LOGAN COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – This week, Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College paid the debts of 70 students using money from the CARES Act.
Southern West Virginia President Dr. Pamela Alderman says the pandemic has further put a strain on students trying to pay off their loans.
“With the pandemic and the way everything has happened currently, many people lost their jobs,” Alderman said. “So without an income they do not have a way to repay the loans.”
The college picked 70 students that were financially impacted by the pandemic. Their debts each ranged from a few hundred dollars to thousands.
“We had 70 students that had almost $50,000 in debt,” Alderman said. “That’s prohibiting them from coming to college.”
In a recent survey by the advocacy group Student Debt Crisis, 90 percent of borrowers are not ready to begin loan repayment in the fall.
Student Joby Sorrell says the high debt will scare people away from seeking a degree.
“Over time, how the cost is rising right now I think less people will want to go to college,” he said.
The Biden Administration put a moratorium on federal loan repayments until January, giving people more time to come up with the money to pay them.
“That’s what it is, it’s buying some time,” Alderman said. “But what also is doing is allowing the student to come back to school and maybe reeducate themselves.”
Sorrell believes the pause on payments will benefit students.
“I think it will help them in the long run,” he said. “That way they can come up with the money easier and they’ve got more time to do it.”
Thursday, the Biden Administration announced it will wipe out student loan debt for 300,000 Americans with disabilities that are unable to earn a livable income.