Getting Answers: judge strikes down student loan relief program

Getting Answers: judge strikes down student loan relief program
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 4:07 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Millions hoping to benefit from President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program will now have to wait indefinitely after a federal judge in Texas struck the program down and called it illegal.

“That’s definitely something that we were looking forward to. It’s a decent amount of money and especially because all of my loans are being paid by me, my parents aren’t helping me, so I was kind of relying on that…Without having that extra money, it is pushing that dream further out of reach,” said Springfield College student Christian Heredia.

Heredia told Western Mass News he now worries about the cost of getting a degree.

“Hearing that just definitely affects how I was going to plan out my future,” Heredia added.

Heredia’s reaction came just one day after a federal judge in Texas ruled Biden’s student loan forgiveness program illegal. Western Mass News is getting answers about the legal process and road ahead.

“This is a charmingly old-fashioned notion of politics. It’s not anyone attacking the Capitol. It’s simply saying, ‘What can the president do? What can the federal government do?’ and it’s up to the courts to decide when the law is not absolutely clear,” said Western New England University history professor John Baick.

Baick told Western Mass News what is at the heart of this debate.

“The Biden Administration is trying to say that we should give a break to some of these strivers, some of the most vulnerable, and the conservatives are saying, ‘No, this should be held in private hands and if you take on debt, go to college, that is your choice,’” Baick explained.

The federal judge said this type of loan forgiveness falls outside of Biden’s power as president. In the meantime, Baick told us how students are being impacted.

“I think there is a lot of confusion and a lot of anxiety about student loans. I think there’s some students who believe this is going to cover them in the future. This really effects the students are most vulnerable. This effects the students who, without these Pell grants, would have no chance to attend school,” Baick added.

He said not all hope is lost for borrowers, but the road ahead is long.

“For the next few months, there are going to be many lawsuits and there are many going on right now. Most have been rejected…This will probably end up in the hands of the Supreme Court,” Baick noted.

The Biden Administration is telling applicants they are disappointed by this decision, but are continuing to work towards forgiving student debt in the long run.