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Daphné Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez



Stay Up to Date With The Latest and Not-So-Greatest News About Student Loans and More.

About This Episode

Happy Inauguration Day in the United States! New administration, new student loan agenda. With every Presidential Administration, new policies, efforts, and strategies are implemented across a number of different categories. The student loan crisis is no different. At a time when over 44 million Americans hold over $1.7 trillion dollars in student loan debt, and at a time when the country attempts to heal wide divisions, there is better time to have a clear agenda on economic recovery. Buckle Your Seat Belts and Stay Tuned as Daphné Vanessa(@daphnevanessa) and Shamil Rodriguez(@LinkedIn) take a Deep Dive Into the Biden Administration’s Possible Plans for Student Loans.


  • What the Incoming U.S. Presidential Administration hopes to achieve in the space of student loans and education costs.
  • Whether student loan relief is likely to happen in the New Administration.
  • How the proposed economic recovery plan may impact your student loan and future tuition costs.
  • Whether proposed actions are actually beneficial for students and student loan borrowers.
  • And much more…

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Resources from this Episode:

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:01): Welcome to the student loan podcast. Here, you'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses and inspiring stories about paying off student loans. We're your hosts, Daphne Vanessa and Shamil Rodriguez.

Daphné Vanessa (00:18): Welcome to the student loan podcast today's episode. We will be discussing and Inauguration day of a new incoming administration in the United States. And what that means for your student loans today on January 20th, 2021, we will be discussing the Biden administration and the education plan and what that may mean for your student loans. So with that Shamil are you ready to get started?

Shamil Rodriguez (00:49): Let's do it

Daphné Vanessa (00:51): Awesome. So this administration has been very interesting in that they didn't go to the extreme left, which a lot of extreme left, uh, people who were larger proponents of, um, things that may equalize society, the Biden administration took a more tempered approach to satisfy as many people as possible. And so with student loan debt relief, they are claiming to, uh, cancel $10,000 of student loan debt. And now there's been a lot of discussion about this number $50,000 has been thrown around a lot of numbers. What do you think about this cancellation of debt?

Shamil Rodriguez (01:40): This is something that we've touched upon in a previous episode, just so that listeners know this is coming from the campaign pages of the Biden administration, uh, prior to obviously inauguration. Um, but, uh, what we have seen is the back and forth amongst whether or not there should be 10,000, 50,000, uh, the number changes based on whether it's coming from Congress, uh, if it's coming from the house or the Senate, or if it's coming from the Biden administration, uh, hopefully, uh, within the first hundred days we'll hear something official. Uh, so that's something that we're looking forward to. I think it's something that is positive. I think it helps, um, you know, tons of student loan borrowers across the board. And I mean, honestly, like who, who just wouldn't like student loan debt relief, right? Like we're looking at it from a very practical perspective.

Shamil Rodriguez (02:35): Um, having student loan debt canceled, I just don't see anyone who would practically be opposed to it, especially when you consider that, uh, you know, how many millions of Americans have it and the amount that is accumulated at this point. Uh, so yeah, I think this one's an easy, uh, an easy check off the block in terms of support. I think the, the difficulty will become what that actual number is. Um, and whether or not Congress, you know, has the stomach to actually pass whatever that, that magic number will be. And, uh, whether it will be through executive order versus through Congress. Right. Uh, you know, do you want to elaborate on that idea, Daphne and just like what, what that might mean?

Daphné Vanessa (03:23): Sure. Should it pass through Congress and, uh, actually become law there's a little bit more stickiness then. Um, if something comes through by executive order and, you know, depending on the administration these days, uh, administrations are granting and removing executive orders. Now this must be noted that this is not, uh, a government, that this is a new generation. So new time historically, um, I think there was a lot of deference and respect between administrations. And it seems like in recent times that that's been flipped on its head. So an executive order may mean that something is in force during the Biden administration that may not be enforced for subsequent administrations after the Biden administration leaves. So it's important to note that, um, Congress, uh, something passing through Congress would, would likely stick more heavily.

Shamil Rodriguez (04:37): Yeah, no, I think that's a really good point. Stickiness is a good, a good use there. Uh, I think that the, and then another question is not just the executive order being overturned, which, you know, typically happens with new administrations, right. They typically will, uh, cancel or replace existing executive orders with their own. Uh, but then there's like, there's, there's the legal question of will, you know, does the president have the authority to even forgive student loan debt in the first place? Right. So that, that could end up being tied up in court for many years to come. Right. And so it's just seems like, maybe we'll hear from them about administration saying, you know, what it should, here's our recommendation or here's our idea. And then seeing whether or not, you know, Congress will run with their own or, you know, with his, his feedback, I'd be curious because, you know, he does have that Senate experience for so long. Uh, I'd be curious to see what they end up deciding to do. Uh, so, you know, interesting, I think start way to start off the, this episode. Uh, and I think it's, it's a big topic that a lot of individuals that I've spoken to are looking forward to hearing the answer to, uh, so, you know, we'll keep, we'll keep our ears open and once we know, you know, we'll share it with you guys on the site and on the, on Instagram and, uh, all our future podcasts.

