Administration

Biden admin’s student aid website overwhelmed after relief announcement

Joe Biden and Miguel Cardona
Associated Press/Evan Vucci
President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt forgiveness in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Washington. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona listens at right.

The federal student aid website received a flood of visitors Wednesday in the aftermath of President Biden announcing he will forgive up to $10,000 of student loans for certain borrowers, causing the site to slow. 

The website is where borrowers can determine if they are eligible for the forgiveness measures that Biden announced. The president said in his remarks on Wednesday that the federal government will forgive $10,000 for individuals making less than $125,000 annually and will clear up to $20,000 for recipients of Pell Grants, which are reserved for those with the largest financial need. 

“A lot of people are interested in our website. As a result, some pages may take longer to display than usual. Thank you for your patience,” a message at the top of the website’s page reads upon opening. 

Some users were also sent to a waiting room page before gaining access to the site shortly after. 

The White House and Education Department did not immediately return requests from The Hill for comment. 

Biden also said his administration will allow borrowers to limit the amount they repay monthly for their undergraduate loans to 5 percent of their monthly income. He extended the freeze on repayment, which has been in effect since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, one more time to Dec. 31. 

Nelnet, a financial services company that processes federal student loans, also reported technical issues because of high traffic following Biden’s announcement. The company said in a tweet that the Education Department determines eligibility and the federal student aid website’s page on Biden’s forgiveness plan is the best source of information.

Tags Biden Education Department federal student aid Joe Biden Pell Grants Student loan forgiveness student loan freeze
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