WASHINGTON (UKTN) — The Supreme Court said Thursday that the Biden administration program to cancel student loans remains on hold for now, but the judges agreed to hear the case in late winter.
The court’s decision to hear arguments relatively quickly means that a determination of the legality of widespread loan cancellations is likely to be made by the end of June.
The administration had wanted a court order that would have allowed the program to go into effect even if the court challenges continued. But as a fallback, it suggested that the Supreme Court hold arguments and decide the issue.
Biden’s plan promises $10,000 in forgiveness of federal student debt to those with incomes less than $125,000, or households earning less than $250,000. Pell Grant recipients, who typically demonstrate greater financial need, are eligible for an additional $10,000 in aid.
The Congressional Budget Office has said the program will cost about $400 billion over the next three decades.
More than 26 million people have already applied for the waiver, of which 16 million have been approved, but the education department stopped processing applications last month after a federal judge in Texas rejected the plan.
The Texas case is one of two cases in which federal judges have banned the government from enforcing loan cancellations.
In a separate lawsuit filed by six states, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis also put the plan on hold, taking that case to the Supreme Court.