BROCKTON – Senator Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley came Massasoit Community College to help local residents register for President Joe Biden’s New Student Debt Cancellation Program.
As part of their Student Debt Cancellation Tour, during which the duo visited several cities in Massachusetts, Warren and Pressley spoke to a large crowd of current, former and future students at the library. of Massasoit.
“If education is really meant to be the great equalizer in life, we can’t put it out of people’s reach,” Pressley said.
At least 10 current Massasoit students, as well as at least 10 adult college graduates, attended the event. Immediately after Warren and Pressley’s speeches, several attendees began their applications.
The deadline to apply for the program is Dec. 31, 2023, and Pressley said more than 22 million people signed up within the first 10 days of the application opening.
“We know it’s not true ‘if you build it, they will come’ if people don’t know it,” Pressley said, referring to the application process for the program. Pressley said she and Warren wanted to “make sure this process is fair, efficient and streamlined.”
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Pressley said that for incoming students who are not yet eligible and have not yet taken out loans, they plan to fight for policies that increase federal investments in higher education and community colleges at no cost. schooling.
Additionally, Warren assured attendees that debt cancellation will not impact their credit reports, but “should improve people’s credit reports over time” by reducing the amount that they must.
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Andrea Frank, 48, has paid $1,000 a month for the past eight years on her student loans and still has “a lot” to pay. She said she took out about $75,000 in loans for her undergraduate and graduate studies.
She said she plans to submit an application soon.
“Very honestly, [I’m] reducing my debt to pay for my kids’ college,” she said, “means they can take a stress-free school trip.”
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As a teacher at Massasoit, Frank said his children would receive financial aid if they attended a public college in Massachusetts. Otherwise, she must pay herself.
“And that doesn’t help for college or if they go to school out of state,” she said.
Pressley said about 800,000 Massachusetts families are eligible for some level of student loan forgiveness under the new program.
Several employees of the Student Borrower Protection Center guided residents through the initial phase of the application using computers in the college library or on their cell phones.
“I don’t call it debt forgiveness because the borrowers didn’t do anything wrong,” Pressley said.
Corporate staff reporter Chris Butler can be reached by email at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter at @Chr1sButler. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.