Local reactions to student loan relief
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– President Biden’s decision to provide student loan relief will affect millions of former and current students across the nation, and here in Columbia.
Some students at the University of South Carolina are excited about the relief.
“All of that money that would be spent paying all that back, it opens so many doors for me to be able to do things for my family, for my kids…I’m for him cancelling all of it personally. I think that there’s lots of mixed feelings but I would rejoice,” says student Katy Bone.
Antonio Jones has similar feelings about student loan relief, saying, “I feel good about it. I think it’s a good idea. It probably should be more. I think that it’s inherently unfair that previous generations have been able to go to school for such a low cost…I think that it will be a little polarizing but I’m not mad about it. I’m happy about it.”
Some students at Benedict College are excited about loan relief as well.
“It’s a blessing! For him to even consider paying off everyone’s student loans, that’s amazing,” says Ariana Ellis.
“For him to think about other people and not just put the funds towards something else and give back to colleges we could ask for anything better,” says Deyonce Lewis.
“Even though it might not be a lot to some people, it’s good that he’s giving out some,” says Chesney Miller.
Cardrez Slocumb believes loan relief will help others make a decision, saying, “It will get more people to come to college.”
Dr. Breyon Williams, Education Economist with Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and University of South Carolina graduate, says those who might disagree with President Biden’s decision probably don’t need to worry about the plan impacting them financially.
“The task of cancelling student debt will not require reallocation of funds, nor will it require new taxes on Americans. So in terms of a direct perspective, there’s going to be little direct impact on those who don’t hold this federal student loan debt,” Dr. Williams says.
Dr. Williams says while the payments will wipe out debt for many borrowers, others may not feel as much relief.
“I think it is important to keep in mind that the average student loan debt for Black students is over $50,000 — over twice the amounts of white students. This means that the forgiveness amounts are going to be even less meaningful for Black students compared to white students.”
Dr. Williams advises all students with loans to log onto the website for Federal Student Aid and see the summary of public aid they took out.
Dr. Williams says two out of three jobs require higher education and believes the cost of college needs to be lowered.
“We have to reign in our college costs. Or we’re going to be in this predicament again,” Dr. Williams says.