The University of California is disappointed with today’s Supreme Court ruling rejecting the Biden administration’s plan to discharge billions of dollars of student loan debt. This historic relief program would have made a significant impact on the lives of college graduates, particularly for those from low-income backgrounds who are more likely to take on debt to complete their education. It also harms society as a whole: Those with student loans are less likely to earn advanced degrees, purchase a home, start their own business or make other investments that benefit their communities.
In light of the ruling, the University of California strongly encourages its students and alumni to consider all the loan repayment options that the Department of Education has developed for borrowers who are struggling to pay back their loans. Those include plans with lower interest rates, plans that set payments based on a borrower’s income, and some plans that forgive loans for those who work in public service.
College affordability is among the University’s highest priorities. As such, the University offers a robust financial aid program designed to ensure that a UC education remains accessible to all academically eligible California students, regardless of their financial resources. Sixty-one percent of UC’s resident undergraduates complete their degrees without any student loan debt, and 54 percent have their tuition fully covered by financial aid.
At the University of California, we are committed to helping students make payments more economical and less burdensome. That is why we are arranging webinars with the Department of Education for UC alumni and students later this year to inform them of their obligations and options when paying off their debt. By doing so, we hope that all our borrowers will understand how to scale their monthly payments to their current income, rehabilitate any loans they may have defaulted on, and qualify for discharge under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. While today’s court decision is disheartening, it also underscores the importance of UC’s efforts to make college financially accessible to all students.
As cost is typically the primary concern for families considering college, UC’s goal is to provide a path to a debt-free education by 2030 to any California undergraduate student. And we’ve made major strides in that direction. For example, tuition is predictable. UC Regents adopted a tuition model that sets the cost of tuition for each incoming class. Our Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan covers the overall cost of tuition and fees for families with incomes of $80,000 or less. And we’ve expanded aid for middle-class families.