Student loan debt relief would make impact at Mac

Biden’s debt cancellation plan aims to ameliorate financial stress, uncertainty of teachers, recent college grads, seniors

Total+student+loan+debt+held+by+age+group.+Collectively%2C+Americans++owe+%241.75+trillion+in+student+loans.+Source%3A+Federal+Student+Aid+cited+on+Forbes.com.

Sophie Leung-Lieu

Total student loan debt held by age group. Collectively, Americans owe $1.75 trillion in student loans. Source: Federal Student Aid cited on Forbes.com.

Camilla Vandegrift, staff reporter

On Aug. 24, President Joe Biden announced a plan to cancel up to $10,000 of student loan debt for any borrowers who make under $125,000 per year or under $250,000 for married couples. The plan also forgives up to $20,000 for each recipient of the Pell Grant. The plan was made to benefit the lower and middle classes as well as help borrowers affected by COVID-19. Other aspects of the plan include a cut in monthly payments for loans taken out by undergraduates as well as monitoring schools’ prices to make sure they’re reasonable.

The plan affects generations of students, past and current. McCallum English teacher Diana Adamson has a daughter who is currently in $50,000 of student loan debt.

I would think that if they give a break to these people, then that would give them more expendable income to put back into the economy or prevent more debt.”

— English teacher Jennifer Wood

“The interest and the rates rise exponentially,” Adamson said. “Many people who have student loan debt right now are owing more after 30 years on their loans than they had to begin with.”

The plan under the Biden Administration could relieve one-fifth of Adamson’s daughter’s debt, and Adamson supports the idea fully.

“Any time we can reduce that for our people coming out of college into the workforce is a positive thing,” Adamson said.

Some have argued that the forgiveness of college loans will have a harmful impact on the economy. Others say that the plan will make it easier for new college graduates to combat the rapid rising of inflation rates. Though the total amount of debt that will be canceled is unknown, it is apparent that the cancellation will increase budget deficits for the federal government. McCallum English teacher Jennifer Wood believes that canceling student debt would be beneficial to many Americans.

“I would think that if they give a break to these people, then that would give them more expendable income to put back into the economy or prevent more debt,” Wood said.

English teacher James Hutcheson and his wife together have about $100,000 of student debt, but that could be changed under Biden’s new plan.

“That’s going to take away, we’re hoping, close to half of it,” Hutcheson said.

Even after the debt being canceled, Hutcheson and his wife would still have $50,000 to pay off with interest rates only rising.
Hutcheson has high hopes for the new plan in relation to newer college students and people considering college.

It’s kind of awesome because it means when I go to college I’m not going to have this problem.”

— senior Indy Smith

“When it comes to high school students, your parents will have more money to do things for you,” he said. “If they ever do make college free for people who qualify, then kids who are really concerned about ‘What school can I go to?’ and affordability aren’t going to have to worry about that anymore.”

Even though current high school seniors, next year’s class of college freshmen, aren’t directly affected by student debt cancellation, they still have something to say.

Senior Indy Smith was considering going to college in Germany just to avoid the incredibly high tuition rates for schools in the United States. Now he’s having second thoughts.

“It’s kind of awesome because it means when I go to college I’m not going to have this problem,” Smith said.

If he stayed in the U.S., Smith would likely attend Austin Community College and study abroad somewhere else to avoid the higher expenses, but nevertheless, he’s glad that tuition is being reduced.

“This is a great step forward and it makes me have a lot of optimism for the U.S. as a whole,” Smith said.