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Biden student loan plan affects 2.43M Floridians

Most are recipients of federal Pell grants for low-income students.
President Joe Biden speaks as Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona looks on after Biden announced a federal student loan relief plan on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022.
President Joe Biden speaks as Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona looks on after Biden announced a federal student loan relief plan on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022. [ BONNIE CASH | Abaca Press ]
Published Sep. 22|Updated Sep. 22

Nearly 2.43 million people in Florida are eligible for reductions or elimination of student loan debt under a plan announced last month by President Joe Biden, according to numbers released this week by the White House.

The total includes more than 1.7 million Pell Grant recipients in Florida. Overall, 38.5 million borrowers across the country are eligible, according to the White House.

Related: As Florida’s top universities rise, many low-income students are left out

While Biden has touted the plan, many Republicans, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, have criticized it. During an Aug. 25 appearance, DeSantis criticized the plan as being “unfair” to people who paid off loans and people who “took other pathways in life that didn’t require them to take out a lot of loans.”

Biden’s plan would forgive up to $20,000 in loans for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for other borrowers. The White House said nearly 90 percent of the money would benefit people who earn less than $75,000 a year and none would go to people or households in the top 5 percent of U.S. incomes.

According to the Federal Student Aid website, about 8 million borrowers will receive the relief automatically because the government has their income information. Others must complete a “simple application” that will be available in early October.

Once the application is complete, a borrower can expect the relief within 4 to 6 weeks, the website says. For more information, visit studentaid.gov/debt-relief-announcement.

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