ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – As student debt grows, so do calls for its cancelation. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made an announcement that has the potential to impact tens of millions of Americans — he said the Biden Administration is “closer than ever before” to wiping out student loans.
“I have talked personally to the president on this issue a whole bunch of times. I have told him that this is more important than just about anything else that he can do on his own,” he told the State of Student Debt Summit in a virtual event.
Other Democrats — like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — have also called for debt cancelation, citing that nearly 66-percent of American students leave school with debt when they graduate. On average, students will pay close to $400 a month in student loan repayments, according to federal data.
Students who attend Elmira College told 18 News that the Biden Administration canceling debt would be a weight off their shoulders.
“To potentially have my debt canceled would probably be a big relief for my future,” Senior Halie Rowsam said. “I do have a lot of debt, as do most students, so I would definitely have one less thing that I’d have to worry about.”
Senior Kristen Tull agreed, telling 18 News she likely has more debt than the average student in New York because she’s out-of-state.
Both seniors said student debt cancelation would be “life-changing.” According to the Education Data Initiative, it would be life-changing for millions of America’s, too.
The Initiative reported that student debt could boost consumer spending by over three-percent and lift upwards of five-million American’s out of poverty. Data from the Initiative also reported that Black and African-American students owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than White college graduates.
A number of economists, however, believe student debt is unlikely to be canceled.
“They [the Biden Administration] promised $10,000 on day one and that has yet to be seen,” Financial Consultant Matthew Burr said. “I think the other piece is the economy itself and how much debt can we take on as a nation.”
Instead, Burr advocated for reducing interest rates and halting the rising cost of college.