statement

AYA applauds Biden Administration's decision to cancel student loan debt

8 / 25 / 2022

Washington D.C. August 24, 2022 – Today, the Biden Administration has announced a comprehensive plan to cancel $10,000 in student debt for borrowers with annual incomes below $125,000, and up to $20,000 for borrowers who have received the Pell Grant. The administration will also extend the pause on student loan payments one final time through December 31, and reform the Income-Driven Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs.

On behalf of our 22,000 members across all 50 states, the Association of Young Americans (AYA) expresses our deep gratitude to the President for his decision to take unprecedented, meaningful action to address the student debt crisis, while firmly calling on the Administration to take its relief effort further by canceling additional debt for student borrowers and addressing the root causes of affordability and accessibility issues in higher education.

“This is the moment we have long been waiting–and advocating–for,” said Lisa Giordano, Executive Director of AYA. “Young people have been held back from meaningfully contributing to society and building wealth due to our student debt – the removal of a significant burden off of our backs will enable us to invest in our futures and the future of this country. We thank President Biden for taking this first step to provide permanent relief to borrowers, and look forward to working with the Administration to provide additional relief and reform our higher education system at large.”

Student debt is one of the most pressing issues for AYA’s membership: in a 2021 survey, 67% of our members were carrying student debt, and 89% supported cancellation. Since 2016 AYA has been actively advocating for the cancellation of student debt, as the burden has prevented young people – especially young people of color – from saving money, pursuing future goals, and reaching critical adult milestones such as purchasing a home and/or starting a family.

This initial student debt cancellation effort will provide debt relief to up to 43 million borrowers, and eliminate the total loan balance for about 20 million borrowers. Proposed reforms to the Income-Driven Repayment program would facilitate enrollment, cut monthly payments in half for undergraduate loans, and offer forgiveness for some borrowers 10 years sooner.

On behalf of our membership, the Association of Young Americans (AYA) once again commends President Biden for investing in the future of younger generations by canceling student loan debt.

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The Association of Young Americans (AYA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership-based organization advocating at the federal level on behalf of young Americans aged 18–35. AYA represents its over 22,000 members by working to advance the policies and legislation important to our generation. Learn more at www.joinaya.org.

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