By Abigail Allen
Trevecca students with federal loans, like senior elementary education student Bethany Maynard, are waiting to hear whether a plan by the Biden administration to forgive those loans will happen.
President Biden’s student loan debt relief program has been blocked by courts due to multiple lawsuits against the program. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in February about the legality of the program.
Six states—Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina— asserted that the Biden Administration overstepped its authority with the program, claiming that it would take away states’ future tax revenue. Other individuals also filed lawsuits against the program.
“I was a little bit disappointed because, once they announced that, I had kind of gotten my hopes up and was excited to see a significant amount of that debt go away,” said Maynard, who in her three and a half years at college has accrued more than $20,000 in student loans.
Maynard filled out the loan forgiveness application just days before the pause. She believed she would have qualified for the $20,000 relief plan.
Because Maynard plans to be a teacher after college, the forgiveness plan will affect where she accepts a job.
“If I didn’t have that loan forgiveness, I might not be able to only work a teaching job. I might have to get multiple jobs, or I might have to move to a different, higher-paying state where I could use my degree in education,” said Maynard.
Maynard is not the only student concerned about the pause. According to the New York Times, 16 million borrowers were already accepted for debt relief and millions more applied before the pause.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 50% of students at Trevecca received Federal student loans in the 2020-2021 school year.
A substantial number of Trevecca students would potentially qualify for loan forgiveness if they meet the requirements, said Kevin Reed, director of financial aid at Trevecca.
“If the legality of the debt relief program hasn’t been resolved by June 30 of 2023, payments will resume 60 days after that,” said the U.S. Department of Education, on their studentaid.gov website.
Borrowers can receive updates at studentaid.gov and be notified before payments resume.
In the meantime, financial experts encourage students to take steps toward financial literacy by starting payments on loans while still in college, becoming aware of financial aid options, taking advantage of student discounts, creating a budget and tracking spending.