Author: Lee Ann Hal Published: 7/15/2023 National Campaign for Justice
It’s been barely two weeks since the Supreme Court in a devastating ruling overturned the Biden administration’s student loan cancellation program and once again prioritized profits over people and corporations over constituencies.
In that short time a lot has happened. Organizing to cancel education debt using the provisions in the Higher Education Act that Education Secretary DeVos used under Trump has escalated the pressure on President Biden to find an alternative way to still fulfill his campaign promise — and the pressure is working.
Yesterday, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced the Biden administration would cancel $39 billion in student debt for more than 800,000 borrowers immediately. They used their already existing power and authority to access compliance with payment programs in favor of the borrower’s actual payment history, instead of continuing a decades old formula that disregarded legitimate payments for technicalities.
It’s a big deal and will have a huge impact on the more than 800,000 people and families affected. But let’s be clear, it’s also not enough. They must do more. And as the financial burden of tuition, fees, room, and board spirals higher year after year and the dream of an affordable college education has become increasingly out of reach for many, we must work to pass a long term solution that wouldn’t require debt cancellation in the future.
That’s what makes the College for All Act, introduced by Sen. Sanders and Rep. Jayapal, so important. It holds transformative potential. This legislation is about ensuring everyone who seeks a higher education can afford one, reducing the need for a student loan and increasing access for communities most affected by structural racism.
Help us build support for affordable education by becoming a grassroots co-sponsor of the College for Act now. Show Congress your support for this vital initiative that will make higher education a right, not a privilege by adding your name now.
Add Your Name
The College for All Act would make college more affordable for everyone by:
- Eliminating tuition and fees at public community colleges for all students;
- Making public four-year institutions, HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs tuition-free for families making less than $125,000 annually;
- Doubling the funding for Pell Grants;
- Prohibiting future administrations from making significant cuts education budgets
The reality is, college affordability is more than just a financial issue. It’s about creating a society where everyone, irrespective of their economic status, has the opportunity to pursue higher education and the prospects it brings.
Access to affordable education drives social mobility, fosters innovation, and equips our youth with the skills they need for the future. By addressing the affordability crisis, we are not just investing in individuals, but in our communities and the very fabric of our nation’s future.
We must continue to rally for a future where every student has access to an affordable college education. Thank you for taking action today.
Director, National Campaign for Justic