According to the Education Data Initiative, 1,674,500 Georgia residents, or 15.4% of the state’s residents, have a cumulative $69.3 billion in student loan debt
According to data from the Department of Education, up to 450,000 Georgians could see their student debt erased completely, and up to 309,000 Georgians could have their debt cut in half or more
Senator Reverend Warnock: “This announcement will help many Georgians, some of whom have been struggling with debt for decades, get their financial footing, and it will help keep our economy strong and growing.”
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) issued the statement below following the White House’s announcement that President Biden will cancel $10,000 of student loans for Americans earning under $125,000, and cancel $20,000 for Pell grant recipients.
“This is personal for me because I’m a product of good public policy. I attended college on Pell grants and student scholarships, and I know the doors that higher education can open—when you can afford it. This announcement will help many Georgians, some of whom have been struggling with debt for decades, get their financial footing, and it will help keep our economy strong and growing. That’s why I’ve been pushing the Biden Administration since my swearing in to take aggressive action to provide relief to Georgians— especially Pell grant recipients and working class folks who went to technical school, vocational school, or community college.” said Senator Reverend Warnock.
Senator Warnock continued:“But this is only a first step for the countless Georgia borrowers who will still be burdened by crushing debt tomorrow, and the day after that. So I’m going to keep fighting for additional student relief for all Georgians left struggling with student debt and to prevent future borrowers from carrying that same burden. That means addressing the underlying problem by making college more affordable and creating opportunities for Georgians looking to enter the workforce through job training and other programs that prepare workers for growing fields.
The announcement comes after months of tireless advocacy and coalition building by Senator Warnock. Last Friday, Senator Warnock spoke with senior White House officials to push for significant relief for Pell grant recipients in addition to debt cancellation. This debt cancellation will spur entrepreneurship, increase homeownership, and lower the financial strains on Georgians in every corner of the state. Additionally, it will provide much-needed help for students who graduated from institutions like trade schools and community colleges, and countless borrowers who weren’t able to finish their degree.
Senator Reverend Warnock has long advocated for the White House to address the student loan crisis. In December, April, and August, Senator Warnock called on the Biden Administration to extend a pause on payments and cancel student debt. At a March 2022 Democratic retreat, the Senator pressed the President to cancel student debt. In April 2022, as a result of the Senator’s April 20, 2021 letter, the Department of Education also announced it would restore defaulted student loans to on-time status amid the ongoing payment pause. Later that month, Senator Warnock joined his colleagues in requesting additional details from the Department of Education on its plans to provide student borrowers a “fresh start.” Senator Warnock told Morehouse graduates during his commencement address in May that he was pushing President Biden to cancel some student loan debt. Days later, Senator Warnock met with President Biden in the oval office and urged him to take swift action to address student debt. Last Friday, Senator Warnock spoke with senior White House officials and urged them to provide additional relief for the borrowers who struggle the most with debt, including Pell grant recipients.
Moving forward, Senator Warnock wants to ensure that those students most in need, who will still be burdened with student loans after this announcement, will also have access to the strong student debt relief they need. Senator Warnock will continue working to permanently lower the soaring cost of higher education for Georgia students.