President Biden has canceled over 8 billion dollars in student loans for some borrowers since becoming president. And while the overall number of students affected by his changes are in the thousands, more adults maintain high balances, even decades after graduating from college or university.
The student loan debt crisis is at a critical point, with over 1.7 trillion in borrowed dollars for higher education — something that most employers consider necessary in 2021. Millions of adults owe money for education, and Black families carry a heavier burden of student loan debt than do White families, according to the Brookings Institution.
According to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), canceling student loan debt is “the one thing Joe Biden could do by himself to help close the Black-white wealth gap.” Senator Warren, along with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) have called on President Biden to cancel at least $50,000 for all student loan borrowers.
President refuses to cancel majority of student loan debt
Yet President Biden has balked at that number, and instead started pausing student loan debt repayment during the pandemic, along with capping interest to 0%. He then targeted specific borrowers, including those who have a disability, and those who were duped by fraudulent education operations, many of which charged wildly high tuition costs.
While these measures of support are helpful, they do not address the millions of adults who are unable to fully discharge their loans. As President, Mr. Biden has the capacity to do more to help with the financial burden faced by graduates and former students across the country.
Meanwhile, Black families would benefit the most from a widespread student loan cancelation policy. As the income gap between Black families and White families is not affected by college education, student loan debt taken out by Black men and women only further increases those disparities. In fact, White college graduates on average still make more than seven times as much money as Black college graduates.
This is one reason Senators Schumer and Warren are not letting up on their campaign for President Biden to cancel all student loan debt. “Student loan cancellation could occur today,” Senator Elizabeth Warren recently said in an interview. “The president just needs to sign a piece of paper canceling that debt. It doesn’t take any act of Congress or any amendment to the budget.”