Biden to Cancel $10,000 in Student Debt; Low-Income Students Are Eligible for More

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Senate Democrats continued to make direct appeals to the White House for loan forgiveness in the days leading up the decision. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, as well as Ms. Warren and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, met with the president’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, and Brian Deese, one of Mr. Biden’s top economic advisers, on Friday.

Many economists warned the move could have damaging consequences for students and taxpayers in the future, by encouraging colleges and universities to raise prices with the federal government footing the bill.

Mr. Biden’s plan, including its limits on future loan repayment by borrowers, “would be a massive subsidy to the exact sector that created this mess with ever-rising tuition and fees,” said Melissa Kearney, a University of Maryland economist who directs the Aspen Economic Strategy Group. “We should be taking steps to rein in higher-ed pricing, not further subsidize higher-ed tuition and living expenses.”

Mary-Pat Hector, a graduate student at Georgia State University, said Mr. Biden’s plan was an important first step to support those disappointed by the administration’s failure to accomplish other policy goals, such as providing two free years of community college.

“They were told: Vote because your life depends on it,” said Ms. Hector, 23, who has $50,000 in loans from Spelman College. “And then we’re here on the ground, months away from midterm elections, and people in these communities are wondering, ‘Well, does my vote really matter?’”

Ms. Hector said that in addition to her own college debt, her mother also borrowed to pay for her education. She criticized the administration’s decision to impose limits on who would receive loan forgiveness based on salary, noting that while some of her peers earned a healthy income, they would also be responsible for supporting younger siblings who might borrow to attend college.

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