The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the college experience for both active students and graduates. Students spent the majority of last year learning remotely, while now, some universities are requiring the COVID vaccine upon re-entry. For grads, the pandemic has been a source of economic insecurity, making it difficult for to keep up with student loan payments. At the onset of the crisis, the Department of Education suspended payments. This provided some relief, but the resume date was to be January 2021. Now, after pushing the date back to September 30, President Biden has directed the Department of Education to further delay payments until January 2022.
The notice of the continued student loan freeze was shared on the White House’s official site on August 6.
“As today’s jobs numbers show, we have the tools that will allow us to beat COVID-19 and keep our economy recovering at a record rate. But we know there is more work to do and the road will still be long for many people – especially for the one in six adults and one in three young people who have federal student loans,” the statement read.
“That’s why today, my administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments one final time until January 31, 2022. This will give the Department of Education and borrowers more time and more certainty as they prepare to restart student loan payments. It will also ensure a smoother transition that minimizes loan defaults and delinquencies that hurt families and undermine our economic recovery.”
Currently, former students are $1.59 trillion in debt. This staggering number has many calling for the cancellation of all student loan debt.
On March 2, 2021, Miguel Cardona of Connecticut was sworn in as the U.S. Secretary of Education. Cardona was once a school teacher, principal and then district administrator, according to EdWeek. He follows the highly controversial Betsy DeVos, who resigned from the in January.
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