Updated: Jun 22, 2022
I'm blessed to say that I am a product of North Carolina A&T State University, as well as a graduate of Strayer University. The $150,000.00 student load debt that was accumulated was...to say the least...a strategic loss that I chose to take. Why? To place myself in a position to become self sustainable.
Was it worth it? Kind of. Would I listen to my mother again? Absolutely.
This Week's Focus: The President and Student Loan Debt
I've always believed that leadership starts at the top, then trickles down. I was also taught, as a child, that leaders know when to follow. There's no question about it, politics is trash. Why should we continue to trust people whom we think holds our best interest, just to manipulate our needs for their gains? It's the disappointing perspective that's held as a black woman who chooses to become active in her local, state, and federal elections. But, we try to make it work with what we have. Why? Because we know our worth. We know that you have to work twice as hard. The first person to hold accountable for aspects of the country is the President of the United States. As of June 21st, 2022, that would be the responsibility of President Joe Biden.
Let's Pull Receipts
At the time, Candidate Joe Biden made numerous promises to address student loan debt in this country. Let's start pulling some receipts:
"Additionally, we should forgive a minimum of $10,000/person of federal student loans, as proposed by Senator Warren and colleagues. Young people and other student debt holders bore the brunt of the last crisis. It shouldn't happen again." ( 3-22-2020, Twitter). https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1241869418981920769
"I’ve also directed my team to develop a plan to forgive federal student debt relating to the cost of tuition currently held by low-income and middle-class people for undergraduate public colleges and universities, as well as private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and private, underfunded Minority-Serving Institution (MSIs)" (medium.com, 2020). https://medium.com/@JoeBiden/joe-biden-outlines-new-steps-to-ease-economic-burden-on-working-people-e3e121037322
So, we clearly see that our concerns have been heard. It would be safe to say that we (by we I mean anyone who has taken out a student loan) assumed that some degree of student loan debt would be addressed IF we voted him as President of the United States. I'm not going to say I had hope. I'll say that I wanted to see what would happen. So far, I'm simply unimpressed.
Then...he became President Biden
Once he became President Biden, to his credit, his primary focus went towards the Insurrection of January 6th, and his administration had to address the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, time is of the essence. We all have problems, issues, been placed in uncomfortable situations , and would want our needs addressed just as fast as the next person. So, President Biden, how have you addressed student loan debt so far?
President Biden, currently, has extended the hold on student loan debt payments until August, 31 2022.
"Federal student loan payments have been on hold for more than two years now and talks of student loan forgiveness have yet to see fruition for the majority of Americans. While no official decisions have been made yet on widespread student loan forgiveness, it's possible the payment pause will be extended beyond September. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testified at a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday in which he suggested a student loan moratorium extension is still a possibility, in a response to a question from New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen" https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/loans/student-loan-payment-pause-may-be-extended-again/
"Biden has canceled $25 billion of student loans for 1.3 million student loan borrowers. This includes:
Borrower Defense To Repayment: $7.9 billion for 690,000 borrowers for borrower defense to student loan repayment and school closures.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness: $7.3 billion for more than 127,000 student loan borrowers through public service loan forgiveness.
Permanent Disability: More than $8.5 billion for more than 400,000 borrowers who have a total and permanent disability." https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2022/06/03/biden-has-canceled-25-billion-of-student-loans-but-student-loan-forgiveness-still-eludes-borrowers/?sh=1395a7250d3c
"The U.S. Department of Education canceled about $5.8 billion in outstanding student loans for more than 560,000 borrowers in the largest single loan forgiveness action taken by the government to date, the department announced Wednesday.
The cancellation applies to all those who attended schools operated by the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, one of the largest for-profit education companies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015." (CNBC, 2022). https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/02/biden-administration-cancels-5point8-billion-in-student-loans-more-borrowers-could-see-relief-soon.html
Simply put, some people have seen it. Some people have not. I know some folks who were directly affected by these cancellations. As a technicality, there's an A for effort, and a C+ for execution. The reason why I believe this is the best way to grade this action is simple: more could easily be done. Was it? No. Why? You can claim politics. You can blame technicalities. But the honest answer is that he still has the means to lessen the burden of trying to educate myself to make a simple living. Is that too much to ask?
Like I said before...here comes the foolishness
Okay. So, here's the thing. I'm the type of person that prefers a straight forward answer. Why is this a thing? Here's why. "The dollar cost of forgiveness is not cheap. Some estimates put it at more than $320 billion. That would dwarf other well-known, large-scale federal welfare programs like SNAP, for example, which currently costs roughly $68 billion a year" (The Hill, 2022). Men, and Women, who have to take out a loan in order to show that they have been given the opportunity of higher learning because we're already at a disadvantage for us to obtain a profit over time, literally have become a backbone to ensure the Government is able to hold up their end of the bargain from these third party contractors, such as Great Lakes and Navient. If 45 showed us one thing, he showed us that politics can ruin our lives. Some, more than others. "If the way Congress pays for federal programs matters, then the real question around executive authority to forgive student loan debt is not whether the ambiguous wording within the federal Higher Education Act allows for it. The bigger issue is whether President Biden can set aside, or override, how the legislative branch chooses to spend taxpayer dollars." That's the technical answer. In my opinion, this is the dominant root of the issue, and no one wants to address it since it's messing with a lot of money that is predominantly affecting the White people that's invested in this scam. https://thehill.com/opinion/education/3506875-the-reason-president-biden-might-not-be-able-to-cancel-student-debt-after-all/
Can the Biden Administration get it together?
Who knows? It's no secret that we've been given false hope to believe that voting who we believe represents us will do the right thing. Recently, there's been more chatter about pausing student loan debt for another set of months again. Is this what I want to hear? No. It's simply a disappointment that this topic is addressed when it's a convenience. "He also acknowledged his long awaited student-loan forgiveness announcement. Recent reports have suggested Biden is considering $10,000 in relief for borrowers making under $150,000 a year, and while the White House has not publicly confirmed any plans, Biden told reporters that "yes," he is close to making that announcement" (MSN, 2022). The purpose of this blog is to call the scam out for what it is. A scam. I am an active part of it. I chose to take out the loan, with the primary assistance of my mother, because we both were on the same page stating that my education does not have a price, only my patience. It's time to make something that works for us. I, no longer, want to become dependent on this type of dialogue when it's time for elections. Join me, and let's play this game with them together. I'm not afraid. Are you?