Government Affairs

Biden Administration Announces Long-Awaited Student Debt Forgiveness, Signals End of Student Loan Payment Pause | Policy Matters (August 2022)

August 30, 2022

Major Updates

After years of anticipation, the Biden Administration rolled out its student debt forgiveness and repayment package. While the $10,000 in forgiveness for any individual making less than $125k per year (or $250k jointly) which was included in the final policy was expected to pass for some time, there were a few additional policies the higher ed community was surprised by. Those included: an additional $10,000 in forgiveness for Pell grant recipients; proposing a 5% cap on salary towards undergraduate Income-Driven Repayment plans; as well as forgiving loan balances after 10 years of payments (instead of the current 20 years under many income-driven repayment plans) for borrowers with original loan balances of $12,000 or less.

In addition, the administration has proposed regulatory changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF), including expanding eligibility for jobs such as Peace Corps and AmeriCorps service, National Guard duty, and military service – to count toward PSLF. That builds on the temporarily expanded eligibility of those who are trying to receive loan forgiveness through PSLF. That soon-expiring change that requires borrower action by the end of October provides that “borrowers who are employed by non-profits, the military, or federal, state, Tribal, or local government may be eligible to have all of their student loans forgiven… This is because of time-limited changes that waive certain eligibility criteria in the PSLF program. These temporary changes expire on October 31, 2022.” For more information, the application, and details on additional requirements, .

The announcement was coupled with the extension of the student loan payment and interest pause due to the COVID pandemic, which will sunset as of December 31, 2022. While other pauses in the last two years have been extended, the Administration has signaled that this will be the last extension for borrowers before repayment will begin in 2023.

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Mark Bernhard, North Carolina State University, Co-Chair
Frank Principe, University of Maryland Global Campus, Co-Chair
Kristen Brown, University of Louisville
Ricky LaFosse, University of Michigan
Reed Scull, University of Wyoming
Dick Senese, Capella University


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