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Debt Forgiveness Is A Strong First Step; Now, Congress Must Do More

August 24, 2022

At a Glance

JFF applauds Biden’s loan forgiveness, and urges more action to help learners and workers advance

Jobs for the Future (JFF) applauds President Biden’s action to alleviate the college debt burden that prevents many students from achieving equitable economic advancement. Today’s decision to forgive $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 annually, along with previous affordability and targeted cancellation actions, will go a long way toward helping those who struggle to pay off student loans.

However, now is the moment to fundamentally reform how we finance postsecondary education and hold schools accountable for student success. We urge the President and Congress to reinstate the Gainful Employment rule, strengthen and simplify federal income-driven repayment, expand Pell grants for workforce skills training programs, fund college completion efforts, invest in navigational supports, and explore new financing approaches that align college and university financial incentives with student economic outcomes. Without these structural reforms, longstanding problems such as low completion rates, poor-quality credentials, and students taking on unnecessary debt will remain unaddressed, potentially leading to an even bigger debt crisis in the near future.

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