Feb 27, 2023 - News

Chicago district saw record interest in Biden's student debt plan

Data: U.S. Department of Education; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Chicagoans responded to President Biden's student debt forgiveness offer in record numbers.

  • Nearly 73% of all eligible student debt holders in Rep. Mike Quigley's 5th Congressional District — which includes Chicago's north side and parts of Cook and Lake Counties — applied or immediately qualified for the plan before it was blocked by legal challenges.
  • That's the highest percentage in the nation.

Why it matters: The plan was supremely popular and not just here. It attracted strong interest across both red and blue districts during its brief open window, per new Education Department data, Axios' Sophia Cai writes.

By the numbers: All Chicago-area congressional districts showed strong interest in the plan.

  • It was 71% in Rep. Sean Casten's 6th, which covers parts of Cook, DuPage Lake and Kane.
  • Also 71% in Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi's 8th District including parts of Cook, DuPage and Kane.
  • And 70% in Rep. Jan Schakowsky's 9th District, which covers parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry.

What we're watching: The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the student loan forgiveness plan after the Justice Department asked the court to lift the injunction issued by a lower appeals court.

  • The program, which would provide up to $20,000 in debt relief for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year, was challenged by six Republican-led states that argued the proposal exceeds Biden's executive authority.

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