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What They Are Reading in the States: Americans Celebrate President Biden's "Life-Changing" Student Loan Forgiveness Announcement

August 27, 2022

All across America, local news outlets are reporting on the outpouring of gratitude and relief that student loan borrowers are expressing about President Biden's "life-changing" announcement laying out his Administration's plan to provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients. These actions will help borrowers who need it most and hit hardest by the pandemic – with nearly 90% of relief dollars going to borrowers earning under $75,000 per year. And, these actions will make a real difference for current and future students.

In their own words:

"It's literally life-changing."

"I'm floored. I'm excited. I'm grateful. I believe it gives me the opportunity, and other people like me, an opportunity to really harness our lives."

"I just think about how long it would take to save that amount… "I'm just so happy to hear that it's happening — $10,000 is a big deal."

"People like me that didn't get a lot of scholarships to go to the colleges, we had to take out those loans. But, having something like this definitely helps for our future for sure."
"I have student loans that will outlive me (I'm 63 now)… It will be such a relief to get out from under this never-ending burden!"

Read below for a sample of what Americans are reading in the states:

Arkansas

Southwest Times Record: Student loan forgiveness to help University of Arkansas students
At the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith where about half of all students are Pell Grant recipients, the executive director for student retention said President Joe Biden's plan to forgive up to $10,000 of student debt for those who need it most will be a lifesaver…"I think any type of benefit like this, any type of opportunity like this will change the trajectory of some students' future," Holland said.

California

Los Angeles Times: Californians to benefit big from student loan forgiveness
About 92% of California borrowers will be eligible for the new loan forgiveness, according to Charlie Eaton, a UC Merced associate professor of sociology and student loan expert… "This is a historic day," Eaton said. "And it's going to have major repercussions for our economy and a transformative impact on millions of student loan borrowers' lives."

KCRA (NBC Sacramento, CA): Sacramento State students react to Biden's student debt plan
"It's awesome. It's such a stress relief. Now we can focus on school and not have to focus on that part," said Yasmine Hernandez.

Colorado

KOAA (NBC Colorado Springs, CO): Local college student hopeful for student loan forgiveness
Despite differences, all of the students we spoke with agreed that student loan forgiveness would be a good thing. They say forgiving some student loans would set up borrowers for success because they're entering a job market coping with inflation... Despite differences, all of the students we spoke with agreed that student loan forgiveness would be a good thing.

The Denver Channel: Report: Expected student loan forgiveness would eliminate debt of nearly a third of Colorado borrowers
Research from Student Loan Hero shows that nearly a third of borrowers in the state would have their entire student loan debt eliminated with $10,000 of forgiveness...Jacob Channel, senior economist at Student Loan Hero [said] "So, in that regard, I think that the economic impact is frankly kind of hard to overstate."

Connecticut

Connecticut Public Radio: Connecticut residents say federal student loan forgiveness is 'impactful'
Marina Rodriguez was overwhelmed with joy when she heard President Joe Biden's announcement on Wednesday that he is forgiving up to $10,000 in student loan debt for qualifying borrowers and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients… "When my co-worker told me about it, I just jumped up and screamed," said Rodriguez… for Jennifer Jaramillo, a Danbury resident who works in public relations, the loan forgiveness is impactful. "I just think about how long it would take to save that amount," she said. "I'm just so happy to hear that it's happening — $10,000 is a big deal."

District of Columbia

The DCist: For Some Locals, Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness Is 'A Lifechanger.' For Others, It's Only The First Step
Bailey Reavis, of Adams Morgan, long assumed she would never pay off her student debt. She'd enrolled in the University of Colorado Boulder as an in-state student to minimize her debt. …"It's just a lifechanger," Reavis told DCist/WAMU. "I'm finally in a position where I can potentially buy a house, or I can put that money that I would have spent into retirement, and be comfortable in a way that I just never assumed I'd be able to."

