Education & Student Loans

The Biden-Harris Administration and Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to fund the safe reopening of schools, and passed the FY 2022 Omnibus Act which included the largest funding increase for schools in low-income communities, and provided funding for mental health support, tutoring and additional resources for students with disabilities. They also invested nearly $50B in higher education, including $6.6B in HBCUs and $40B in community colleges and 5,000 institutions of higher education. The Biden-Harris Administration has also forgiven nearly $400B in student loans and interest by expanding existing loan forgiveness programs and launching the largest student loan forgiveness program in history. 

 

What Have the Biden-Harris Administration and Dems Done?

 

K-12 Schools

      • Ensured the safe return to schools through the American Rescue Plan. Before ARP, only 46% of schools were open in-person; after, 99% of schools opened safely.
      • Passed the largest funding increase for schools in low-income communities.
      • Invested $3B to support students with disabilities impacted during the pandemic.
      • Protected high-poverty districts and schools from facing funding cuts.
      • Funded 250,000 mentors and tutors for students.
      • Provided historic funding to schools to address the youth mental health crisis through the Safer Communities Act. (See also this great summary from Sen. Patty Murray.)

Higher Education

      • Supported historically Black colleges and students with over $6.6B in funding.
      • Invested $40B in higher education, providing funding to over 5,000 institutions of higher education.

Federal Student Loans

      • Paused student loan payments from March 2020 to December 31, 2022. No one will have had to pay student loans for 34 months.
      • Waived over $50B in student loan interest while loans have been paused.
      • Made tax-free all student loans forgiven until 2025.
      • In the first 18 months of the Biden-Harris Administration, $32B in student loans were forgiven for veterans with permanent disabilities, people with permanent disabilities, healthcare workers in underserved communities, defrauded college students, and public servants (including firefighters, teachers, nurses, and other public employees).
      • On August 24, 2022, President Biden announced his historic plan to address student loan debt, forgiving over $300B in student loan debt. (Here’s a link for more info on who qualified and how to apply for the student loan forgiveness program.)
          • $10K loan forgiveness for individuals with an income of less than $125K.
          • $20K loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients with an income of less than $125K.
          • All loan payments are capped at 5% of the borrower’s monthly discretionary income (i.e. income after accounting for living expenses) instead of the previous 10%.
          • For borrowers with original loan balances of $12,000 or less, loan balances will be forgiven in full after 10 years of payments instead of 20 years.
          • No borrower’s loan balance will increase due to interest as long as they make their monthly payments—even if that monthly payment is $0 because their income is low.
          • No borrower earning under 225% of the federal poverty level—about the annual equivalent of a $15 minimum wage for a single borrower—will have to make a monthly payment.
          • The pause on federal student loan repayment was extended through December 31, 2022.
          • Note: Two-thirds of all student loan debt is held by women. 90% of student loan forgiveness will go to borrowers who earn less than $75K

What Have the Biden-Harris Administration and Dems Done?

K-12 Schools

      • Ensured the safe return to schools. Through the American Rescue Plan, $130B was invested in K-12 schools to help schools safely reopen and stay open; and address learning loss and support student mental health. $122B was distributed according to states and districts Title I share, benefitting high-poverty communities. Before ARP, only 46% of schools were open in-person. After, 99% of schools opened safely.
      • Passed the largest funding increase for schools in low-income communities. The FY22 omnibus included $1B in funding for schools serving low-income communities. President Biden’s FY23 Budget proposes an additional $19B to address enduring funding disparities between under-resourced schools—which disproportionately serve Black students —and their wealthier counterparts.
      • Invested $3B to support students with disabilities impacted during the pandemic.
      • Protected against educational funding cuts in vulnerable schools. The Administration implemented a first-of-its-kind equity requirement, protecting high-poverty districts and schools from facing funding cuts.
      • Funded tutoring program for students. The American Rescue Plan funded 250K mentors and tutors across the country to support students recovering from the disruption of the pandemic.
      • Provided historic funding to schools to address the youth mental health crisis through the Safer Communities Act. (See this great summary from Sen. Patty Murray.)
          • $500M through the School Based Mental Health Services Grant Program to increase the number of qualified mental health service providers in school districts with demonstrated need.
          • $500M to the School Based Mental Health Service Professionals Demonstration Grant which will help train and diversify the pipeline of school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists.
          • $1B through Title IV-A to support a variety of activities to improve conditions for student learning.
          • $50M for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which funds extracurricular, after school and summer programs, with a focus of new funding to target programs for older youth.
          • $300M through the STOP School Violence Act to institute safety measures in and around schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students.
          • Codifies the SchoolSafety.gov clearinghouse, which provides evidence-based resources to improve school safety. Prohibits use of funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to train or equip any person with dangerous weapons in schools.

