Last week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested in an interview that one of President-Elect Joe Biden’s first steps once he takes office should be to use an executive order to cancel $50,000 in debt for every person with federal student loans. The proposal was first released in September, in a joint statement with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and is seeing new life as we get closer to the new president’s inauguration.
The proposal has not officially been endorsed by Biden, though his campaign did include a $10,000/year student debt cancellation plan for those who enter a service position such as teaching, government, or nonprofit work after graduation.
An estimated 46 million Americans have student loans, making it the second-biggest form of household debt in the country behind mortgage debt. The total amount of student debt stands at more than $1.6 trillion. Student debt is also an equality issue, as it disproportionately harms BIPOC students; twenty years after college graduation, the median white college graduate has paid off 94% of their student loan debt, while the median Black college graduate still owes 95% of theirs.
This moment of conversation is an opportunity for us to shape future policy by raising our voices. As the