Some Mercy students – with lower-than-average student debt – could see loans wiped clean
DOBBS FERRY, N.Y., Aug. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Mercy College graduates across the tri-state and beyond are absorbing news of the loan cancellation plan announced yesterday by the Biden Administration, one which could reduce borrowers' outstanding student loans up to $20,000.
The student debt cancellation is based primarily on current income. The government will offer up to $10,000 of debt relief to individuals earning $125,000 or less per year, or couples earning $250,000 or less. Students who received Pell grants during college could qualify for double that amount of relief – or loan cancellation of up to $20,000.
"It's really phenomenal that our government is taking the time to address the behemoth that student loans are," says alumna Alexiah Williams, who earned her MBA at Mercy in 2020. "The fact that they are giving us a head start on paying down debt is really great."
More than half of Mercy College students have received federal Pell grants in the past decade and, depending upon their incomes, could be eligible for the larger amount of loan forgiveness. And since the average debt for Mercy graduates is just under $24,000, some graduates could see their debts wiped nearly -- or completely -- clean.
"Our students historically graduate with much less debt than student borrowers nationally, because of Mercy's commitment to affordability and consistently low tuition for a quality education," said Mercy College President Tim Hall. "In these extraordinarily challenging times, we're pleased that graduates burdened by loan repayment will receive relief, so they can better enjoy the return on investment for the college degrees they worked so hard to earn."
Mercy College has historically served the underserved in our communities. More than 15,000 students have graduated in the past 10 years, about two-thirds of whom received a Pell Grant while in college, so the new loan cancellation plan will significantly ease the debt burden for a large portion of Mercy alumni. The loan forgiveness will not be counted as taxable income.
The Administration is also extending the pause on all current student loan payments until January of 2023. These payments will continue not to accrue interest.
The policy does not affect new students or current students who are taking out loans this fall. Loan cancellation is only being offered to students whose loans were fully dispersed before June of 2022. The administration has also announced a proposed rule to create a new income-based repayment plan for student borrowers, one which potentially lowers monthly payments for undergraduate loans.
Mercy's Assistant Vice President of Student Financial Services, Joseph Trentacoste, says: "There are many details to be ironed out regarding this new plan. The 'how' of these announcements is always more complex than the announcement itself. But Mercy is keeping abreast of every development and will make itself available to counsel our alumni and current students on these exciting changes. Ultimately, loan cancellation will occur between the borrower and the federal government directly."
Williams, who runs her own business, invested in graduate school in hopes of fine-tuning leadership skills and learning business savvy. She believes that the cancellation plan, "Helps you achieve your goals. Every bit counts."
It is anticipated that the loan cancellation will take place sometime before the end of the year. Further details and updates can be found at ed.gov.
About Mercy College
Founded in 1950 by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy College is an independent, coeducational college that offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The vibrancy of the College culture is sustained by a diverse student body from around the region. The College offers campuses in Dobbs Ferry, the Bronx and Manhattan as well as online offerings.
Jodi Epstein Hoellger, Mercy College, (914) 255-4009, [email protected]
SOURCE Mercy College