Higher Education

      • Supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their students. The Biden-Harris Administration invested $5.8B in HBCUs to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. This included $1.6B in debt relief from loans provided for capital improvements by the DOE’s HBCU Capital Financing Program for 45 HBCUs. President Biden’s FY22 budget also included over $800M for HBCUs to support research, infrastructure development, and student services.
      • Invested $40B in higher education. The American Rescue Plan provided $40B in funding to over 5,000 institutions of higher education, including $20B for financial aid. The ARP also provided $10B to community colleges, including $5B to financial aid to allow students to remain on track to graduate and enter the workforce with additional qualifications.

Federal Student Loans

      • Paused student loan payments from March 2020 to December 31, 2022. No one will have had to pay student loans for 34 months.
      • Waived over $50B in student loan interest while loans have been paused.
      • Made tax-free all student loans forgiven until 2025.
      • Prior to the announcement of President Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program, the Biden-Harris Administration had already forgiven $32B in student loans:
          • Forgave 100% of federal student debt for veterans with permanent disabilities.
          • Forgave 100% of federal loans for people with permanent disabilities.
          • Forgave $1.5B in student loans for healthcare workers in underserved communities.
          • Forgave $1B in student loans for defrauded college students.
          • Forgave $7.3B in borrower loans for 175K public servants (including firefighters, teachers, nurses, and other public employees. The Department of Education updated the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to enable more than 550K borrowers to be eligible for debt forgiveness or cancellation. PSLF cancels the remaining balance of an individual’s student loan after the borrower makes 120 qualifying monthly payments. Anyone who works for a federal, state or local government agency can apply for the program.
          • As of April 2022, several thousand borrowers have had ALL their student debt canceled as part of newly announced actions by the Dept of Ed.
              • At least an additional 40,000 borrowers will see “immediate debt cancellation” as they now qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) under the new changes.
              • Thousands of other borrowers with older loans will also receive forgiveness through income-driven repayment, according to the Dept of Ed.
              • Another 3.6M will receive at least three years of additional credit toward income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness.
              • Dept. of Ed will also count forbearances of more than 12 consecutive months and more than 36 months total toward loan forgiveness, either under IDR or PSLF.
      • In August 2022, President Biden announced his historic plan to address student loan debt, forgiving over $300B in student loan debt. (Here’s a link for more info on who qualified and how to apply for the student loan forgiveness program.)
          • $10K loan forgiveness for individuals with an income of less than $125K.
          • $20K loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients with an income of less than $125K.
          • All loan payments are capped at 5% of the borrower’s monthly discretionary income (i.e. income after accounting for living expenses) instead of the previous 10%.
          • For borrowers with original loan balances of $12,000 or less, loan balances will be forgiven in full after 10 years of payments instead of 20 years.
          • No borrower’s loan balance will increase due to interest as long as they make their monthly payments—even if that monthly payment is $0 because their income is low.
          • No borrower earning under 225% of the federal poverty level—about the annual equivalent of a $15 minimum wage for a single borrower—will have to make a monthly payment.
          • The pause on federal student loan repayment was extended through December 31, 2022.
          • Note: Two-thirds of all student loan debt is held by women. 90% of student loan forgiveness will go to borrowers who earn less than $75K.

LAST UPDATED ON SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2022