Very small share of student loan borrowers attended elite colleges

"We need student loan forgiveness beyond the potential $10,000 your administration has proposed," Jocelyn Fish, a advertising and marketing director for a group theater, informed President Joe Biden at CNN's presidential city corridor on Tuesday night time. "We need at least a $50,000 minimum. What will you do to make that happen?"

"I will not make that happen," the president replied.

Biden went on to counsel that it didn't make sense to make use of cash to forgive the student debt "for people who have gone to Harvard and Yale and Penn."

The change rapidly rattled progressives, advocates and student loan borrowers who've been calling on Biden to extend the quantity of debt forgiveness he helps to $50,000 from $10,000 and to cancel the loans by way of govt motion.

Advocates additionally level out that it's largely a delusion that folks with student debt — notably these battling it — have the profit of a prestigious schooling behind them.

"The vast majority of students who graduate from the elite schools the president mentioned in the CNN town hall graduate with zero student loan debt," mentioned Eileen Connor, director of litigation at Harvard Law School's Project on Predatory Student Lending.

Indeed, simply 0.3% of federal student borrowers attended Ivy League colleges, in response to estimations supplied to CNBC by larger schooling professional Mark Kantrowitz.

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"The Ivy League colleges are only eight colleges out of more than 6,000," Kantrowitz mentioned. "Ivy League colleges also have 'no loans' financial aid policies that significantly reduce the percentage of students who borrow."

The president's statements urged he nonetheless hasn't come round to a broader student loan forgiveness plan like those his progressive rivals within the Democratic major championed. (Biden has mentioned he favors $10,000 in forgiveness and extra for many who attended public colleges and traditionally Black colleges and universities.)

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His feedback additionally echoed the arguments from Republicans and a few reasonable Democrats that student debt forgiveness is a handout to Americans with fancy school levels.

"If you racked up $100,000 to study poetry at Bowdoin, and then you wind up selling coffee at Starbucks, you may regret some of your choices, and I sympathize with you, but I'm not sure why you're deserving of a $50,000 check from taxpayers," mentioned Rick Hess, director of schooling coverage research on the American Enterprise Institute.

Yet solely 12% of student loan borrowers attended very selective colleges and universities, Kantrowitz discovered. Around 1 / 4 of borrowers are from non-public, nonprofit colleges.

Biden desires to forgive $10,000 in student loans. Top Democratic senators need $50,000.Politics

But by far the biggest share of borrowers — 49% — got here from public colleges.

"Public colleges aren't cheap," Kantrowitz mentioned, including that it nonetheless prices greater than $22,000 a 12 months to attend one, together with tuition, room, board and costs.

Meanwhile, one other quarter of borrowers attended for-profit faculties, which have come beneath fireplace for deceptive college students about packages and profession outcomes, in addition to for preying on veterans and folks of coloration. Nearly half of those that take out student loans at these faculties find yourself defaulting.

"Well-off students who attend 'elite' schools are not typically struggling," mentioned Ashley Harrington, federal advocacy director on the Center for Responsible Lending.

"We have to look at what's really happening with this crisis and who is actually being impacted," Harrington mentioned. "Student loan debt disproportionately impacts low-income, low-wealth people [and] Black and brown people are struggling the most."

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