By: Jonah Lewis, contributing writer
As the U.S. Supreme Court plans to hear arguments on the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness plan, many Towson University students say the potential reversal is worrisome.
Biden’s plan, which was announced on Aug. 24, would’ve allowed borrowers to have up to $20,000 of federal loans forgiven.
The lawsuit striking down Biden’s plan has been the culmination of five current legal battles on the part of conservative advocacy groups attempting to overturn student debt forgiveness, though none were successful.
A Texas U.S. District Court Judge, Mark Pittman, declared the program “unlawful” and an abuse of the executive branch’s power, NPR reported.
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” Pittman said in his 26-page decision.
On Dec. 1, The Supreme Court upheld the current injunction on the program and said it will hear arguments in a case challenging the plan in February 2023, NBC reported.
The court’s decision appears to be a point of contention among many Towson students. The
Towerlight interviewed five students, and all five said that they could not understand the logic behind ending student loan forgiveness.
Senior Khaja Lewis said she felt student loan forgiveness would’ve been helpful to many people.
“I don’t really understand why they would overturn that because it’s nothing but beneficial to individuals who are going to college and getting a higher education,” Lewis said.
Some students are concerned with the repercussions this may have on lower-income students who cannot afford to work full-time while paying back loans.
“I’m very fortunate to have a father who supports me financially, so this actually doesn’t significantly impact me,” senior Max Jamison said. “I imagine that this is going to have a lot of negative repercussions on students.
Like senior Chase Hollobaugh, students who are not currently affected by the ruling still voiced their support for student loan forgiveness.
“Even with having [paid off my student loans], I still support student loan forgiveness,” Chase Hollobaugh, a TU student, said. “I just don’t like the power that federal judiciaries have been taking over the past year or so, so it’s part of a worrying trend to hear that.”
While she supports some loan forgiveness, Freshman Ayina Patel said she was skeptical about how far the plan could go.“I think partial loan forgiveness could be helpful to encourage more students to go to school and get a higher education,” Patel said. “However, full loan forgiveness seems unattainable given our economy.”
Despite these worries about the economic implications of total or even partial forgiveness, anxiety concerning the quality of life for those most affected by the temporary halting of the forgiveness program weighs heavily on the minds of Towson students.
Junior Megan Plazinski echoed these feelings, saying that she felt bad for those relying on the money from student loan forgiveness.
“It sucks to find out that they overturned it, and people aren’t going to be able to get that forgiveness back that they’ve worked so hard for,” Plazinski said.
The Towerlight reached out to the College Democrats of Towson University for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication. The Towson University College Republicans declined to comment.