Biden finally delivered his longtime promise to reduce or eliminate student loan debt, how this will affect Nebraskans?
LINCOLN, Nebraska – President Joe Biden fulfilled his longstanding pledge to lower or abolish student loan debt for millions of Americans on Wednesday.
Lending Tree reports that Nebraskans owe more over $8 billion of the $1.6 trillion total private and federal debt owed by student borrowers in the United States. For individuals who qualify, the scheme will remove thousands of dollars in debt.
“I think there is a need for our students to look at how they’re going to repay those loans,” EducationQuest’s Jodi Vanden Berge said. “A lot of students were impacted by the pandemic, and so basically … what the federal government has decided is that they’re going to have a one-time pandemic related loan cancellation.”
Individuals with an annual income of less than $125,000 and families with an annual income of less than $250,000 are eligible for $10,000 in federal student loan debt forgiveness. Students who attended college with Pell grants are eligible for up to $20,000 per year. People will be allowed to limit their loan repayments to 5% of their monthly income, and the Biden Administration has suspended loan repayments until December.
The director of scholarships and financial assistance at Nebraska Wesleyan, Thomas Ochsner, stated that Wednesday’s news will not result in increased tuition expenses, at least not at Wesleyan.
“We’re not going to automatically just because they’re cancelling loans or they double the federal Pell grant like they’re trying to do, we’re not going to just automatically increase our tuition because of that,” Ochsner said. “If they do double the Pell grant, that just means more money that’s able to help those students.”
According to EducationQuest, the average student loan debt in Nebraska is $24,000. In the coming weeks, the Department of Education will issue more instructions on how to apply for the debt relief program, according to President Biden.