The Education Department updated applicants to the Biden Administration’s student debt relief program over the weekend, as the program battles through state courts blocking and challenging the policy.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced on Twitter that the department had begun sending emails to applicants on Saturday, and would be continuing to do so over the next coming days.
“We remain confident in our legal authority to carry out the Student Loan Debt Relief program @POTUS & I announced in August,” Cardona’s message read. “Borrowers, remember, we will not stop fighting for you.”
According to the Hill, applicants who have been approved by the Education Department were the ones receiving the emails, which the outlet said there were “screenshots shared on Twitter” of the emails and they were “in various news reports.”
“Your application is complete and approved, and we will discharge your approved debt if and when we prevail in court,” the emails to approved borrowers reads, the outlet said.
The Biden Administration had paused applications for student loan forgiveness in the wake of a federal court ruling that identified Constitutional violations in the plan to eliminate up to $20,000 in debt for millions of borrowers on Nov. 14, and the program was already facing legal challenges before that ruling from Judge Mark Pittman, a federal district court judge for the Northern District of Texas.
As of Nov. 14, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said 26 million people had already applied for loan forgiveness and that 16 million had already been approved.
With Biden’s plan, borrowers would be receiving up to $20,000 in relief.
The debt forgiveness plan would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 or households with less than $250,000 in income. Pell Grant recipients, who typically demonstrate more financial need, would get an additional $10,000 in debt forgiven.
The cancellation applies to federal student loans used to attend undergraduate and graduate school, along with Parent Plus loans.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had put the forgiveness plan on hold Oct. 21 while it considered an effort by the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas and South Carolina to block the program.
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