Supreme Court hears arguments on Biden debt relief, with the stakes high for HBCU students

DELMARVA- With the Supreme Court hearing arguments on the Biden Administration’s debt relief program, the stakes are high for Pell grant recipients at HBCUs nationwide including DSU, where the university says over 50 percent of undergraduates receive pell grants.

The Biden debt relief plan would allow for 10,000 dollars of debt to be canceled for qualifying borrowers, with that number doubling for pell grant recipients.

“Students are living from paycheck to paycheck because they are repaying that student loan debt back so it is essential to forgive that loan so that students and our students at HBCUs can have that advantage like owning a car, having vacation time,’ said DSU Associate Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management and Executive Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships Kamesia House.

Studies also show that African American students are also the most likely to be unable to finish college and accrue debt without the benefits of the higher-paying jobs promised by collegiate programs.

The Biden administration is arguing that these circumstances, as well as the 4 trillion dollars in national student debt, is an emergency of sufficient scale, to use the authority of the 2003 HEROES act, which gave the department of education the authority under emergency powers to eliminate student debt for military members following 9/11, to wipe out debt for 16 million approved applicants at a cost over half a trillion dollars.

Political Science Professor at DSU Dr. Samuel Hoff says, that despite pushback from conservative justices including Chief Justice John Roberts, he believes the court will not strike down the measure in its entirety.

“It is in the language of this act that they have the ability to modify debt, congress gave them this power so it was shrewd of the Biden folks to use this as the leg to stand on for this argument, despite what the critics will point to as a massive expansion beyond the original folks that language was targeted to,” he said adding “the worst that could happen in my view is the court will limit the student loan forgiveness act to the folks in the military per the language of that 2003 heroes act.” 

Dr.Hoff tells 47ABC that he expects that if the measure were to pass on a 5-4 narrow victory for the Administration that Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts would be the ones to defect from the conservative wing to allow the measure to pass.









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