Students nationwide petition for debt cancellation

Debt sheds light on inequalities, prevents students from moving to next stage of life


ASWSU representatives and student government leaders from around the country are petitioning President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to cancel all federal student loan debt considering their campaign for a “reliable path to the middle class.”

Student loan borrowers in the U.S. owe $1.73 trillion, according to the CNBC website. On average, students in Washington who graduated in 2018 and 2019 owe $24,645. Additionally, 50% of Washington students finish school with debt. Transgender borrowers have a combined student loan debt of $93 billion.

Student debt has resulted in fewer opportunities for low-income students, students of color, women, LGBT students and veterans, according to the petition. For example, 20% of Black borrowers and 23% of Hispanic borrowers are behind on their loan payments, while only 6% of white borrowers are behind. 

Student loan debt prevents borrowers from moving to the next part of their lives, according to the petition. Many borrowers are not able to buy a home until seven years after they finish school and must wait to get married and have children. Graduates with debt are also less likely to open their own businesses by 11%. 

Canceling student loan debt will help students who are experiencing lowered wages and ensure education is a right and not a luxury, according to the petition.