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Student Loan Debt Cancellation

The Biden-Harris administration announced on Aug. 24 a plan to help eliminate student loan debt for many borrowers, some of those including Drake University students. 

The U.S. Department of Education will provide $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients that make less than $125,000 as individuals or $250,000 as a household. There will be up to $10,000 in debt cancellation for non-Pell Grant recipients. 

Along with college students across the country, these student loan debt cancellations will impact some Drake University students. 

Lauren Peterson, a junior majoring in zoo and conversation, said there was much excitement when the idea of student loan forgiveness was first brought up. 

“I thought that was really exciting,” Peterson said. “I know for my brother and sister-in-law, that is all that they have left (in student loans). So, I know that was really great for them.”

However, there has been some confusion, especially when it relates to current students and the loans that they are not yet paying on. 

Director of Financial Aid Ryan Zantingh has been working at Drake for 4 years and is always there to help students with their financial aid questions. 

“It will help current students with loans first disbursed on or before June 30, 2022, if they qualify for cancellation based on income,” Zantingh said. 

The Drake University Financial Aid Office is receiving questions about loan cancellation from current and former students. They are currently trying to do their best to answer questions and stay up to date with updated guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education. 

“I feel like continuing and doing more (about student loan forgiveness) would be so incredible,” Peterson said. “We are in an age where you need a college education for even super basic jobs. So, I think as expensive as schools are, we should be seeing more done.” 

Addy Bockaire, a sophomore majoring in pre-pharmacy and English, said she has not been paying much attention to the student loan decision. 

“I didn’t pay much attention to it because I know I have loans, but I don’t know how it is gonna affect me,” Bockaire said.

If students have questions about student loan forgiveness, they can talk to the Drake University Financial Office or check the Department of Education website

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