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Supreme Court Invalidates Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan; New York Times Suggests Alternative Paths

After backlash, NY Times updates article on ways to eliminate student loan debt, including exploring alternative options.

Shortly after the Supreme Court invalidated President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan on Friday, the New York Times published an article suggesting six alternative paths individuals could pursue to obtain a cancelation of their student loan obligations.

People rally against the US Supreme Court’s latest decisions to strike down the Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan and race-conscious student admissions programs in Washington D.C., United States on Friday, June 29. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) 

“There are still plenty of ways to get your student debt wiped away,” the article, written by Ron Lieber, begins.

“What follows is a list of ways to eliminate your federal student loan balance aside from paying in full,” Lieber later writes.

In addition to exploring income-driven repayment plans, enrolling in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, pursuing government petitions for cases involving school misconduct and more, one of the ways — according to the original version of Lieber’s article — is death. Under a now-deleted subheading titled “Death,” Lieber wrote, “This is not something that most people would choose as a solution to their debt burden.” 

Following a backlash from readers on Twitter, however, the New York Times updated the article, changing the subheading to “Debt Won’t Carry On.”

Biden had previously unveiled a comprehensive plan to address student debt, outlining a two-step resolution. The first step involves developing a new pathway to deliver swift relief to a broad range of borrowers. Emphasizing the urgency of the matter, the president noted that Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona had taken the necessary action to implement the plan.

U.S. President Joe Biden is joined by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona (L) as he announces new actions to protect borrowers after the Supreme Court struck down his student loan forgiveness plan in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on June 30, 2023, in Washington, DC. In a 6-to-3 decision, the court ruled the loan forgiveness program — which was projected to help 40 million people and cost $400 billion — was unconstitutional. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 

“I believe the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down student debt relief was a mistake, it was wrong,” said President Biden in response to the Supreme Court decision.

“It will take longer, but it’s the best path that remains,” he added regarding the steps the administration is taking to provide debt relief. “We’re not going to waste any time on this.”

The Biden administration is currently seeking a Plan B for debt relief as undergrad graduates carry the burden of debt after graduation.

“President Biden, Vice President Harris, and I will never stop fighting for borrowers,” said Cardona in a press statement, “which is why we are using every tool available to provide them with needed relief.” 

The Supreme Court had ruled that affirmative action was unconstitutional in two cases that were by brought by the Student for Fair Admissions against Harvard and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Joseph Hammond

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