Today, President Biden announced that borrowers earning up to $125,000 in income will be eligible for student loan debt relief of up to $10,000, or up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. For a state with over 1.3 million student loan borrowers with an average balance of $37,000, this will be life-changing debt relief. New Jersey ranks 6th in the nation in the percentage of undergraduate students receiving Pell Grants – almost 39 percent of undergraduates. In response to today’s announcement, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) releases the following statement.
Nicole Rodriguez, President, NJPP:
“The President’s plan to forgive student loan debt will provide hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans relief, allowing them to invest in their futures and families while bolstering the state’s economy. Canceling student loan debt is a critical step to building wealth and economic prosperity in New Jersey while narrowing the racial wealth gap. Higher education is held up as a ladder of opportunity to success, but the explosive growth in student debt holds back borrowers from achieving their full potential.
“While this plan will provide transformative relief to some borrowers, it does not go far enough. Capping income levels will not only leave many borrowers behind but require an entire apparatus of applications and red tape when the federal government could have canceled this debt with the push of a button. And the $10,000 does not come close to covering the average balance of nearly $40,000 for the average New Jersey borrower. Beyond the debt relief itself, more must be done to ensure adequate public funding for higher education: No student should have to take on crushing debt to pursue higher education.”