<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Dec. 5, 2023

Linkedin Pinterest

Biden’s student debt-relief plan could help thousands of Southwest Washington students

By , Columbian staff writer

In Southwest Washington, the relief plan has the potential to significantly aid thousands of college students.

“This is something that will impact a student’s ability to follow through on their ultimate goals for not only entering a career, but also taking ownership of and reducing that debt later on,” said Domanic Vanthom, WSU Vancouver’s vice chancellor of student affairs and enrollment. “It allows students also to pursue careers that they wouldn’t have considered when there’s a significant debt. There are graduates who feel a pressure to enter careers that immediately pay, rather than where their passions are.”

At WSU Vancouver, about 51 percent of first-year students in the 2020-2021 school year were the first in their families to attend college. Additionally, 43 percent of undergraduate students in the same year met Pell Grant eligibility requirements.

Vanthom estimates that students leave WSU Vancouver with an average of $17,000 in debt — meaning that President Biden’s loan forgiveness plan would erase a significant portion of what students are left to handle.

“This would have a lot of graduates from WSU Vancouver debt-free,” said Vanthom, a first-generation college graduate himself.

More in This Series

U.S. has piled up $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. How big is Washington’s share?
As President Joe Biden has announced his plan on Wednesday afternoon to cancel up to $20,000 of student loans for federal borrowers, many…
More than half a million residents of Washington could benefit from student loan forgiveness under President Joe Biden's plan.A half-million Washington residents could benefit from Biden’s student loan relief
In the fall of 2010, Anthony D’Amico was an undergraduate student studying abroad when he explained to German students that he’d have to…
FILE - President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 10, 2022, in Washington.  Biden is set to announce $10,000 federal student loan cancellation on Aug. 24, for many, extend repayment pause for others.Biden announces long-awaited student debt forgiveness plan
President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced his long-awaited plan to deliver on his campaign promise to provide $10,000 in debt cancellation for…

Neighboring Clark College follows similar trends, with nearly 40 percent of students enrolled in programs of study eligible to receive federal student aid under the Pell program. As of the 2021-2022 school year, 2,114 students received Pell grants; five years earlier, that number was as high as 3,743 students.

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo