Biden administration cancels $72M in student loan debt

September 1, 2023

The Biden administration canceled $72 million in student loan debt for 2,300 borrowers Wednesday.

The Department of Education released a statement notifying students of the former for-profit school Ashford University would receive student loan relief over "misrepresentations" made to students.

The statement

“As the California Department of Justice proved in court, Ashford relied extensively on high-pressure and deceptive recruiting tactics to lure students,” Undersecretary of Education James Kvaal said.

“Today, we are protecting the students who were cheated by Ashford, and we will also hold the perpetrators accountable, protect taxpayers, and deter future wrongdoing," he added.

$116 billion and growing

"Altogether, the Biden administration has approved the cancellation of more than $116 billion of student loan debt for over 3.4 million people – about 1.1 million of whom are borrowers who were misled by a for-profit college and granted relief under a program known as borrower defense to repayment," CNN reported.

"This student debt forgiveness program has been in place for decades and allows people to apply for debt relief if they believe their college misled or defrauded them," it added.

The post-Supreme Court plan

"The announcement comes after the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan. Despite the Supreme Court's decision, President Joe Biden promised to provide other ways to offer relief to student loan borrowers," the Washington Examiner wrote.

"United States Undersecretary of Education James Kvaal cited a California court’s decision last year that sided with students’ claims of being misled about school programs and employment possibilities," it continued.

Biden's loss over his student loan debt forgiveness plan from the Supreme Court's ruling has not stopped his administration from pursuing other methods to accomplish the same goal on a smaller scale.

The efforts have been blasted by conservatives who see the move as irresponsible, asking taxpayers to cover the expenses of others who took out school loans. Others have viewed the forgiveness programs as a campaign effort, noting that many voters supported Biden during his first term because of his promise to cancel student loan debt.

The latest action may only apply to students from one school but it's clearly part of a larger push to increase student loan debt forgiveness ahead of the next election.

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