Current and former college students across the country started applying for President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on Oct. 17 hoping to receive financial aid. However, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals placed a temporary block on the plan on Oct. 22, meaning the Biden administration cannot cancel any student loans at this time.

This decision is due to the six Republican-led states, including Nebraska, that sued to block the program, saying the plan is unfair to loan providers who manage federal loans themselves.

According to the federal government, anyone who has already applied for the forgiveness does not have to do anything else with regard to the plan being blocked and that if the block is lifted, the loan forgiveness plan will carry out as intended.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say that they’re going to do it and then just take that promise away,” said Hallie Carter, a freshman nutritional science & dietetics major.

However, according to President Biden, students may get their loan forgiveness in a short while.

President Biden predicted last Thursday, Oct. 27, that student loan borrowers will start receiving their loan forgiveness within a few weeks, boldly stating that his administration will win the case.

The price of college is a heavily talked about topic with data showing that the average cost of tuition and fees has heavily outpaced the overall inflation rate for the country. The average cost of tuition has increased more than 144% since 2001, even after adjusting for inflation.

“I think that it’s kind of an outdated process to think that college students should be able to do it all themselves,” said Mikayla Capouch, a senior psychology major.

This increase in the cost for education can put unnecessary stress on a college student’s personal and academic life, according to Capouch.

“It is so hard to maintain an education-work balance in school and still have time for mental health and self-care,” Capouch said.

Capouch said she is upset about the blocking of the student loan forgiveness plan because to her, it finally seemed like a step in the right direction.

“This was an attempt to alleviate some of the stress caused by that inflation gap,” Capouch said. “There’s just a distinct lack of empathy from the older generation.”

According to the White House, the loan forgiveness plan is focused on giving opportunities to low and middle income Americans, which is the reason behind the increased loan cancellation for pell grant recipients.

“I think broadly, I hope that higher education can be more accessible for a wide range of students,” said Jason Hawkins, a UNL alum and assistant director of the Office of Admissions.

While Hawkins said he understands both sides of the loan forgiveness debate, he is still hopeful that Biden’s plan goes into effect.

“Selfishly, I hope it goes through to be able to remove some of my student loan debt,” Hawkins said. “I also recognize that college graduates end up making more money than nongraduates so I can see the other side of it as well.” 

Justin Chase Brown, Director of Scholarships & Financial Aid at UNL said that UNL does not have a position on the matter, and that their role as a financial aid office is to help provide information.

“Anytime there is a federal funding available directly to students, we want to make sure there is awareness,” Brown said.

Brown said that the University does not have any influence on how the loan forgiveness is structured, allocated or distributed to students and borrowers

Applicants can review the status of their application at studentaid.gov.