RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – President Joe Biden said Thursday that he’s “taking a hard look” at canceling additional federal student loan debt and will reach a decision within a month.
As we approach graduation season, some students are anxiously awaiting his decision.
Biden signaled Thursday saying $50,000 in debt forgiveness was not under consideration but so many are still awaiting that decision.
“That’s a lot of money that I have to pay back,” Shaw University senior Jamescia Perkinson said.
Biden and his loan forgiveness program has been an issue Democratic leaders have been pushing since day one in office.
During his campaign, Biden said he wanted to “immediately cancel” at least $10,000 in student debt per person.
And a lot of students agree.
“Loans can be very heavy on people’s lives. And especially far into the future, it doesn’t let them start their future. So, I think it would be a really good thing,” North Carolina State University Sarah Quinn said.
Senior Emma Johnson said she agrees.
“Loans are a burden for probably most people that I know here at State. And I know a lot of people will be in debt for a while,” she said.
However, students like sophomore Matthew Rybnicek say, although he doesn’t have to pay back student loans, he doesn’t understand how the government will find funds to eliminate student debt. And is there a plan to reimburse those who’ve already paid theirs back?
“There have been many years and generations of people who’ve paid back their student debts. I guess you can say it almost isn’t fair for the other people who already paid it back,” Rybnicek said.
Perkinson said it’s hard looking for your dream job and paying back student debt after graduating. She said she plans to work after graduating before attending grad school.
“A lot of people don’t have it made out like everybody have it. So, I feel like it would be a better opportunity for some people who can’t afford to pay back student loans right away,” Perkinson said.
Grad students like Lys Lin said she’s seen the stress this burden has put on her friends.
“I firmly believe in education, especially higher ed for everybody. I saw so many of my classmates struggle trying to make ends meet,” Lin said.
Natesha McMillon who is the assistant director of Financial Aid at St. Augustine’s University said financial freedom is one of the most important things for graduates.
“The reality is $10,000 is like the tip of the iceberg. A lot of students have extreme debt. They have massive loan debt and we are grateful for whatever President Biden is doing.”
Thursday, the White House press secretary says Biden’s goal is to continue to provide relief to people who need it most–and that the president would make a decision between now and Aug. 31.