Home Local News President Biden unveils details of new student loan forgiveness plan in Madison

President Biden unveils details of new student loan forgiveness plan in Madison

President Joe Biden speaks at Madison College on Monday. (Photo by Omar Waheed)

President Joe Biden came to Madison Monday to unveil his new plan for canceling student loan debt for millions of borrowers including a proposal that would get rid of interest greater than the amount originally borrowed. The plan, unveiled at Madison College’s Truax campus, aims to lower student loan debt for over 30 million Americans.

“Today, too many Americans, especially young people, are saddled with unsustainable debts in exchange for college and the ability for working middle-class folks to repay their student loans has become so burdensome, a lot can’t repay for even decades after being in school,” Biden said.  

Biden’s plan outlines five major actions to reduce student loan debt. The plan comes after the initial SCOTUS block against his previous student loan relief program in June 2023 that intended to forgive $10,000.

  • Cancelation of runaway interest for more than 25 million borrowers that owe more than originally borrowed through interest rates. The action would cancel up to $20,000 of the borrower’s balance regardless of income.
  • Automatic cancellation of debt for borrowers eligible under the SAVE, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, closed school discharge or other forgiveness plans regardless of enrollment status. Previous conditions of 120 qualified payments still apply for eligibility for automatic cancellation.
President Joe Biden unveiled details of a new student loan forgiveness plan at Madison College on Monday.
(Photo by Omar Waheed)
  • Canceling student debt for borrowers who have been in repayment for over 20 years for undergraduate loans and 25 years for graduate loans. Borrowers would not be required to be on an income-driven repayment plan to qualify.
  •  Canceling student debt for borrowers that enrolled in low-financial-value programs. If the proposal pans out, it will cancel debt for students who took out loans at institutions and programs that lost their eligibility to participate in Federal student aid programs or were denied recertification.
  • Canceling student debt for borrowers experiencing hardships paying back loans. The action recognizes that not all repayment programs reach borrowers and the continued barriers in economic mobility it causes. The plan would cancel student debt for borrowers that are at high risk of defaulting on their student loans or burdened with other expenses like medical debt and childcare.


“Too many people feel the strain and stress, wondering if they’re going to get married, have their first child, start a family, because even if they get by, they still have this crushing, crushing debt. And not just a drag on them, it’s a drag on our local economy,” Biden said.

The new student debt relief plan is expected to come into effect this fall. if passed.


Emphasis on trades, new jobs and community college

Biden also reiterated his stance on bolstering trade programs and the plan to make community college free if elected for another term.

“I want to make community college tuition free. The economic [sic] impact far outweighs the cost — and that’s not a hyperbole. That’s the truth,” Biden said. “We need more qualified people doing this work to bring manufacturing back to America to build new factories in your communities. And I’m invested in the American agenda. We expect to create millions of jobs.”

Gov. Tony Evers speaks at Madison College on Monday.
(Photo by Omar Waheed)

In March, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Madison to announce the expansion of apprenticeship programs to promote the Administration’s push to create more well-paying jobs in trades. At Madison College, Biden announced $200 million for the Department of Labor for grants to registered apprenticeship programs.


Calls for a ceasefire continue

Another ceasefire protest was held outside of Madison College during Biden’s speech. Recently, an effort to cast an “uninstructed vote,” hit Wisconsin’s election on April 2.

The uninstructed vote effort, and continued protest, come at continued discontent over how Biden is handling the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. In the vote, over 48,000 chose the option for “uninstructed delegate” on their ballots, more than doubling their goal of 20,000 to mirror Biden’s slim win in Wisconsin during the 2020 election.