WASHINGTON, D.C. —Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) highlighted a new report from the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday, Sept. 21, estimating that 1.5 million borrowers across Georgia are eligible for help under the Biden Administration’s student debt relief plan.
Last month, President Biden announced that the federal government will provide historic, targeted assistance to millions of working families – delivering up to $20,000 in debt relief for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for non-Pell borrowers. More than 1 million Pell Grant recipients in Georgia are eligible for relief.
Johnson, a Democrat who represents Georgia’s Fourth District, praised Democrats’ push for the relief, saying it will significantly benefit constituents in his District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton counties.
“I’m pleased the Biden Administration is doing what they said they would – extending a helping hand to student loan borrowers with particular emphasis on assisting minority students and those from modest economic backgrounds,” said Rep. Johnson. “The impact in Georgia and the Fourth District is particularly significant as more than 1.5 million borrowers will be eligible for student debt relief through the President’s plan. This also means that nearly 70 percent of Georgia borrowers are eligible for up to $20,000 of student debt cancellation – meaning their balances will go to zero – all thanks to President Biden.”
The Biden Administration is delivering assistance to Georgians making under $125,000 per year and couples making under $250,000 per year. Nearly 90 percent of relief dollars are being delivered to Americans making under $75,000 per year — while no relief is going to the top 5 percent of earners. By targeting relief to those who need it most, this effort is also helping to narrow the racial wealth gap, Rep. Johnson said.
Pell Grant recipients make up nearly 71 percent of Black undergraduate borrowers and 65 percent of Latino undergraduate borrowers
President Biden’s action builds on Congressional Democrats’ ongoing efforts to expand access to higher education. Democrats’ American Rescue Plan invested nearly $40 billion to help colleges and universities keep down costs and support students – including substantial funding for Minority Serving Institutions.
This year’s omnibus funding legislation increased the maximum Pell Grant by $400, and the recently enacted CHIPS and Science Act delivered historic funding to strengthen STEM education in Georgia, including legislation championed by Congressman Johnson and Sen. Jon Ossoff to create a pipeline of diversity among the cybersecurity workforce, known as the Cybersecurity Opportunity Act. This bill taps into the talent at HBCUs and MSIs by creating a grant program to train the next generation of students in issues relating to cybersecurity.
Meanwhile, House Democrats recently introduced the Lowering Obstacles to Achievement Now (LOAN) Act to further lower the cost of college and fix the country’s flawed student loan system.