ADA Calls for Student Loan Forgiveness and Debt Relief Legislation
Citing rising student loan debt, repayment default rates, and unemployment levels for recent college graduates, the ADA Board of Directors approved a resolution endorsing legislative initiatives that “cap student loan interest rates, minimize student loan repayments, and forgive student loan debt.”
The resolution specifically supports the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Michigan, lead sponsor), which limits student loan repayment amounts to 10 percent of discretionary income, caps student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent, and allows for forgiveness of student loans for graduates in public service positions.
In bringing the resolution before the Board, ADA Chair and Suffolk University law professor David Yamada cited the following:
1. According to recent reports by the Project on Student Loan Debt (http://projectonstudentdebt.
· “Two-thirds of college seniors graduated with loans in 2010, and they carried an average of $25,250 in debt. They also faced the highest unemployment rate for young college graduates in recent history at 9.1%.”
· “New data released by the U.S. Department of Education shows a sharp increase in the rate at which student loan borrowers are defaulting. The official ‘two-year cohort default rates’ show that 8.8 percent of student loan borrowers who entered repayment in 2009 had defaulted by the end of 2010, up from 7 percent for those entering repayment in 2008.”
2. Reducing student loan debt potentially frees up hundreds of billions of dollars that can be directed into our economy in more productive and constructive ways, including consumer goods, housing purchases, retirement savings, and charitable giving.
3. Access to higher education and bolstering America’s families have been longstanding policy priorities for ADA, including its Working Families Win project.
4. The Occupy protests have highlighted deepening public concern over student indebtedness and the individual and family burdens of paying for higher educationView All ADA Updates