March 2, 2023
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a pair of cases regarding the Biden administration’s ability to forgive student loans. While we do not yet know what the outcome of these cases will be, what is clear is this: The monumental action announced last fall by the White House would have a transformative effect for more than 40 million borrowers.
Too many students today leave institutions with a tremendous amount of debt and no degree. Debt relief is one solution to supporting students, particularly Black students who leave college with higher amounts of debt than their peers, and women, who hold two-thirds of student loan debt. Data indicate borrowers in majority non-white neighborhoods and neighborhoods where per-capita income fell below $35,000 have applied for loan forgiveness at a higher rate than borrowers in majority-white and wealthier neighborhoods. Expanding eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and increasing funding for the Pell Grant program also would give students relief from our national debt crisis and longstanding racial wealth gap.
Student loan forgiveness advances equity. We encourage the Court to carefully consider the impact their decision will have on the futures of millions of borrowers struggling under the weight of student loan debt. As leaders in higher education committed to inclusivity, we renew our call for systemic solutions to make education more accessible and affordable for all.
The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) is the preeminent voice for chief diversity officers. As the leader of the national conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion, it investigates, influences, and innovates to transform higher education so that inclusive excellence lives at its core.