Biden Seeks To Expand Student Debt Handout In New Budget

President Joe Biden is hoping to expand his efforts to slash student debt with a $12 billion initiative in his fiscal year 2025 budget released Monday.

After the Supreme Court ruled in June that Biden’s student loan forgiveness program was unconstitutional, the Department of Education announced a new costly repayment plan followed by a near $5 million handout in December. Biden proposed the $12 billion Reducing the Costs of College Fund to help finance “strategies to lower college costs for students, along with several other initiatives aimed at furthering his student loan forgiveness agenda.

“From Day One of his Administration, President Biden vowed to fix the student loan system and make sure higher education is a pathway to the middle class—not a barrier to opportunity,” the budget reads. “Already, the President has cancelled more student debt than any President in history, approving debt cancellation for nearly 4 million borrowers through more than two dozen executive actions.”

Biden also proposed “eliminating the origination fees charged to borrowers on every new federal student loan,” increasing “the discretionary maximum Pell Grant by $100” and expanding “free community college through a Federal-State partnership.”

The budget would also pay for two years of tuition for those whose families make less than $125,000 that attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.

The Supreme Court decided that the Biden administration wasn’t permitted to forgive $10,000 in student loan debt for non-Pell Grant recipients and up to $20,000 for those who received the Pell Grant. Following the decision, the Department of Education announced it would forgive student loans via the Higher Education Act and income-driven repayment plans instead.

The Biden administration has already cancelled billions of dollars worth of student debt for more than 3.6 million individuals, according to the White House.

Mary Lou Masters on March 11, 2024


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