Florida

WPBF (ABC West Palm Beach, FL): 'Helps for our future': College students and graduates react to federal loan relief program
Relief: that's what many college graduates said they felt when they heard they may be eligible for the federal student loan relief program. "People like me that didn't get a lot of scholarships to go to the colleges, we had to take out those loans. But, having something like this definitely helps for our future for sure," said Franklin Diaz, who attended Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Georgia

Augusta Chronicle: For Augusta students debt relief means less stress, more opportunity and higher retention
Augusta University senior Anthony Veasley is among 43 million students who will receive federal student loan debt relief. When a reporter for The Augusta Chronicle shared the news, he closed his eyes, smiled and made the sign of the cross. "That's a blessing," he said.

WMAZ Georgia: Central Georgia college students excited after loan forgiveness plan announcement
For Kendra Jolly, a Central Georgia Technical College student, President Joe Biden's recent announcement on student forgiveness loans will help her out, she said. Jolly's a veteran, a single mom, and an employee at Central Georgia Technical College…The money will help lift a weight off her shoulders, she said…" There's so much going on financially, and I know that we can utilize the extra funds," she said. "I know that we can do other things that essentially need to be done and not just for school."

Iowa

KGAN: Some Iowa students celebrate student loan forgiveness calling it "a huge relief"
"This loan forgiveness kinda like makes my entire career kinda worth it. My education career kinda worth it," says Alyssa Rodriguez, a senior at Iowa State. She received pell grants to help pay for her schooling but she's still nearly $20,000 in debt. Now, under Biden's new rules, she'll most likely become debt free.

WeAreIowa: Student debt forgiveness to make big impact on loan eligibility
With Biden's plan to help relieve student loan debt, many people will be able to significantly raise their credit scores… Mike Hammen, a certified financial planner at Vision Financial Services said eliminating student debt will be extremely impactful for millions of people in many ways.

Kansas

KMBC (ABC Kansas City, MO): Kansas City students react to president's plan for student loan debt
Wednesday's announcement is big. It will affect millions of people in debt from higher education. "I think that's amazing," Gianna Agostino said. The news was welcome news for people like Agostino. She's in grad school but still has tens of thousands in debt.

Kentucky

Lexington Herald Leader: 'It will be such a relief.' Here's what Kentuckians plan to do after student loan forgiveness
"I have student loans that will outlive me (I'm 63 now)," Vickie Naylor wrote in response to a Herald-Leader poll. "It will be such a relief to get out from under this never-ending burden!"
Spectrum Kentucky: Kentucky students react to loan forgiveness announcement
"That's just a relief to hear. We're starting our senior year just to give us a better outlook on what's going to happen," Deguzis said..."We've gone through three years of college already not knowing what was going to happen, so just to hear this news I'm just grateful," Deguzis said.

Michigan

WZZM (ABC Grand Rapids, MI): Community reacts to President Biden's student loan relief plan
The Biden Administration announced it will cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients, which is exciting news for Cliffel and her step-daughter. "It's going to help her," Cliffel said. "She won't have to worry about paying anything back, if this goes through. She'll be debt-free after her college is through, so very beneficial."

MLive: What Michigan borrowers need to know about a student loan forgiveness plan
"It undoubtedly will help Michiganders who have student debt. Not only the $10,000 reduction in debt but also the deferment of payments until the end of the year," said William Elliott, a University of Michigan professor of social work who researches college savings accounts, college debt and wealth inequality.

Minnesota

Star Tribune: For many of Minnesota's recent college grads, Biden debt plan is 'literally life changing'
With a degree in economics, Olivia Barr is a keen observer of finances — especially her own. She graduated from the University of Denver two years ago with $15,000 in student loans… when Barr heard the news Wednesday about President Joe Biden's executive action forgiving $10,000 of federal student loan debt and extending the payment pause through Dec. 31, she was ecstatic. "It's literally life-changing," said Barr, who works in health care data analysis. "That really changes how I can plan for the future."

Star Tribune: 'We might not have to struggle': Minnesota graduates react to Biden's loan debt plan
Leah Payne, 27 [said] "This is a big deal for us, now that we're married. That's $20,000, a huge amount of money for us. It's the difference between saving for a home or another car….We have money for the things we need. [Now] I'll have some relief. We might not have to struggle."

Minnesota Reformer: Biden plan could zero out student debt for at least one third of Minnesota borrowers
The Biden administration's plan to forgive up to $20,000 of an individual's federal student loan debt could completely eliminate the balances of 30 to 50% of Minnesota borrowers, according to federal data.

