States Are Taking Sides on Student Loan Debt Forgiveness. Here’s Where They Stand

Nearly two dozen states just voiced support for the Biden administration's federal student debt forgiveness program through a Supreme Court filing.
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Matthew Arrojas
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Matthew Arrojas is a news reporter at BestColleges covering higher education issues and policy. He previously worked as the hospitality and tourism news reporter at the South Florida Business Journal. He also covered higher education policy issues as...
Published on Jan 18, 2023
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Darlene Earnest is a copy editor for BestColleges. She has had an extensive editing career at several news organizations, including The Virginian-Pilot and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She also has completed programs for editors offered by the D...
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  • Attorneys general from most states have picked a side on the student loan debt forgiveness issue.
  • Seven states levied lawsuits in an attempt to block debt cancellation.
  • The Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the legality of the program in February.

State officials have had time to mull over the implications of President Joe Biden's federal student loan debt relief plan, and most have picked a side on the issue.

Biden announced a program in August that would forgive up to $20,000 in student loans per borrower making less than $125,000 per year. The response has largely been partisan, with a handful of states with Republican attorneys general even going as far as to file a lawsuit aimed at halting implementation of the program.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear that case in February. This will be the deciding declaration on the legality of such a program.

Other Republican governors piled on. A group of 23 governors penned a letter to President Biden in September asking him to withdraw his proposal.

Some states, however, have voiced support for student loan forgiveness throughout this process. The attorneys general from 22 states filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on Wednesday in support of Biden's plan.

Here's where each state — and Washington, D.C. — stands on the issue:

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards did not directly give an opinion on debt cancellation but encouraged Lousianans to take advantage of the program.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases involving the student loan forgiveness program in February. Experts anticipate the court will issue a decision on an expedited timeline given the far-reaching impact.

Biden extended the pause on federal student loan payments until July 1, 2023, in order to give the court time to make its ruling.