Thousands sign online petition calling for forgiveness of student loans

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An online petition is asking the president to forgive billions in student loan debt through an executive order.

In Indiana alone, the Department of Education said more than 800,000 Hoosiers have student loans totaling more than $28 billion.

A petition asks the president to forgive student loan debt, saying it would inject $100 billion into the U.S. economy over the next 10 years.

Matt Will, a professor at the University of Indianapolis, said the organization behind the push has been around for about 15 years and is picking up steam.

“There’s a fringe group out there that started a petition and it’s become pretty successful,” Will said. “It started during the Democratic National Convention. Their goal is to get a million names. They are just a few hundred thousand short of hitting their target.”

Will questioned the wisdom of forgiving student loans on such a large scale.

“The economic consequences of giving handouts constantly—it’s just not a good thing,” he said. “This isn’t a group of people who are necessarily in dire need – no, the petition wants every student loan in the country to be wiped away – that seems a little extreme and really not good public policy.”

The petition has collected more than 560,000 signatures so far toward its goal of 1 million.

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