FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 4, 2022
CONTACT: Valeria Ojeda-Avitia, [email protected]
COLUMBIA – The Department of Education is preparing to open the application for student debt forgiveness this month; those who qualify can apply today at www.studentaid.gov.
Care in Action is committing to informing all eligible South Carolinians about President Biden’s student debt relief plan – a key state for Care in Action. Beginning October 5, the organization will focus on supporting Black student borrowers in accessing loan forgiveness through phone banking and tabling events at historically Black colleges and universities in South Carolina.
“The Student Loan Forgiveness program will be life-changing for many borrowers and is a direct example of what happens when elected leaders prioritize the care and economic well-being of voters,” says Hillary Holley, Executive Director of Care in Action. “We are dedicated to ensuring people of color are accessing student debt relief – we know that our economic power is directly tied to our ability to care for our families and our communities. It’s also tied to our political power – make no mistake that Black and brown voters were critical to winning key races in 2020, and the same will be true this fall. Policies that center care – from student debt relief to paid sick leave to abortion care – and candidates who champion them will motivate Black and brown voters to turn out in key states, and we plan to make nearly 80,000 contact attempts to South Carolina voters of color in the coming months to help them gain access to the support and resources they need.”
The student debt burden falls disproportionately on Black borrowers. Twenty years after first enrolling in school, the typical Black borrower who started college in the 1995-96 school year still owed 95% of their original student debt.
The total cost of four-year public and four-year private colleges has nearly tripled, and federal support has not kept up. Almost 80 percent of the cost of a four-year public college degree for students from working families used to be covered by Pell Grants, and now they only cover a third. That has left many students from low- and middle-income families with no choice but to borrow if they want to get a degree, and the typical undergraduate student with loans now graduates with nearly $25,000 in debt.
Nearly every Pell Grant recipient came from a family that made less than $60,000 a year; Black borrowers are twice as likely to have received Pell Grants compared to their white peers. By providing an additional $10,000 of debt relief for Pell Grant recipients, the Biden Administration is combatting the disproportionate impact of student loan debt.
Republicans are suing the Biden Administration in an attempt to stop Black, low- and middle-income Americans from benefiting from this program. Black and Latino voters support student loan debt relief at a higher rate than others, and this will be a motivating factor for them to support Democrats in the upcoming November elections.
Care in Action recognizes that our economic power is directly tied to our political power. This outreach around student debt relief will coincide with our voter outreach efforts in South Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and North Carolina. The 501(c)(4) organization is mobilizing domestic workers and supporters to knock on doors, make phone calls, and send texts, turning out women of color voters who will champion care policies like universal paid leave, accessible and affordable childcare, and increased wages for domestic workers.
Care in Action is the policy and advocacy home for women who care, working on behalf of more than two million domestic workers and care workers across America. Among the fastest-growing sectors in our economy, domestic workers are also among the most vulnerable and undervalued. As a mostly women and majority women of color workforce, this growing constituency consistently and overwhelmingly supports progressive values in American political life. Learn more at www.careinaction.us.