Student LifeThe Buzz

SAU President and Faculty Evaluates Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

U. S. President Joe Biden is strongly determined to see his student loan forgiveness plan through. Despite the temporary block that courts have against the plan, he says he is still optimistic about canceling student loan debt for millions of students. The plan in place predicts that they will cancel $10,000 dollars in student debt for families earning less than $125,000 a year and $20,000 for students who have been receiving Pell grants. The faculty of SAU have their views about Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

St. Ambrose University’s president, President Amy Novak, spoke about her thoughts on the student debt relief system. “I just think it’s a way for us to acknowledge that we want students to thrive in our economy. And that eliminating some of their debt, certainly does not eliminate all of it, but some of their debt, allows them to just make that progress more quickly. To be contributing to our economy in a way that isn’t burdening them with their current debt loan.”

Being in favor of the forgiveness plan, President Novak also appreciates that this debt expands to the students who are undergraduates as well as graduate students. She says it is an immense opportunity for students to have a break and for it to not be a burden for students.

Dr. Patrick Archer, SAU Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is also in favor of Biden’s bill. Dr. Archer recalls why tuition began to become so high in the first place. “Overall, I am supportive of the student loan debt forgiveness plan. While SAU is a private institution, there has been a significant decrease in the amount of state tax dollars allocated to higher education over the last 30 years. This is one of the reasons for the increase in tuition for many public schools.”

Dr. Archer further explains that the high tuition rate prompted Biden’s relief project, and how many young students are discouraged from getting a college education because of it. “We, as a country, are reducing our support for a college degree, which puts the cost on the student.”

With Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, students’ interest rates for paying back their loans will change. Dr. Archer describes, “What I like most about the plan is not the loan forgiveness, but the changes to the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) process. This new plan will cap the amount undergraduate borrowers have to pay back at five percent of any income they earn over $33,000. This will help prevent students from owing more than they initially borrowed, which has happened under high-interest rates.”

Although President Novak was surprised by the hold that the debt project was currently on, Dr. Archer was less startled, “I’m not surprised that an appeals court has put a pause on the plan due to a challenge from a number of states.”

Throughout campus, SAU faculty members all have different thoughts and views about Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt, but they want to see each student at SAU thrive in their endeavors. Currently, the forgiveness relief project is still on hold as the courts placed a pause on the relief plan. This continued block has been pushing off the debt relief plan and students would not be able to receive the aid until June 2023. Although, President Biden remains hopeful as millions of students are filling out