Supreme Court set to hear arguments for President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program

Facing legal challenges, the student debt relief plan’s future is uncertain


Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

Student Loan Forgiveness has been temporarily blocked. The case will be evaluated by the Supreme Court in February.

by Flavio Signoretti, Contributor

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments for President Biden’s loan forgiveness plan in February after it was temporarily blocked by a federal appeals court last month. 

On Nov. 10, Judge Mark T. Pittman stopped President Biden’s debt relief plan as he believes President Biden overstepped his authority by passing the plan without Congress’ approval, according to court documents published online. The debt relief plan faces lawsuits from multiple republican run states, who question the act’s constitutionality. 

“We are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” said Pittman in the concluding statement of the court document.

As of Nov. 12, the Biden administration is no longer accepting applications for student loan forgiveness after a second federal court shut down the program. 

The United States Department of Education is seeking to overturn the order at this time, according to the Federal Student Aid website.

During his campaign, President Biden promised student loan relief for student debt holders. The Income-Driven Student Loan Forgiveness Act, originally introduced in March of 2021, allows for up to $10,000 of student loan forgiveness for non-Pell Grant recipients.

Logan Yokouchi, a sophomore history major, said she believes the debt forgiveness will allow for more financial freedom and less financial burden.

“I think that in general it (student debt relief) just makes it easier to save money and it allows you to have a better quality of life,” Yokouchi said.

Those with Pell Grant loans will be able to apply for an additional $10,000, as Pell Grant graduates have been shown to leave university with more debt than their peers, according to The Institute for College Access and Success.

Since 1992, the annual cost of a four-year in-state tuition has increased by 250%, according to CollegeBoard

The rapid increase in cost has forced many students to rely on government loans to further their education as 70% of students who receive a bachelor’s degree have student loan debt by the time they graduate, according to the Urban Institute

Joshua Rawson, the SDSU College Republican president, scrutinized the plan due to its failure to include Americans who have already graduated from college. 

“We just feel like it’s unfair to the millions of students who have already gone through college and have either paid that off or are in the process of paying that off or are almost done,” Rawson said. 

Dr. David Ely, an associate dean of the Fowler College of Business at SDSU, said he does not foresee any significant impact on the economy from the Income-Driven Student Loan Forgiveness Act. 

This bill will affect the way students consider seeking higher education, Ely said. Students who experienced debt relief “will now see a graduate program as something more affordable.”  

Ely also said these students will have a positive long-term impact on the economy and this impact will provide a reason for the government to support higher education.

“It is almost uniformly a good thing here to raise the education level of the population because it does allow for greater productivity of people who work and that allows the economy to grow faster,” Ely said.

The debt relief plan will only be available to individuals who make less than $125,000 annually or to married couples who make less than $250,000 together annually. 

The College Democrats of SDSU did not respond to our request for an interview.