Missouri

KMBC (ABC Kansas City, MO): Kansas City students react to president's plan for student loan debt
Wednesday's announcement is big. It will affect millions of people in debt from higher education. "I think that's amazing," Gianna Agostino said. The news was welcome news for people like Agostino. She's in grad school but still has tens of thousands in debt. "It's not going to get rid of all of my debt, but it will be a good chunk of it," Agostino said.

Springfield News-Leader: How many Missourians have student loans? How much do they owe? Will it be forgiven?
Thousands of college graduates in Missouri will see their student loan debt erased completely under the White House's forgiveness plan unveiled this week. Even more will
have their debts reduced.

Nebraska

Lincoln Journal Star: 'It lifts a weight': 82,000 Nebraskans could see debt erased through student loan forgiveness plan
"It's hard to say what the feeling of debt relief can do for someone," Chlopek said in a phone interview…"It's a huge wave of relief," he said. "It's a huge wave of relief," he said… Once the forgiveness plan goes into effect, Calcara, who was also a Pell grant recipient, said his student loan debt could potentially be reduced from $20,309 to just $309…."It lifts a weight off my shoulders."

KLKN (ABC Lincoln, NE): Student loan borrowers get some relief; Nebraskans owe more more than $8 billion
Hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans are getting some long-awaited help with student loan debt… According to LendingTree, Nebraskans owe $8.3 billion in student debt.

Nevada

Nevada Current: Nevadans react to Biden's student loan forgiveness
"I'm super grateful for this," said Shelbie Lynn Swartz, who said she is paying back $70,000 of student loans. "This is a matter of putting money back in folks' pockets essentially. Nobody can ever be 100% happy with what an elected official does, let alone the president. But I think this is a really great step forward."

New Hampshire

WMUR (Manchester, NH): Borrowers in New Hampshire react to President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan
"$10,000 is a lot of money that can change a lot of people's lives," student Meghan Gordon said… Ferreira said this could change the trajectory for families, one of which shared hope with him over the phone on Wednesday. "One of the things she said to me is that 'this action today has changed my life.' She and her husband may be able to buy a house before they turn 40. That's how big this is to working-class people to middle-class families," Ferreira said.

North Carolina

WRAL (NBC Raleigh, NC): With average NC student debt nearly $40,000, local students react to loan forgiveness
Student, Camille Fontaine, says it's a big relief. "It's a really big deal for me. Because I come from a family of four girls and a brother, and three of my sisters are in school already -- so that's a lot," she says.

Raleigh News Observer (Opinion): I'm the target audience for Biden's student loan relief. It helps me, and that's fair
"It's a big deal for me and my family, and for other people who are staring down loans… The $10K can help me with a down payment on a house. It can help me pay off my car. It's the start of grad school, it's a wedding, it's opportunity."

Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch: Biden forgives up to $20,000 in student loan debt, provides relief to thousands of Ohioans
Ohio State University senior Taylor Howe didn't know her student loan debt was about to be completely forgiven. "Oh, my God! I'm about to be debt free!" she said enthusiastically

Oregon

KOBI (NBC Medford, OR): What do Oregonians think about Biden canceling student debt? Here's what some people said
Matt Berger has been paying off his loans for about five years. He started with a balance of $20,000 and now owes about $16,000. "I think for me it's fantastic, and for a lot of people as well," he said.

KPTV (Fox Portland, OR): Student loan relief will make financial goals a reality for some
Vancouver resident Raelynn Forcella graduated college a year ago with $35,000 in student loan debt. She was overjoyed by the announcement. "It's honestly huge, right?" Forcella said. "Because debt is kind of just looming over, and paying the minimum, you just never see it go away because of the interest rate."

Pennsylvania

PennLive: Central Pa. college students welcome debt relief plan: 'A change for my future'
For students like Harrisburg University senior Chanta Brunson, recent news about federal student loan forgiveness couldn't have come at a better time. The forensic science major from Waldorf, Md. said it eases the burden as she begins her senior year and job search. "I'm happy. I didn't think this would come this soon. I think it can benefit so many people," she said…. Brandi Riel, 22, is attending Dickinson on a Pell Grant, but still will be facing more than $20,000 in federal student loan debt upon graduation in the spring…. "I was starting to really stress about how I was going to make those payments," Riel said on Friday, "and I was honestly thinking about not going to vet school because of it. So this really does make a change for my future."

