Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness application closed

As long as a person’s individual yearly income is under $125,000, or under $250,000 for married couples, all federal student loan borrowers who fill out the application will receive relief. 


Annamay Brown, Contributing Writer

Biden officially announced the opening of the application for loan forgiveness, allowing borrowers from all over the United States including many students and faculty at Simmons, to start the process of canceling their debt on October 16. 

The application, which closed on November 1o after being struck down in federal court, was found at and required only basic information about the borrower, including their name, social security number, and date of birth. 

In an announcement this past August, President Biden introduced the federal student debt relief plan which includes the cancellation of up to $20,000 in federal debt for Pell grant recipients and $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients. 

As long as a person’s individual yearly income is under $125,000, or under $250,000 for married couples, all federal student loan borrowers who fill out the application will receive relief. 

The newness of this plan has brought about anxiety and challenges for both administrators and students. “Nothing like this has happened, at least in the 25 years that I’ve been involved in financial aid,” said Amy Staffier, the Director of Financial Aid at Simmons. 

Over the past few months, Staffier has released three informational updates through the Simmons Financial Services email to Simmons students and faculty, with up-to-date information on the program and its application. 

Through these updates, Staffier has attempted to convey the application process in a digestible way through the use of infographics and direct language modeled after information from the Department of Education.

Sociology major Tessa Federico-Maietta, saw these emails, but with an inbox filled with other important messages, they felt that these updates didn’t make the application’s requirements clear enough. 

Attending school out of state also presents a challenge for Federico-Maietta who in the past has relied on their father’s help in New Hampshire to find the needed information to fill out these forms. 

“I am waiting to fill everything out with him since I’m not sure what exactly we need,” explained Federico-Maietta.

Concerns regarding the application process for debt relief, are not uncommon according to Staffier, but she reassures that this process is very simple. The application, requires only the borrower’s name, date of birth, social security number, and contact information. 

Staffier explains that from the information provided in the application, “federal student aid will do the work to match students with their loan records.” Mieke Riddlebarger, a third-year student in the 3+1 public policy program, already filled out this application and was happy with its simplicity, adding that they are “really nervous and excited” about the possibility of having the majority of their loans forgiven.

“The application was super easy,” they explained. “It was literally just basic personal info and took me five minutes to fill out.” After experiencing similar confusion with the aid process in the past the simplicity of this application came as a welcome relief. 

 “I’m really nervous and excited about the possibility of having the majority of my loans forgiven,” Riddlebarger said. “I still think the Federal government should go further in debt forgiveness, but I understand this was the easiest first step to that.” 

Staffier urged all students who have federal student loans and qualify for this program to apply before the original December 31st deadline. 

For more information about qualifications or how the application process works Staffier suggests visiting the website. “If students really just want to sit down and talk to someone they can reach out to our office,” said Staffier. 

CORRECTION: Nov. 16, 2022

As of Thursday, November 10, the Biden administration stopped accepting student loan forgiveness applications after being struck down in federal court. A previous version of this article contained the original application deadline, which was December 31. The deadline has been properly reflected in the headline and body of the story, but all other story content remains the same.