Student debt relief program remains on hold


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Drake Weber, Staff Writer

Debt is something that can haunt students as they plan their college careers. As tuition at colleges increases every year, these loans can affect students’ normal lives and they can become a burden.  

The federal student loan forgiveness plan has come under scrutiny; therefore, learning about the program and if a student can benefit from it is important information. There are many questions to ask in order to learn how this program can help students.  

IVCC Director of Financial Aid Eric Johnson said, “Currently and formerly enrolled undergraduate, graduate, and parent PLUS loan borrowers are eligible for the student loan debt forgiveness program.”  

He added that these include all loans given on or before June 30, 2022.  

The specific loan programs include direct loans, direct PLUS loans, direct consolidation loans, family federal education loans, family federal education loans held by the Department of Education for servicing or in default at a guaranty, federal Perkins loans and defaulted borrowers with loans that are held by the Department of Education.  

According to Johnson, borrowers could apply for the Biden student loan debt forgiveness on the student aid website and had until Dec. 31, 2023. However, court action has stalled the application process. Students can visit to be updated on the status of the program or their application if they filed before court action closed the application process. 

If opened again following federal appeals, the application process is quick and can take less than 10 minutes, Johnson said. However, Johnson stated, “there is not a known timeline on how long it will take for loan borrowers to receive the forgiveness because the legal status is still being debated in the court of law and everything is at a standstill for now.”  

He also says that if a student is in doubt if they qualify, he recommends submitting the application if it becomes available again. There will only be an online application in the beginning but eventually a paper version will be made available at a later date, states Johnson. 

Some students are thankful for the debt relief program. 

Maddie Held, a former college student from University of Illinois who has college debts, said, “Loan forgiveness allows college to be a viable option for everyone despite their socioeconomic status.” This helps improve and provide equal opportunity for all students.  

Another viewpoint from a current student of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Sarah Long states, “A few of my siblings tell me I am lucky to qualify for this loan forgiveness program compared to when they were in college; some of them are still paying off their student loans.”  

Overall, Johnson expressed that this program has helped many IVCC students, and “if the court ruling upholds the forgiveness, it will relieve millions of borrowers across the United States.”