The federal government this week unveiled how many student loan borrowers in each state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are eligible for President Joe Biden's debt forgiveness, while also reiterating how cancellation could help narrow the racial wealth gap.
The state-by-state figures highlight the number of borrowers who qualify for the $10,000 in cancellation as well as the number of Pell Grant recipients eligible for an additional $10,000 in loan forgiveness. The Pell Grant is targeted at borrowers with the greatest financial need based on their free application for federal student aid, known as FAFSA.
Overall, more than 40 million borrowers are eligible for its student debt relief plan, according to White House projections, and nearly 20 million borrowers could have their entire remaining balance forgiven.
“Georgia has the third largest student loan debt in the country,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) said at the press conference related to the data release. “And 70% of Georgia borrowers will get $20,000 in student loan debt relief.”
Here's how it breaks down.
The White House also noted that 90% of forgiveness will go to those who make less than $75,000 and none will go to those earning the top 5% in incomes, countering some Republican lawmakers who have criticized student loan forgiveness as benefiting the highest wage earners.
“More than 99.7% of student loan borrowers did not attend Ivy League schools,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said at the press conference.
Further, the Biden administration said forgiveness would likely help shrink the racial wealth gap, pointing out that almost 71% of Black undergraduate borrowers are Pell Grant recipients and 65% of Latino undergraduate borrowers are Pell Grant recipients, which are eligible for the most relief.
“Canceling student debt is a racial justice issue,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), said in the press conference.
Ronda is a personal finance senior reporter for Yahoo Money and attorney with experience in law, insurance, education, and government. Follow her on Twitter @writesronda