Dr. Kevin Walthers

Kevin Walthers

Student debt relief became a national political issue in 2020, and President Biden took action on his campaign promise this week to cancel some federal debt for some students — reigniting the debate over how much student debt should be canceled (if any), and for whom.

In the heat of the debate, some are framing the issue as students seeking free rides after unwisely borrowing too much to get a degree. But the reality is much more complex.

First the facts: the relief granted by the Biden administration focuses specifically on former students who demonstrated financial need while in school but still don’t make more than $125,000 per year. This isn’t the panacea some hoped for, but it’s also not a handout to children of the wealthy as others have claimed.

Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D., is the superintendent/president of Allan Hancock College. The SHEEO annual finance report can be found at shef.sheeo.org.

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