Ferris State University responds to new federal loan forgiveness program

As President Joe Biden announced his plan to erase thousands of student loan debts for millions of Americans, local students are wondering how this plan will affect their own student loans.

“There is a huge impact on young people who have a burden of student debt,” said Melanie Mulder, assistant director of financial aid at Ferris State University. “This step will certainly provide some relief to some of these people.”

Mulder says most of their students use some sort of financial aid to help pay for their college education.

“With 86% of our students receiving some form of financial aid, this is the pathway for a student to get that secondary education,” she said.

With this new announcement regarding student loan forgiveness, it could affect more than half of the FSU student population.

Amya Watkins is a sophomore at FSU and says she has $12,000 in student loans.

“I paid for college out of pocket,” Watkins said. “I know a lot of people who had to drop out of school because they had overstayed their loans or just couldn’t repay. It really gives a lot of people the opportunity to go back to school, to continue their education.

But with the information released Wednesday, Mulder says there are still plenty of details that need to be worked out in the coming months.

“From the press release so far it says ‘for current students who are in debt,’ so we don’t know how to interpret that,” she said. “We don’t know if these are just upperclass students returning from previous years, or if this will impact freshmen starting classes on Monday.”

Either way, the office says it will keep those details up to date for current and former students.

Students, however, are excited about some type of financial relief.

“I really hope they take a look at it and see how difficult it is for the middle and even lower classes to pay for college,” Watkins said. “University is optional, it’s not compulsory, but for those who want to go, it’s extremely difficult, just to live alone or to have gasoline, gasoline is high. It really relieves a lot of expense for everyone on campus.

Ryan H. Bowman