BYU students react to Biden’s new student loan plan

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BYU students sit outside between classes. The amount of loans a student has also affects the number of years they spend in college. (Thabata Freitas)

The Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan was recently introduced to students as a way to ease the transition off of pandemic-related support back to regular payments for working-class borrowers. 

“[Student loans] promote me to finish [school] faster, which I don’t really like. I prefer taking another year. But I don’t want to because I have to do loans,” BYU economics student Connor Packham said.

Some students said they believe with the forgiveness they could be debt-free and start investing in the future, while others do not believe it makes a big change. For Packham, the loan cancellation “doesn’t make a big difference.”

BYU English alumnus Maddy Schow said the loan forgiveness would make her more comfortable with other expenditures.

“With my loan being forgiven, I don’t have any debt besides my car and my house, which is great,” Schow said. “It would make me more comfortable with buying a house and starting a family knowing I wouldn’t have that extra payment every month.”

Other students said they disagree with Biden’s plan. “Biden’s plan is horribly unfair to everyone who didn’t attend college or who already paid for their education,” Computer engineering student Jake McCoy said. McCoy said he believes this measure is a politically-motivated act in anticipation of the upcoming midterm elections.

The loans taken by those interviewed varied from $0 to $27,000. Some anticipated they would have $30,000 in loans by the time they graduate, even after scholarships.

“For me, it gets rid of all of my debt, but for others, for example, my mother, $10,000 barely pays for the interest they’ve accrued despite making regular payments,” Schow said. “I would rather see the government do away with student loan interest entirely.”

From an economic standpoint, Packham said he is wary of the long-term consequences.

“As much as this is great for us, it’s not so great for our future generation,” Packham said. Packham said he worries this plan will only make the inflation problem worse, and that the focus should instead be on bringing down the cost of higher education.

More information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan can be found on the Federal Student Aid Website.

The diagram details who qualifies for debt cancelation through the Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan. Without loans, BYU students feel empowered to invest in their future and increase the amount of years they spend in school. (Thabata Freitas)
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