For Immediate Release
June 30th, 2023

Statement by New Georgia Project Following Supreme Court’s Decision to Harm Black Futures by Halting President Biden’s Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Plan

(Atlanta, GA) – New Georgia Project (NGP) released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Biden v. Nebraska, siding with conservative state governments over the economic freedom of millions of Americans.

“The conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court has, once again, demonstrated their utter inability to support progress and equity in our country with their opinion in Biden v. Nebraska, striking down President Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness plan. The supposedly ‘nonpartisan’ Court has sided with the so-called financial interests of six Republican-led states, rather than choosing to provide economic reprieve to millions of Americans.

‘I’m carrying around $30,000 in debt just because I wanted to be the first in my family to get a college degree,’ said Maggie Bell, Lead Organizer for NGP’s Cancel Loans for Education and Reparations (C.L.E.A.R.) Campaign. ‘In this country, we are told that the American Dream is achievable for everyone and that a college education is our path to securing our economic future. I’m a young, Black woman from the South, and I’m fully aware of the odds already stacked against me. But I was hopeful that my hard work to earn my degree would be the ticket to the life I was told I could live. Now, with the Supreme Court’s decision, I’ll be paying off my student loan debt for years at the literal expense of affording my first home, saving for retirement, and even choosing when and if to start a family. Thanks to this decision, living the life I dreamed of feels completely out of reach. And not just for me. Millions of other Black and brown young people are facing a similar, now more bleak future. Having even just $10,000 or $20,000 in debt forgiveness is a start in getting Black Americans the support we need from a country built on our labor and oppression.’

This decision will, indeed, disproportionately hurt Black and brown borrowers who already face countless systemic obstacles to progress and prosperity. Black young adults take on 85 percent more student loan debt than their white counterparts, owing, on average, $25,000 more in debt. This decision will also increase the already extreme racial wealth gap in our country where, on average, white college graduates have four times more wealth than Black college graduates. In a society with a deep history and present reality of white supremacy, it’s not at all surprising that Black and brown borrowers are the most impacted by the predatory, generational cycle of borrowing and owing just to get a college education.

‘I just got my student loans forgiven thanks to President Biden’s changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program,’ said Kendra Cotton, CEO of New Georgia Project. ‘That’s more than $250,000 in debt I no longer have hanging around my neck as I, now, try to put my three kids through college. I know first-hand the financial freedom of not owing hundreds of thousands of dollars for schooling I completed more than a decade ago. But canceling student loan debt is not an individual issue; it is a systemic, racial and economic justice issue. Student loan debt relief is a clear pathway to helping working- and middle-class folks prosper in a country that’s intent on holding us back. The Supreme Court had the opportunity to break this generational curse and move our whole country forward as a result, and they failed.’

In the wake of this decision, New Georgia Project will double down on our efforts to connect the issues Black, brown, and young Georgians need to secure their economic futures—an increased minimum wage, better access to healthcare, and more affordable housing—to the importance of voting. We’ve got Georgians’ backs and will always fight for their rights even when those currently in power won’t.”