National student loan debt relief has been struck down, OSU’s response


Riley LeCocq, News Reporter

The Supreme Court voted to strike down President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan that would have relieved nearly 40 million people across the country, including 329,000 Oregonians who applied or were deemed eligible. 

The plan, put forward by the Biden-Harris administration last August, would have relieved $20,000 in debt for students who had received a Pell Grant and up to $10,000 for non-Pell grant recipients making less than $125,000 or households making less than $250,000. 

According to Steve Clark, vice president of university relations and marketing, Oregon State University’s central focus will continue to be on student’s welfare and educational success.  

“We will work within the legal frameworks formulated by today’s Supreme Court decision to seek to assure that students’ needs are met,” Clark said. 

According to the Supreme Court’s decision and the Department of Education,  the program would have covered and estimated 98.5% of all borrowers.  However, that thought to be promised and long awaited relief is no longer coming. 

“We will continue to serve students with financial need by providing a variety of institutional financial aid and scholarship programs, and student support services and programs,” said Clark, “And work with the OSU Foundation, state and federal leaders to raise student financial assistance funds.”

In the court’s written decision by Chief Justice Roberts, he says that the authority to cancel $430 billion in student loan debt is not within the president’s authority. 

We hold today that the Act allows the Secretary to ‘waive or modify’ existing statutory or regulatory provisions applicable to financial assistance programs under the Education Act, not to rewrite that statute from the ground up,” wrote Roberts. 

The dissenting opinion was written by Justice Kagan, which Justices Sotomayor and Jackson joined. 

But this Court today decides that some 40 million Americans will not receive the benefits the plan provides, because (so says the Court) that assistance is too ‘significan[t].’ Ante, at 20–21. With all respect, I dissent,” Kagan wrote. 

OSU has yet to announce any programs or changes to existing programs in light of the high court’s decision today. 

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