Which Joe Biden gets totally wrong about student debt

At a CNN’s city hall was held earlier this week, President Joe Biden once again stood out against student debt cancellation. Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren have pressured Biden to forgive up to $ 50,000 in student debt from all borrowers by the executive, but when asked at town hall, Biden said, “I’m not going to let that happen.” Instead, he suggested canceling $ 10,000 in debt.

Policy wise, there is no credible reason to be in favor of canceling $ 10,000, but not $ 50,000. Biden seemed to suggest that he may not have the “authority” to cancel $ 50,000, but it is exactly the same authority under which he is proposing to cancel $ 10,000.

The difference between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000 isn’t about law or policy, it’s about politics. Biden and his team don’t like the optic of canceling a digit they’ve randomly determined to be “ a lot. ” At town hall, Biden explained it this way: He didn’t want to cancel debts from people who went to “Harvard, Yale, and Penn.”

I know it sounds good. Beating Ivy League schools is always a cheap way to generate anti-elite energy, but here the laugh line is devoid of intellectual rigor.

As a Harvard graduate, Biden can bite me. The man apparently has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to student debt. The reality is, schools like Harvard, Yale, and Penn have graduate students with one of the fewest federal debt in the country. The last US News ranking of the lightest debt burdens saw Princeton University come in third place. Stanford was fifth. MIT was 11th. Yale and Harvard were 14th and 16th respectively. The average federal debt of a Harvard graduate is just under $ 14,000, and only 2 percent of Harvard students take out federal loans. Counterintuitively, $ 10,000 in federal loan forgiveness would be a windfall for Harvard graduates and other elite institution graduates, and not bode well for many other people. Biden must keep the Harvard name out of his mouth.

The reason why elite universities generally do better with debt is diverse and complicated. One obvious reason is that many of the students admitted to these schools come from paying families. But it is not the only reason. At Harvard, for example, that is one in five students of families earning less than $ 65,000Harvard has made college free for those kids. Elite private universities have massive endowments (Harvard’s is $ 40 billion) and can provide generous financial aid packages that go far beyond a clumsy Pell Grant from the government.

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