White House Wipes Away Student Loan Debt


Anthony Abrahantes

The White House proposes and approves a new student loan forgiveness plan on Aug. 24.

For many years, college graduates have been expressing their concern about the state of student loan debt. Racking upwards of $30,000 in debt, in many cases, teenagers may be paying off the money well into adulthood. In fact, outstanding student loan debt reached $1.7 trillion in August of this very year.

From 1980-2021, the price of being a college student has been steadily on the rise. On the contrary, student loan grants have stayed stagnant. To put this into perspective, Pell Grants used to cover 80% of the costs associated with attending a standard four-year college. Since then, the coverage of this financial aid program has plummeted to roughly 32%.

“I am very grateful that the president is pardoning the majority of student debt at the moment. Since I’m going into college next year,  I will remain hopeful that the changes made through the plan can continue to benefit me,” said senior Leonardo Grisard.

On Aug. 24, the official White House website released a “Fact Sheet” in which intricate details about the proposed student loan debt relief plan were revealed. The initiative is described as a three-part plan where $10,000 to $20,000 in student loan debt would be deducted from the individual’s due amount, depending on certain personal variables. Said variables include their household income and whether the recipient had been granted a Pell Grant in college.

The truth is, we owe a lot of money and it is going to take us most of our lives to pay it back,

— Mr. Rodriquez

The plan includes providing targeted debt relief and making the loaning system more accessible while holding colleges and loan companies accountable for sudden price mark-ups or policy changes. Government officials proposed this plan in hopes of not only addressing the issue but also leaving room for improvement in case any further actions need to be taken.

Initially, the Republican Party attempted to put a halt to the plan. South Dakota Senator John Thune called the initiative unfair to those who never had the opportunity to attend college or to those who paid out-of-pocket in an interview with Public Broadcasting Service on Aug. 26. Thune further explains how only 13% of Americans have some form of student loan debt, therefore the majority 87% will be paying higher taxes to accommodate the minority. Despite the attempts of Thune and his colleagues, the plan was officially approved on Aug. 24, 2022, six years after the uproar of student loan debt protests began.

“I think that it is an idealistic point of view, it is optimistic, but the reality is that there are going to be many obstacles and people in the way that will stop at nothing to prevent it from happening,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

However, the situation is slightly different in the Sunshine State. If the numerous scholarships offered in the state of Florida are taken into account, graduates have on average $1200 less student loan debt than the average individual in the U.S. One of the scholarships that is highly valued in the state is the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship for the reason that it offers 75%-100% of coverage on tuition and fees. From 2019 to 2020, the average student loan debt balance for a college graduate in Florida was $24,454, which places it in the bottom 10 positions in this category out of the entire nation.

“Here in Florida, we are extremely gifted, which explains the immense amount of scholarships all students have available to them. The Bright Futures scholarship alone is something that every high school student in Florida should strive to achieve,” senior Leonardo Grisard said.

Those interested in receiving the aid must contact their current loan provider and make sure they are eligible. If accepted, the U.S. Department of Education states it could take about eight weeks to process. The deadline to apply for the benefits listed in this plan is Dec. 31, 2022.