Biden Renews Push for Student Debt Forgiveness | This Week in Admission News

20/07/20234 minute read
Biden Renews Push for Student Debt Forgiveness | This Week in Admission News

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. After the Supreme Court banned affirmative action for college admissions, many universities might turn to the college admissions essay to highlight race in admissions. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!


Biden Renews Push for Student Debt Forgiveness

After the US Supreme Court rejected Joe Biden's $400 billion student debt forgiveness plan based on the Covid pandemic, the administration is trying a new approach, reports Times Higher Education.

Biden now aims to cancel student debt using a different legal basis under federal higher education law. However, the success of this new plan is uncertain, given the conservative supermajority's stance on major financial actions and Republicans' opposition to debt cancellation.

Despite opposition, the Biden administration is determined to address student debt, which totals nearly $1.8 trillion among 45 million borrowers. Since the Supreme Court ruling, the administration has already forgiven $39 billion in federal student loan debt through existing federal income-driven repayment plans that were mismanaged by the government and private loan servicers.

The rejected major Biden plan would have cut student debt by $10,000 to $20,000 per borrower and eliminated student debt entirely for about 20 million borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year. The administration faces skepticism from both parties about the effectiveness of debt relief in addressing the structural issues of affordability in US higher education. Some believe it will not prevent students from borrowing more than they can repay.

Additionally, the financial pressure on public and private US institutions remains a concern, as per a new annual report by credit rating agency Fitch Ratings on the health of colleges and universities nationwide. The administration aims to help borrowers who were let down by federal student loans, but the specifics of the replacement plan are yet to be fully disclosed.

Other top stories in admissions news this week:

  1. Students for Fair Admissions, known for opposing affirmative action in college admissions, sent an email to 150 colleges and universities, public and private, outlining their interpretation of the Supreme Court's decision, reports Inside Higher Ed. The group demanded colleges to stop providing race-related data to admissions officers, eliminate guidance on "underrepresented" racial groups, and establish new admissions guidelines that exclude race as a factor. The email was directed at college presidents, deans of admissions, and general counsels, urging compliance with their interpretation of the court's ruling and the removal of racial preferences from the admissions process.
  2. BBC News reported that Wesleyan University has decided to discontinue granting preference to student applicants with family or donor connections. This decision comes as a response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that eliminated race as a consideration in admissions. The Connecticut institution believes that legacy admissions have been criticized for favoring white and wealthy students and that an applicant's connection to a Wesleyan graduate does not necessarily indicate their ability to succeed. Wesleyan University President Michael Roth emphasized that such ties have had a minimal impact on the university's admission process.
  3. According to a report by Times Higher Education, an increasing number of English-speaking universities, particularly in the US, are recognizing the credibility of the South Korean CSAT (College Scholastic Ability Test) as a reliable indicator of academic excellence. Universities like the University of Oregon, Iowa State University, and the four flagship institutions of the State University of New York system (Stony Brook, Buffalo, Albany, Binghamton) are incorporating CSAT scores into their admissions requirements. This move allows these institutions to tap into the highly competitive South Korean student market directly, bypassing traditional routes like foundation courses or international school credentials.
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