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White House estimates 232,100 Nebraskans are eligible for student debt relief

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The federal government on Tuesday released the number of borrowers in Nebraska who will be eligible for student debt relief.

In a press release, the White House estimated that about 232,100 borrowers, including 136,000 Pell Grant recipients, will be eligible for the one-time debt relief plan announced by President Joe Biden last month. Eligible borrowers can apply for debt relief when an online application becomes available by early October.

Under Biden’s plan, borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year, or families earning less than $250,000, would be eligible for up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness. Pell Grant recipients would be eligible for loan forgiveness amounts of up to $20,000.

Biden’s plan has drawn strong opposition from Republicans, including Nebraska’s congressional delegation and Gov. Pete Ricketts, and the threat of legal challenges. Among other arguments, critics said Biden’s plan shifts the cost burden onto Americans with more limited financial means.

Chancellor Joanne Li announced Monday that the University of Nebraska at Omaha will be providing paid internship opportunities to UNO students.

In Tuesday’s press release, the White House said nearly 90% of relief dollars will go to those earning less than $75,000 per year. The White House added that no relief will go to any individual or household in the top 5% of incomes in the United States.

“By targeting relief to borrowers with the highest economic need, the Administration’s actions are also likely to help narrow the racial wealth gap,” the release said, adding that nearly 71% of Black and 65% Latino undergraduate borrowers are Pell Grant recipients.

The U.S. Department of Education is expected to release more details about the student debt relief plan in the coming weeks.

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