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President Joe Biden last week announced the Student Loan Relief Plan but how does it affect HBCU grads? With over 43 Million Americans set to benefit from Student Loan relief, HBCU students look to be the biggest beneficiary but how do they take advantage? Dr. Tony Allen, President of Delaware State University and Chair of Biden’s HBCU Board of Advisors stops by the Get Up Church to give us some details while we wait to receive relief from the burden of Student Loans.
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READ THE INTERVIEW BELOW
Erica Campbell: So let’s jump right in. This was one of President Biden’s campaign promises, can you break down the Student Loan Relief Plan for us?
Dr. Tony Allen: I’m happy to do it. Let me start by saying this is the most comprehensive, far reaching student debt relief initiative in American history, full stop, it affects 43 million Americans. And when you think about the folks who are going to receive this relief, 90% of that relief will be going to Americans who make $75,000 or less. And as you know, I’m the proud president of Delaware State University, one of our finest HBCUs in the country. But as I think about just the HBCU community, if you take just the last 10 years, this particular effort will affect about 1.1 million HBCU alumni with $15 billion in relief. So we couldn’t be more proud of this effort and what it would mean for many, many families across the country.
Erica: Wow, amazing. So who qualifies for student loan forgiveness? And how can they take advantage of this? Do they have to apply or sign up to get the money?
Dr. Allen: Well, first of all, you should everybody should go to StudentAid.gov/debtrelief, that’s where you’ll find all the information on the next steps. But with respect to who qualifies if you are an individual who makes $125,000 or less, or a household that makes $250,000 or less, you will qualify for either a $10,000 Debt Relief, or a $20,000 Debt Relief based on your Pell Grant status when you were in school. So the real marker here is the opportunity to significantly cut debt, if not, in fact, eliminate the debt altogether. We believe one in four African Americans will have their debt completely eliminated as a result of this.
Erica: When will these payments start rolling out?
Dr. Allen: Well, you know the President has extended the payment pause to December 31st. But I expect that more detail will come out in the debt relief plan here in the coming weeks. So you can expect the administration to move very quickly. When this definitely and Erica, I can tell you I was at a pep rally not just I just entered my largest freshman class and Delaware State University’s history. And we had a pep rally last night. And I told them about this plan in the middle of their party. And the party went on and on. Families are very, very excited about this
Erica: Wow, I’m excited my daughter is at an HBCU, she’s at Spelman. So this is good information. Listen, so while many are happy about this plan, there are some that are not. Some Republicans believe that this is unfair and think this will fuel inflation. What do you say to those who are against the plan?
Dr. Allen: So let me just say, President Biden’s track record speaks for itself, particularly on fiscal responsibility. Last year alone $350 billion in deficit reduction, this year, the projected is 1.7 trillion in deficit reduction, the largest in history. So regardless of what side you’re on, this is the first time we have we have really changed, talking about student debt relief into action. That in my view, was economically judicious. And all all the pundits that look at these things, particularly those in the financial sector, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and the like, say that this will not have an effect on inflation, and in fact, may, in fact, help it, reduce it slightly, which I think is important for folks to know, because this is really about equity. And as you well know, equal and equity are two different things. And we are the African American community need to get our fair share, in addition to the other 43 million Americans, regardless of what you look like or where you come from, that will get this help.
Erica: Wow, you mentioned the pause on student debt till December but what does that mean? What does the what does the pause really mean for borrowers?
Dr. Allen: It really means they don’t have to pay on their loan until that time, that’ll give us enough time to make sure we have gotten all of the debt relief from the new plan out. But it also means that the repayments will start in the January timeframe. Interestingly enough, we believe because it is that released, there’ll be significant numbers of folks who will be able to repay their loans in a much more thoughtful way, and in a way that they can manage finances for themselves and their families, which will be a boost to the economy as well. So again, every way I look at this, it’s a win-win. And what I’m most excited about, I’m most proud of the President and the administration, is the fact that a lot of people have talked about this, but this is promises made and promises kept.
Erica: We’re talking to Dr. Tony Allen. He’s the president of Delaware State University, and the chair of President Biden’s HBCU board of advisors. Thank you so much for being with us. Before we go. Give us the information again, and leave us with a special message.
Dr. Allen: Again, go to Student aid.gov/debtrelief. And that’s for everybody, when it makes sure that everybody has full information, which is why I’m so glad we’re on your number one show and and tell your family and friends across the country. And the last thing I’d say is my favorite Bible verse first Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
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