Roving Teen Reporter: Student Loan Challenges

Jerry Wu

President Joe Biden announced on August 24th a student loan forgiveness plan that could help reduce the federal loans of over 43 million nationwide. The plan will cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for those with annual incomes lower than $125,000 and households that earn less than $250,000.


With the national student debt ballooning to over 4.3 billion dollars in recent years, many view the legislation with a positive outlook, including Nathan Chang, a 2021 graduate of the University of San Diego.


“I just qualified for up to $20,000 … this helps me out, and it helps clear out my entire personal debt,” Chang said.


College students unaffected by the plan, like Sky Yang, a junior at the University of California San Diego, acknowledge the long-term potential for the rest of the community. Considering the burdens of increasing college tuition and other expenses students face, Yang is confident that legislation will help many students focus and pursue higher education.


“I know it has granted a lot of people amazing reliefs from just their financial duties, and they are able to pursue their dreams. Just equal opportunities for all people, so college is more affordable to Americans in both middle class and low-income folks,” Yang said.


While the student loan forgiveness plan helps answer the cries from federal debt, for many, their year-long student debt far exceeds any realistic amount for the relief promised to have any significant effect. According to Forbes, more than three million student loan borrowers have accumulated student debt over $100,000. So, in hindsight, the legislation offers slight consolation and only a temporary fix.The continuous rise in college tuition also dissuades many that the plan will provide tangible benefits to students. Austin Wade, a U.S. History teacher at Torrey Pines who will have his remaining student loan paid off from the forgiveness plan, expresses his uncertainty.


“I feel like tuition continues to go up at somewhat astronomical rates. So, I think it’s a temporary fix because what are those people going to do when they’re finishing college this year, next year?” Wade said.


Today, President Joe Biden’s hopes of a universal solution to the burdens of student debt to thousands in the country are still an ideal far away. There remains a large portion of individuals suffering from student loan debt, having to deliberate heavily on many of their life decisions. But the passing of the loan forgiveness plan pioneers the country in the right direction toward long-term economic stability for all.