Local Reactions to Pause on Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

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By Tom Kowalski

ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Just weeks away from midterms, Biden’s plan for nationwide student loan relief has been temporarily halted.

Six Republican states, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina, are suing the Biden administration to prevent the student loan relief, and a federal appeals court is blocking Biden from making any further steps.

The federal student loan forgiveness program would those with student loans with Pell Grant loans would receive up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness, and those without a Pell Grant would receive up to $10,000 in forgiveness.

Local legal experts say the decision as to whether or not the 22 million people who already applied for loan forgiveness is up to the upcoming election.

“The way that this pans out, in my professional opinion, would be that this would end up being a situation where the courts would find that this is a political question and is ripe for the polls in the elections to dictate what should happen here,” said Douglas Sullivan, an attorney at Sebald, Hackwelder, and Knox.

Some hope this will encourage younger, college-aged and post-college-aged people to register to vote.

“I think an increase of college student voters is always a good thing, an increase of young voters who these laws will actually impact for a really long time,” said Sammy Mannion, a Journalism senior at PennWest Edinboro. “And this one particularly because it’s such an issue that impacts us so deeply as a demographic.”

The White House has said they’re still accepting and reviewing student loan applications, despite the temporary pause.


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