CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WBOY) — President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that $10,000 in student debt will be canceled for Americans who make less than $125,000 annually, leaving a large percentage of West Virginia students debt free.
According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, a third of student loan borrowers in West Virginia had less than $10,000 of student loans, meaning that almost 74,000 will be completely student debt free after the cancellation.
According to data from 2021, 75% of West Virginia’s 223,000 borrowers owe less than $40,000. So after the largest forgiveness for individual student debt ever, 165,000 West Virginians will have their student loans cut by at least 25%, if the loans are federal.
Students who received Pell Grant assistance will get an additional $10,000 in forgiveness, according to Biden’s plan.
Prior to Wednesday’s loan forgiveness, West Virginia was ranked the best state for student debt in the country by WalletHub. In the study, West Virginia was ranked second in the country for being in the least debt and eighth in the country for grant and student work opportunities thanks to programs like the West Virginia Promise Scholarship.
For those who didn’t receive full forgiveness, other programs in West Virginia could provide student loan assistance or cancellation:
- Mental health professionals could receive assistance from the Mental Health Loan Repayment Program in exchange for community service.
- Health care professionals working in a shortage or underserved area could receive loan assistance through the Recruitment and Retention Community Project or State Loan Repayment Program.
- Teachers and counselors in underserved areas could qualify for annual aid through the Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship Loan Assistance Program.