Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is on hold , but it could change lives if implemented

Jalin Jordan calls basketball “poetry in motion,” and the 21-year-old Stevenson University senior has built his life around it. 

“It gives my life purpose and simply feels right,” Jordan said. 

It would feel right if Jordan were drafted by the NBA or another professional league. It would enable him to make a living at his passion, which he found at the age of 3. He has been playing organized basketball since he was 6. 

Jordan said he dedicates every day to getting better with his craft in basketball. His whole life he has felt the overwhelming pressure struggling to make financial needs meet. 

Basketball isn’t paying for essential basic needs… not yet. 

Basketball isn’t helping him save for his future… not yet. 

Basketball isn’t paying for his student loans… not yet. 

As college prices continue to rise, President Joe Biden’s loan forgiveness plan to exempt up to $20,000 off qualified graduates could help not only jumpstart many young adults’ futures but aid them in accomplishing their goals as well. 

Many political critics are saying despite college prices skyrocketing that this new executive action is a big mistake. Applications are now on hold after a federal judge blocked implementation of the program, but the program does have a path forward in the new Congress just elected earlier this month. 

The Biden-Harris administration plans to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt to those in the working and middle class, for families making less than $250,000. 

“It means more than 8 million Americans are — starting this week — on their way to receiving life-changing relief,” Biden said.  

This plan was created to allow those to recover from the pandemic and to support families in need that must resume paying student loan payments starting Jan. 2023. The department is estimating this decision to cost an average of $30 billion for the federal gov. over the next decade. 

The department also assumes that about 81% of eligible borrowers will take advantage of this opportunity. 

Jalin Jordan is one of those eligible borrowers who his whole life has felt the overwhelming pressure struggling to make financial needs meet. 

Jordan thought about what this forgiveness plan meant to him. 

“I feel like $10,000 in forgiveness off my student loans would be helpful for sure, but it won’t even cover 20% of my financial debt. So, as it does help, it doesn’t really do much,” Jordan said. 

“I think this plan shows that the government is trying to look out for us — those who are struggling every day, feeling ignored by the very people that can help,” Jordan said. 

Jordan is currently playing with an organization called Quiet as Kept. 

“We work out and train daily; they are even in numerous leagues including a semi-pro league known as TTBL,” Jordan said. 

He expressed how he doesn’t necessarily have a dream team. 

“My dream is to get paid doing what I love,” Jordan said. 

Stevenson University Tuition and Financial Aid (2022), reports that the cost per year for a full-time student is $41,568. Additional cost may increase this sticker price for students usually averaging to about $57,638 per year. About 70% of Stevenson students took out a loan to cover the cost of college. 

For students who show a need for receiving a need-based aid, after scholarships funds and aid are applied the total cost for a year is $31,861. 

The average federal loan debt for a Stevenson University graduate who has received an undergraduate degree is around $27,000 

Students who took out private loans to cover the cost of the university have an average of $49,139 in private loan debt. 

Martin Harris, a 22-year-old from Rosedale, Maryland, is a 2022 Stevenson University alumnus. He graduated with around $15,000 in debt and said the forgiveness plan could have really helped him. 

“I just paid off my debt with what I had saved for future plans, but I didn’t want to deal with all the interest on my loans,” Harris said. 

He feels as though the forgiveness plan can be helpful to graduates but should be more available and needs much more public information. It should be put into action. 

“A lot of students are working hard to pay off their loans every month,” Harris said. 

The U.S Department of Education  supports the Biden-Harris forgiveness plan. The department says the student debt relief plan will help millions of Americans purchase homes, save for retirement, or start a small business. 

The department reports that the majority of graduates are often overwhelmed with a sense of burden caused by large amounts of debt from college costs. 

In contrast CBS News reports  how some Republicans, economists, and even a few Democrats think this plan is a big mistake. 

The White House claims 43 million people are estimated to benefit from this plan, but critics are saying debt relief will only make things worse. 

Critics argue this plan could be struck down by courts as it will contribute to high inflation continuing, doesn’t help struggling members who did not attend college, and highlights how it is highly unfair to those who already paid their debts additionally, it fails to address the cost of college. There is an additional issue seen on the fairness of this plan as it only forgives federal and grant loans. 

Republicans also argue that the plan could cost the U.S. around $30 billion, and taxpayers are wondering how this plan will affect them. 

“Their outrage is wrong and it’s hypocritical,” Biden said. “I will never apologize for helping working Americans and middle-class people as they recover from the pandemic.” 

Maddie Harris, a 20-year-old from Denton, Maryland, is a junior majoring in psychology at Stevenson University. Maddie pays her tuition mainly through federal loans, private loans, scholarships, and grants. 

She said her parents are primarily taking care of her student loans, but she plans to help them after graduation. 

“If I could get $10K forgiven off my student loans, it would really help myself and parents out,” Maddie said. 

She said she stresses about her student debt after graduating and that she wants to eventually go to graduate school, which will cost even more. 

Despite many politicians and voters saying that Biden’s forgiveness plan is a big mistake, it can help students get a jumpstart toward their future and goals. 

This plan additionally helps those struggling in the shadows feel heard and hopeful toward the future with this much needed aid, following very hard and uncertain times — not unlike the uncertain times that Jalin Jordan’s basketball career faces. 

“Those struggling are finally being helped,” Jordan said. “They can finally be hopeful instead of ridden with overbearing financial stress.”