MILWAUKEE — Thousands of former and current college students in Wisconsin could see thousands of dollars in student loans forgiven as a part of President Joe Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness Plan announcement.
This possibly includes Josephine Bieker, who spent her afternoon studying in Catalano Square in Milwaukee.
As a student, she said she is also looking at the student loan forgiveness plan.
“I don’t know exactly what it will mean and how it will play out, but I’m still kinda feeling like maybe it will be good for me in the long run and it will help me because it is stuff that I worry about a lot and think about a lot,” said Bieker.
Bieker just started her junior year at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.
Like many college students, she expects to have some student debt to pay when she finishes her undergraduate degree.
“Half of my tuition is covered by a scholarship, and basically almost the other half, I’m taking out in loans, only probably a fifth of it is out of pocket,” said Bieker.
The Director of Financial Aid for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Tim Opgenorth, said he was not surprised to see the president unveil this plan. However, he explained there are questions they need answers to in order to guide students for this additional help.
“A lot of the times we need to know more of the details like what’s required in the application , is there a certain deadline as far as that student had to borrow by x date, or does this apply to students who are going to enroll in the fall of the 2022 term, so we need to know a lot more details so that we can advise students and parents,” said Opgenorth.
Angela Sarni is the Director of Financial Aid for Mount Mary University. She believes this could only be a good thing for both past and current students.
Sarni explained the former to have the most to gain because they are currently paying off their loans.
“It’s just going to reassure students that college is affordable so that they can go out there and they can make that extra money and they can leave that more positive impact on their community so it makes it more realistic and we can make those dreams come true for them,” said Sarni.
Bieker feels the student loan forgiveness plan could benefit her in one way in particular.
“School is expensive. I will still probably have some debt to pay off but to even get a chunk of that down, especially when it comes to interest, like making that easier to tackle sooner, so there is less interest and all that.”
As she thinks about life beyond college, she hopes this will make future financial decisions a lot easier.