Updated as of Aug. 24 at 5:48 p.m. to include additional information.
President Joe Biden announced his plan to provide $10,000 in debt cancellation for millions of Americans and up to $10,000 more for people with great financial need. The long-awaited plan was part of Biden’s original campaign promises and is eligible only for current students who took out loans prior to July 1, 2022. Biden will deliver remarks on the plan at 2:15 p.m.
A tweet from the president Wednesday said borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year, or families earning less than $250,000 a year, will be eligible for $10,000 in loan forgiveness. Additionally, those who are awarded Pell Grants will be eligible for an additional $10,000. Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students with significant financial need — according to previous Elon News Network reporting, from 2016 to 2020, just 9% of Elon students received Pell Grants.
The president also extended a pause to student loan payments through the end of 2022, for what he called “the final time.”
For more information, the Biden administration has advised borrowers to go to The Biden-Harris Administration's Student Debt Relief Plan Explained (studentaid.gov)
In his press conference, Biden said the 12 years of universal education currently provided is “not enough” and that the United States needs to take action on providing more accessible higher education.
"Education is a ticket to a better life ... but over time that ticket has become too expensive for too many Americans," Biden said. "All this means that an entire generation is now saddled with unsustainable debt in exchange for an attempt, at least, at a college degree. The burden is so heavy that even if you graduate you may not have access to the middle-class life that the college degree once provided."
In addition to student loan forgiveness, Biden said he is also proposing to make the student loan system more manageable with an "income driven repayment plan."
"No one with an undergraduate loan today or the future, whether for community college or a four-year college, will have to pay more than 5% of their discretionary income to repay their loan," Biden said.