In August 2022, President Joe Biden officially announced federal plans for a historic student loan forgiveness program. The plan outlines forgiveness of $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 ($250,000 combined for married couples) and up to $20,000 dollars forgiven for Pell Grant recipients. This news is exciting to say the least, and many Life University (Life U) students are probably now wondering how this affects them and what their next steps should be.
Luckily for us at Life U, our amazing Director of Financial Aid Jessica Magazu, has put together some informational highlights to help students.
- Nearly 8 million borrowers may be eligible to receive relief without applying, unless they choose to opt out. This is because relevant income data is already available to the U.S. Department of Education.
- The Administration has launched a simple application for borrowers whose income data the U.S. Department of Education doesn’t have. Borrowers won’t need to upload any documentation or have an FSA ID to submit their applications.
- The application is available now online at https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application.
- Most borrowers who apply and qualify can expect relief within six weeks.
- Borrowers are advised to apply by mid-November to receive relief before the payment pause expires on December 31, 2022.
- The Department of Education will continue to process applications as they are received, even after the pause expires on December 31, 2022.
It is important to remember as well that Biden’s proposed student loan forgiveness program is currently under immense government scrutiny and amendment. Most recently, this scrutiny resulted in a pause (separate from the loan payment pause) passed by the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which for now means that debt cannot formally be discharged until that pause is lifted. Applications are still being accepted, but keep in mind that the path to student loan forgiveness may be a long one.
The Life U Financial Aid staff are working tirelessly to help students navigate this process and other financial aid considerations. If you have questions related to Financial Aid, please direct them to the financial aid counselor assigned to you alphabetically based on last name. Financial Aid counselors can be reached most effectively and quickly through email, preferably using your student email account. The Financial Aid office typically responds within 24 business hours and works to get answers back even faster when possible.
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