Mar 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden cancels nearly $6B in student debt for public service workers

President Biden

President Biden. Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday announced it is canceling about $6 billion in student loan debt for 78,000 public service workers.

Why it matters: The latest round of debt forgiveness means President Biden has offered relief to close to four million borrowers, despite the Supreme Court blocking his signature student loan cancellation plan.

What they're saying: "These public service workers have dedicated their careers to serving their communities, but because of past administrative failures, never got the relief they were entitled to under the law," the White House said in a statement.

  • Biden has used the Department of Education's existing administrative authority to deliver rounds of relief to borrowers who qualify for it under the law.

By the numbers: With Thursday's forgiveness, his administration has canceled student debt for more than 870,000 public service workers. The group comprises teachers, nurses and firefighters.

  • That compares with about 7,000 public service workers who received forgiveness before the Biden administration, according to the White House.

Zoom out: More than three and five U.S. adults believe the government should have some responsibility to help pay student loans, according to recent polling.

  • Support jumps to 76% among Democrat adults and close to half (47%) of adults who identify as Republicans.
  • A vast majority of students from both parties who are currently enrolled in higher education believe the government should help with student loans.

Go deeper: What's going on with student loan relief

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