Student Debt Plan Goes Before the Court

By Jenna Sablan

On February 28, AAUP members and staff joined representatives from more than twenty advocacy organizations for a rally in front of the Supreme Court in support of student debt cancellation. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments that day in two cases challenging the legality of President Joe Biden’s proposed student debt forgiveness plan, which would provide up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness per eligible borrower (and up to $20,000 for eligible borrowers who were Pell Grant recipients).

The AAUP, along with hundreds of other organizations, has urged the Biden administration to extend the student loan repayment pause following the court’s injunction against loan discharges. Currently, the repayment pause is set to expire on June 30 or when the court releases its decision.

One case before the Supreme Court involves Republican officials in six states who claim that Biden’s plan will hurt the revenue of state entities that service student loans. The second case involves two borrowers who claim that they did not have adequate time to provide public comment on the plan. One borrower does not qualify for the additional forgiveness because the borrower did not receive a Pell Grant, and the other borrower is ineligible for forgiveness entirely because this borrower’s loans are not currently held by the government. Legal experts believe issues such as whether the parties have legal standing to bring a case will be relevant to the decision.