It’s A Student Loan Debt Cancellation Summer – By Israel Molina, Rise Director of Government Relations

It’s A Student Loan Debt Cancellation Summer – By Israel Molina, Rise Director of Government Relations

It’s graduation season and the student loan debt fight is far from over. 

Over the past few months, Rise’s team, and partner organizations across the country, have continued putting the pressure on stakeholders to ensure we achieve widespread cancellation for millions of borrowers. 

In early March, Rise’s State Directors participated in the Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking public comment hearing to express the numerous hardships that student loan borrowers face, walking through life with this insurmountable debt. You can watch our Nevada State Director Chris Solomon’s powerful testimony below:

As a result of the testimonies of our team and borrowers across the country, last month, the Office of Postsecondary Education within the Department of Education released this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). This proposal includes several rules to provide student loan debt relief to borrowers in certain circumstances which include automatic relief for: eligible borrowers crushed by runaway interest, borrowers who have been stuck in repayment for over 20 years, borrowers who are eligible for loan relief but have not successfully enrolled, and borrowers who took out loans to attend a low value school/program. When implemented, the Administration estimates that 30 million Americans could benefit from these life changing proposals!

Since then, Rise has been collecting thousands of written public comments from our community of supporters and borrowers before the May 17th public comment deadline. The hope is that these comments will urge the Department of Education to finalize and implement the rule so that millions of borrowers get the relief they deserve. 

The Administration also plans to release a separate NPRM in the coming weeks to provide debt relief to borrowers experiencing hardship. Stay tuned for more updates!

Rise is also gearing up to host seven in-person SAVE clinics across Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin this summer to ensure borrowers get hands-on help navigating their federal student loans and more information on the best repayment options available. Stay tuned for more information on SAVE clinics in a city near you!

Rise’s state-based free college advocacy is gearing up for some short legislative sessions this summer and the fall too – see below for some quick updates!

  • Michigan: The legislature has introduced two less expansive versions of Governor Whitmer’s proposed free community college program, MI Guarantee. Rise is working to connect with stakeholders to ensure the final budget includes the most generous proposal possible for students.
  • Wisconsin: The Rise Wisconsin team met with the Governor Evers’ office and will be advocating to expand tuition scholarships in next year’s budget.
  • Georgia: After a disappointing decision by the Georgia House on the HOPE Scholarship amendments this past session, Rise Georgia’s team is not giving up and is working with Representative Bell to reintroduce and pass the HOPE Scholarship amendments in the next legislative session. 
  • Pennsylvania: Team PA is building relationships with community and governmental partners to expand the state’s investment in students in the state budget this year.

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