Joe Biden’s Plans For College Affordability and Student Loans

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March 3, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden and presidential hopeful is rolling out a plan to help make college more affordable and ease the student loan crisis, especially for low- and middle-income families.

“For too many, earning a degree or other credential after high school is unaffordable today. For others, their education saddles them with so much debt it prevents them from buying a home or saving for retirement, or their parents or grandparents take on some of the financial burden,” Biden says in his plan.

Here is his plan:

What Joe Biden Plans to Do about College Affordability 

  • Provide two years of community college or other high-quality training program without debt 
  • Provide free tuition at 4-year public colleges for students from families with an annual income under $125,000
  • Create a new grant program to assist community colleges in improving their students’ success, including academic and career advising services
  • Double the maximum value of Pell Grants
  • Expand the Pell Grant, state grants and other grants for usage beyond tuition and fees
  • Invest $18 billion in grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other under-resourced Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs)

 What Joe Biden Plans to Do about Student Loans

Biden proposes to forgive all tuition-related undergraduate federal student loan debt for borrowers who attended public colleges or HBCUs. Borrowers must earn less than $125,000 per year.

He has previously said he supports a $10,000 federal student loan forgiveness proposal introduced by House Democrats.

Simplify and expand income-driven repayment plans as follows:

  • Individuals will be automatically enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan with the option to opt out if they’d like.
  • Borrowers making $25,000 or less per year will not owe any payments on their undergraduate federal student loans. These loans also won’t accrue any interest.
  • Anyone making over $25,000 will pay 5% of their discretionary income.
  • After 20 years, the remainder of the student loans for people who have responsibly made payments will be 100% forgiven.
  • Any forgiven loans through the income-based repayment program won’t be taxed.

Joe Biden also plans to revamp the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. His program would offer $10,000 of undergraduate or graduate student debt relief for each year of national or community service, for up to five years.

Borrowers working in schools, government and other non-profit settings would be automatically enrolled in the PSLF program.

Joe Biden would also allow private student loan borrowers to discharge student loans in bankruptcy.

A good place to start:

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