WHTM (ABC Harrisburg, PA): Harrisburg students react to federal loan forgiveness plan
"Everyone I feel, deserves, should have an equal opportunity to be able to go to school," Harrisburg University senior Chanta Brunson said. The forensics investigation major is back for her last year with a weight off her shoulders. "I heard the news, and I called my mom and I was like, 'Mom, I don't have much debt to pay,'" she said about learning of Biden's plan. For Brunson, the student loan forgiveness program is a welcome surprise… "I'm very excited that there's a lot of people that can actually benefit from this," Harrisburg University senior Nathalie Reyes said.

South Carolina

WPDE (ABC Florence, SC): USC students react to Biden's loan forgiveness
"I'm left with a solid $20,000 I'm paying out of pocket and to think maybe $10,000 of that, which is half, could be removed is awesome", said freshman, Kevin Francis

WIS-TV (NBC Columbia, SC): How Biden's student loan forgiveness plan will impact South Carolina and its economy
Nearly 30 percent of South Carolina residents with federal student loans will have their debts canceled entirely under the Biden administration's new loan forgiveness plan, a recent study shows.

Texas

KXAS (NBC Dallas, TX): 'I'm Grateful,' North Texas Graduate Relieved by Biden's Student Debt Relief Plan
Laquinta Layton, of Lewisville, is one of 43 million Americans breathing a sigh of relief after learning of the president's plan. "I'm floored. I'm excited. I'm grateful. I believe it gives me the opportunity, and other people like me, an opportunity to really harness our lives," said Layton. She said she repaid the loans she took out for her bachelor's degree but has struggled to repay federal loans used for her master's program at Dallas Baptist University.

Texas Tribune: Biden's student loan forgiveness plan could lower debt for more than half of Texas college graduates
"I'm very stunned and shocked," Vavis said Wednesday. "I didn't expect to not have any student debt until at least my 30s just because of where I live and the high cost of living. Trying to budget for student loans has always been stressful. And now to have that off my plate is a big relief."

Houston Chronicle: What Biden Student Loan Forgiveness Plan Means
Kyle Amos…was overjoyed to find…his $23,000 in student loans could get slashed to $3,000. "It's barely there," he said. "It's a huge weight lifted off. There's still some weight, but it's a huge weight."…The IT professional said he saved some money during the pandemic-era pauses on repayment, which he might now divert to a home search.

KYTX (CBS Tyler, TX): New student loan forgiveness to assist East Texas borrowers
"It's going to impact those who have borrowed student loans for future. In the estimation, a third of those students have $10,000 in loans or less. Because UT Tyler is a low-cost budget institution a lot of our borrowers are going to get a lot of their loans completely forgiven," said David Barron, associate vice president of university enrollment management at UT Tyler. "So, it's going to make a big impact."

Washington

KING (NBC Seattle, WA): Student loan debt cancellation to impact hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians
Fadi Hamade owns a business near the University of Washington. He does not currently owe student loan debt, but expressed support for the announcement and the impact it will have for students who've accumulated debt. "I'm always happy for anything that can help. You don't have to only help big corporations only, right?" Hamade said with a laugh. "Students need help, too."

Seattle Times: A half-million WA residents could benefit from Biden's student loan relief
Biden's announcement will still affect a significant number of college graduates across the state. "If we were to sort of ballpark it, as many as 400,000 to 500,000 Washington residents will get a benefit from it," said Michael Meotti, the executive director of the Washington Student Achievement Council, a state agency that sets policy and distributes financial aid.

Wisconsin

WMTV (NBC Madison, WI): Madison students react to news of loan forgiveness plan
"Just like happy and relieved," said Anna Nikolay, a former student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Even thinking of possible things that money could go to instead, which is pretty exciting." Nikolay says she has nearly $20,000 in student loans, a figure now over halfway erased by the announcement from the president. But it is not such a joyous occasion for every student.

Joseph R. Biden, What They Are Reading in the States: Americans Celebrate President Biden's "Life-Changing" Student Loan Forgiveness Announcement Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/357545

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