If you were only reading the bombastic headlines from the past few weeks, you might believe that, despite the recent Supreme Court setback to student debt relief, Biden has still been able to cancel a titanic amount of student debt – $39 billion. The White House announced last week that it was going to erase debt from student loan borrowers who had met certain criteria for income-driven repayment plans.
39 billion dollars is a large amount – but it is a grain of sand compared to the total level of student debt in the U.S., which stands at 1.7 trillion dollars. This barely makes a dent in the level of student loan debt. And it is hypocritical for Biden and the Democrats to tout this as a major victory even as Biden is ending the pause on student loan payments.
This cancellation will provide relief to some borrowers. But the vast majority will be left out of this program. And the astronomically high cost of college in the U.S. ensures that student debt will continue to soar. As long as education is commodified, we’re going to face massive levels of student debt!