Education. The leader of the group, Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general of Arkansas, stated they would immediately appeal the decision. 

The six-state coalition includes: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina.

“We're not deterred. We'll keep fighting for you. And pushing through. The application is live at StudentAid.Gov,” added the secretary in a video in response to the lawsuit by Republican states. 

If you want to learn more about the updated situation of each lawsuit, click here

 

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