University of Arizona students could be relieved of up to $20,000 worth of student debt after the Biden Administration announced a federal student loan forgiveness initiative.
Details will be released before loans continue in January.
On Aug. 24, President Joe Biden announced that the federal government will provide relief for students with different levels of loan burden. A single borrower earning less than $125,000 is eligible to have $10,000 in student loans forgiven. That amount is doubled for families earning less than $250,000.
Students who currently attend the university are eligible for forgiveness, but those who are filed as dependents will follow the criteria of the household income.
Pell Grant recipients may be eligible for even higher amounts of forgiveness, which could impact student debt for up to 20 million families.
People who have less than $10,000 in debt will still be taken into consideration, with all their remaining debt being forgiven when the law takes effect, according to details of the initiative.
Students have very little information on what this could mean for them in the future. The UA Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid knows just about as much as everyone else.
“We actually had no advance notice,” said Christe LePeau, a representative from the Office of Scholarship & Financial Aid. “We are just waiting for the dust to settle in order to be able to give anyone further information.”
April Clark, a UA senior who received a Pell Grant, said she is extremely grateful for the financial assistance.
“Forgiveness for a portion of my loans will provide relief and allow me to better establish stability when I graduate from college,” she said. “The grants, loans and scholarships are ultimately what allowed me to attend college in the first place and without them, I’m unsure of the position I would be in.”
Recent UA graduate Joseph Benequista said that he didn’t get paid much from the Pell Grant during college because his family made too much to be considered, but not enough to pay for college.
“I’m hoping it applies to graduate students, too, because what I’ve read is mainly [undergraduate] students,” Benequista said.
People who qualify for student loan forgiveness can expect an application by October, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Any student loans taken out after June 30 will not be forgiven in this relief package.
*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.
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