Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness applications to open this month; students weigh in

Written By Erin Yudt, Editor-Elect

Back in August, President Joe Biden announced a three-part plan to cancel student debt for low to middle income class families. Applications for the Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program are expected to open this month. 


Until Oct. 31, 2022, borrowers may receive credit for payments that previously did not qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), according to the Federal Student Aid website.


The U.S. Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in debt relief to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education and up to $10,000 in debt relief to non-Pell Grant recipients. Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their individual income is less than $125,000 or $250,000 for households.


In addition, borrowers who are employed by nonprofits, the military, or federal, state, Tribal, or local government may be eligible to have all of their student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. This is because of time-limited changes that waive certain eligibility criteria in the PSLF program. Applications for this program are due at the end of the month. To learn more and apply, visit 


Current students and borrowers who have federally held undergraduate, graduate and Parent PLUS loans that were distributed on or before June 30, 2022 are eligible for the relief. 


Borrowers are advised to apply by mid-November in order to receive relief before the payment pause expires on December 31, 2022. However, the Department of Education will continue to process applications as they are received, even after the pause expires on December 31, 2022.


Kairi Stallsmith, sophomore secondary education major with a focus in history, is “not too sure” about this new forgiveness aid.


“The loan forgiveness only applies to me for last year, as I was able to get most of my tuition paid because of my dad being in the military, so it is useful, but I wish there was more,” Stallsmith said. “It just seems like a way for Democrats to win the midterms and have more people vote for Democrats.”


Julianne Bailey, sophomore legal studies major, is also “not that happy” with the announcement.


“I like the idea and concept of it, but I don’t like how it applies to only public loans and not private ones,” Bailey said. “I understand the government can only do so much and only did it publicly to get it approved, but so many people take private loans because the government doesn’t fund all of tuition, so what about those people? Any bit helps, but it seems like any announcement like this still isn’t enough.”


Other parts of this plan include a final extension of the pause on federal student loan repayment and making the student loan system more manageable for current and future borrowers. 


Due to economic challenges created by the pandemic, federal student loan prepayment was paused automatically several times and will continue until December 31 of this year. Payments will automatically resume in January of next year. 


Income-based repayment plans have long existed within the U.S. Department of Education. However, the Biden-Harris Administration is proposing a rule to create a new income-driven repayment plan that will substantially reduce future monthly payments for lower- and middle-income borrowers, which would require borrowers to pay no more than 5% of their discretionary income monthly on undergraduate loans, raise the amount of income that is considered non-discretionary income and therefore is protected from repayment, forgive loan balances after 10 years of payments and cover the borrower’s unpaid monthly interest. 

The Federal Student Aid office highly suggests checking their website frequently for updates and signing up to receive email updates from the U.S. Department of Education by visiting