As children we dream without limits. We imagine ourselves as athletes, poets, doctors, and teachers. Our path flowers with seeds of possibilities.
However, for many of us, our dreams are deferred by the cycle of student debt.
Policymakers have slashed public investment in higher education, offloading the skyrocketing costs onto students. They keep us divided by race and class so that they can make backroom deals with banks and loan servicers.
The rich profit while those chasing the American dream drown in student debt.
Generations of barriers also have denied Black, brown, and Indigenous communities a fair shot at resources that would make the college dream a reality.
We can make sure students don’t have to choose between basic living expenses or their education, and that families who do attend college are not forever weighed down by a lifetime of crushing student debt. We can reimagine the road ahead.
1. Start by Cancelling Your Student Debt
Too many educators have had their forgiveness denied because of technicalities and misinformation. We are working with the Biden Administration to make these systems work better. We also have created our own support programs, including the NEA Student Debt Navigator, to help educators get relief within the current system.
**Update: As of November 2022, the U.S. Department of Education has been blocked from proceeding with its cancellation program and currently cannot accept applications. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to advocate for broad student debt cancellation.**
2. Make Higher Education More Affordable for All
Because of the educators and allies who took action, the White House has announced a new student-debt cancellation plan, that could forgive up to $20,000 in federal student debt for borrowers. This victory comes on top of the temporary Public Service Loan Forgiveness waiver, which has delivered $24 billion in loan forgiveness for 360,000 public-service workers over the course of a year.
But we won't stop until everyone is able to learn and grow without a lifelong burden of student debt.
With more members, we have more power to create change. Join the National Education Association to access vital student debt support and to add your voice to the movement to make higher education affordable for everyone.