CALL NOW: Tell The Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor To Make Student Debt Elimination A National Priority!

This graphic features a digital billboard with that depicts a Black mother (with commencement attire) and her daughter. The background is dark blue and the text (in white) reads: “If student debt were eliminated, I could become a homeowner and create a better future for my daughter.”

As Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03) has a responsibility to endorse and enact policies aimed at “building an America where everyone can succeed.” But when it comes to the now $1.8 trillion student debt crisis, Chairman Scott has refused to endorse broad student debt elimination and has yet to sign H.Res.100—a resolution that calls on President Joe Biden to eliminate up to $50,000 in student debt per borrower. We need more from him. The student loan forbearance has been extended until January 31, 2022, but there are 45 million Americans—disproportionately Black and low-income—who are in desperate need of permanent economic relief. Our communities should never teeter on the brink of financial ruin or be left to fend for themselves ever again. 

Historically, Black and low-income communities have long faced structural and systemic barriers to college access and affordability. An estimated 74% of Black students leave school with Title IV federal student loan debt, compared to 55% of white students. And upon graduation, Black students owe $7,400 more than their white counterparts—an amount that skyrockets to $53,000 after just four years. With a student debt load that far exceeds their income, let alone their ability to repay, Black borrowers default at nearly six times the rate of white borrowers. As Black communities remain the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, it is clear that absent government intervention, Black and low-income borrowers will continue to endure perpetual cycles of debt and default. 

In the past, Chairman Scott has expressed his belief that the federal government “should be doing everything [it] can to make student loans less burdensome.” His proposals have focused on reducing the debt load for recent college graduates but offer little help for existing borrowers. Well, 92% of all outstanding student loan debt is owed to the federal government, and Chairman Scott has the power to make broad student debt elimination a reality. 

Join Color Of Change in demanding that Chairman Bobby Scott sign H.Res.100 and fight to #EliminateStudentDebt! The economic livelihood of our communities depends on it. 

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