(NEXSTAR) – A month before the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on two cases challenging President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, the White House released state-by-state data of the roughly 26 million Americans who applied for debt relief before the application closed late last year.
The application for Biden’s loan relief program was open for less than a month before the administration had to take it down following legal challenges.
Before that, more than 26 million student loan borrowers were able to submit their applications. The majority of those applications – nearly 16.5 million – were fully approved and passed along to loan servicers for discharge, according to the latest White House data.
Two of the largest states – California and Texas – had the largest number of applicants and approved forms while less-populated states – Wyoming and Alaska – had the fewest.
This interactive map shows the states with the most applicants:
In late November, the Department of Education began notifying millions of borrowers that their application for loan relief had been approved. By then, the program was already being challenged in court, and the department wasn't able to discharge loans.
The interactive map below shows how many borrowers in each state have had their student loan debt relief application approved.
In fall, the Biden administration released data showing how many borrowers, by state, were expected to qualify for student loan relief. Again, states with larger populations - California, Florida, New York, and Texas - were expected to have the most student loan borrowers receiving relief. In West Virginia, 85,000 people were approved.
Across the majority of states, half or more of the borrowers expected to apply for loan forgiveness were able to before the application was taken down.
Last week, President Biden said his administration "is confident that our student debt relief program is fully legal."
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases over the program on Feb. 28: one from six Republican-led states and the other from two individual borrowers who didn't qualify for the maximum relief of $20,000. The Biden administration has argued that neither group of challengers have the legal capacity to sue over the program.
As of the end of January, student loan payments and interest accrual remain on hold. The freeze won't lift for some time - either 60 days after pending legal challenges have been resolved, or at the end of August if there isn't a resolution by the end of June.