NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick Issues Statement on President Biden’s Plan to Forgive Federal Student Loans

August 24, 2022

Today, President Biden announced an executive action to forgive federal student loan debt of $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for other students who make up to $125,000. According to The White House, the loan forgiveness includes the vast majority of the 43 million people with student debt and could render up to 20 million borrowers whose balances are under $10,000 entirely free of student debt. The action taken today also  extended the pandemic pause on student loan payments, through the end of the year. Loan payments were set to resume for millions of borrowers after Aug. 31.

NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M. issued the following statement: 

“College affordability is a critical issue and will take a multi-pronged approach to address effectively. The single most important step Congress can take to make college more affordable is to double the maximum Pell Grant award to $13,000. This program is the cornerstone of federal financial aid and has helped 80 million students since its inception. We must also work together on reforms that will improve the student loan programs and provide resources to help students make more informed financial decisions concerning their education. We look forward to working with the Administration on the three-step approach announced today by President Biden.
“But we must all do our own part to address these issues as well.  Private, nonprofit colleges and universities continue to implement strategies and initiatives to increase access and success for students and families from all backgrounds. I am proud to say that 79 percent of all grant aid provided at four-year private, nonprofit institutions comes directly from institutional resources.  Additionally, what often goes overlooked is that net tuition at private, nonprofits is lower now than it was ten years ago.
“Private, nonprofit colleges and universities have the best on-time, four-year graduation rates. Completing on-time is a critical component of reducing the debt loads for students and families and allowing students to quickly enter the job market.
“But our sector can and must do even more. We must work harder to ensure more students complete college and complete on time. We need to ensure that students and their families understand what it means to borrow, and we need to do more to help those who must borrow to access jobs that will make repayment easier.
“Congress needs to do more as well. Now is the time to Double Pell so that we don’t fall back into this same loan pattern. Among the many things that should be addressed are the cost of student loans, the ease of repayment, and the targeting of subsidies to those who need the help the most.
“A degree is a ticket to an American dream, and we will continue to work with Congress to ensure that every student has access to that dream.”

Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

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