PORTSMOUTH – Joe Biden has signaled throughout his campaign and now as president-elect the possibility of forgiving student debt, a move that could affect thousands of students at Shawnee State University.
Originally a part of the Heroes Act of the United States House of Representatives, Biden supported federal payments of $ 10,000 to help pay off student loans. The $ 3 trillion stimulus passed by the Democrat-owned House, its first proposed edition in May, has since stalled in the Republican-majority Senate.
This $ 10,000 would only cover part of the student debt, where the Institute for access to and success in college reports that 62% of 2019 senior students graduating from public and private non-profit colleges had student debt and owed an average of $ 28,950.
Ohio graduates, although a smaller proportion of students are in debt, graduated with an average of $ 29,886. This debt placed the state 22nd highest and 12th most indebted nationally. A member of the tri-state, West Virginia’s 67% of indebted students were the 3rd highest in the country.
In Portsmouth, more SSU students took out federal loans (45%) than private student loans (3%) this semester. Biden’s proposed amount would exceed the average his students pay through the two loans.
SSU students collectively owe $ 6.1 million in loans for fall 2020, broken down into $ 523,184 in non-federal loans and $ 5,585,625 in subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans. Although a much smaller portion, students using private loans owe an average of $ 5,687, while those with federal loans take $ 3,592.
Some students use federal grants and scholarships to pay for their education, which the university’s website says puts costs for in-state students at $ 19,466 and out-of-state residents at 25. $ 509.
34% of SSU’s fall 2020 students pay for their college education with Federal Pell scholarships, which do not have to be repaid, and 36% of its students pay for their college education with merit scholarships awarded by the SSU. university.
“Access to affordable, high-quality education is a priority for us at Shawnee State,” said Nicole Neal, director of financial aid at SSU. “In addition to offering low tuition fees and a tuition guarantee program, we have a strong scholarship program that makes university possible for many in our area.”
Student debt has become a growing problem nationwide over the past 15 years, with the aforementioned report concluding that only five states have seen this amount rise below the rate of inflation (36%).
Ohio university students owed an average of $ 19,204 in 2004, more than $ 10,000 less than the last data collection. A sharp increase nonetheless, a variation of 56%, some states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania have seen this debt more than double.
Underlying this change, the study claims that declining state funding has prompted colleges to increase their tuition fees, forcing more students to need loans to pay for their education. Students most likely to experience repayment issues are low-income students, black and Latino students, students who do not complete their programs, and students who attend for-profit colleges.
The coronavirus, which has had significant impact on college budget. The Ohio Department of Higher Education announced that all public universities and community colleges will experience a 3.8% budget cut, resulting in a $ 76.7 million drop in spending across the board. the state.
While SSU lost $ 520,117, led by Ohio State University with nearly $ 15 million in cuts, the cut was better than Gov. Mike DeWine’s projection. The governor announced in May that there would be a reduction of $ 110 million for state colleges over a two-month period.
“Decisions like this are extremely difficult, but are part of my responsibility as governor to make” tweeted DeWine, part of a series of cuts totaling $ 775 million for various state spending. “Making tough budget cut decisions now will help us down the road and help us as we continue our discussions for the next fiscal year. “
Students at Shawnee State University could benefit if President-elect Joe Biden goes ahead with the decision to write off $ 10,000 in student debt. Photo courtesy of SSU.
Contact Patrick Keck (740) -353-3501 ext. 1931, by email to [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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