Daphné Vanessa (05:59): Right, right. Very good point. Um, so, but the first a hundred days, right. That's what a president is known for acting on, you know, what's done in the first a hundred days, there's a lot of press, a lot of buzz around that. What are your thoughts on the first 100 days? And this space being impacted, will student loans be impacted in the first a hundred days of the Biden administration?

Shamil Rodriguez (06:29): My guess is yes. Uh, my, my is truly a guess I don't have any insider information or people within the administration that are giving me any him fro, uh, here. I just think so because it is a topic that has come up, it is a topic that has been come up that has come up recently. Um, and it's a topic that is, has, has come up from other candidates when they were still in the running for the nomination. So I think that it is something that will come up and I think we also, I think it also another factor that actually plays a role into this that I want to make sure that listeners think about as they're, you know, you know, dwelling or considering these, these ideas is that at the end of this month, uh, the deferment based on the cares act and the, uh, the previous administration, uh, extended it until the end of this month, January and the 31st of January.

Shamil Rodriguez (07:25): So another question is, you know, will the Vita administration extended even further than then now, will it be tied to, let's say the tax deadline, right. Will it be in April, uh, will it be extended to sometime in the second quarter and the, in the summertime, right. This, this all came about because of COVID-19 right. And, uh, we're still not out of the woods yet for COVID-19. So I'd be really curious to see how that, you know, what the timeline looks like for the extension of the, uh, forbearance for, or I guess, interest free time period for anybody who has federal student loans right now, due to the cares act. So yes, answer your question. I do think that, um, that there will be one because of attention, there will be action on student loans within the first hundred days of this administration. Uh, one because of the attention that student loans has received on the stages of the debates in the past, uh, and on platforms on websites for other candidates and subsequently the byte administration. And then also because of the upcoming deadline, uh, for the federal forbearance of federal student loans under the cares act. So yes, I do think there will be some action in the first a hundred days.

Daphné Vanessa (08:40): Interesting. I, I, I think I disagree. I think, um, the first 100 days Biden hasn't been clear enough on his super conservative plan. Other he'd like to see $10,000 per borough canceled, but he hasn't been definitive. He hasn't offered a timeline. Um, you know, as you know, in the three debates, uh, that happened student loans didn't even come up as an issue. It seems like they're going to prioritize obviously Corona virus, uh, actions, um, re revamping the economy. I happen to think that this falls within the revamping of the economy, but, uh, that is extremely biased because this is our space. Um, but right, this, our generation being saddled with student loan debt because of the increased cost of education and not being able to move forward in life and contribute to the economy really is, uh, an a con an economic issue. And I would hope that the Biden and administration sees that, but, but we'll see. Right.

Shamil Rodriguez (09:58): Absolutely well said. Yeah. I think I'd be curious to see how that, how that turns out. So which one do you want to kick off next for our listeners?

Daphné Vanessa (10:08): So the doubling the maximum value of Pell grants, um, that is a very interesting, uh, proposal. So Pell grants for those who don't know are federal grants that are given to college students to attend school for free, essentially free money, right? Like a scholarship for no reason other than existing. Um, and so Pell grants can really create a lot of opportunity. 15, 10 years ago, they were about 6,000 or so dollars, right? Shamil around that, around that amount. And so assuming he's doubling the max Pell grant, it'll probably go up to the 10 to $15,000 range, um, which considers the inflationary costs of education. I appreciate that piece. I appreciate that piece in his plan. I, I do, I do because not a lot of people are looking at how the cost of education has risen in comparison, um, with, with time and inflation. So I appreciate that that piece is, is a good idea.

Shamil Rodriguez (11:18): I agree, 1000%. And so having a, you know, 12 to $13,000 grants, right? So we're just making sure we're very clear that it's not alone, that you have to repay it's, it's free money. It's an incentive to, to increase the accessibility of education, right? Like it's not just out there for no reason, right? Like the money is actually there to incentivize those who otherwise could not afford to go to college to use so that they can actually go and pursue a higher education. Right. So it's, it's, that's the entire purpose of, of the idea, or at least it's a huge incentive of why, uh, any, any grant exists, right. Any grant or scholarship, uh, exists. So, yes, I think that you hit it on the head that, uh, unfortunately inflation, for some reason, hasn't kept up with incomes and, or I guess the relationship or the ratio between income and the cost of higher education.

Shamil Rodriguez (12:21): Uh, they haven't been one-to-one, uh, to say the least, and we all know that. And so I think that this is a great way to help equalize, uh, that, that discrepancy that has arisen over the, over the last couple of decades where you know, that the income necessarily increased in terms of inflation, but the amount that it costs to go to school, um, has dramatically increased. Um, so, you know, let's, let's, you know, give them a rental plus they can get this past, uh, this would be a phenomenal, uh, I think this would be a really good, uh, I think this is one of those easily overlooked, uh, benefits that's going to impact a lot of people, especially people that are going to state schools. Right. I think this is something that like, uh, from a private school perspective, you might say, Oh, well, this doesn't really help me with my $40,000 of student loans that I'm taking every semester at my private school. Sure. Might not, but there are plenty of other state schools that are a great state schools that a $13,000 program could really help with. So, um, you know, I, I can definitely see the, the, the benefit here for sure.

Daphné Vanessa (13:31): Absolutely absolutely huge benefit. Um, and so the Pell grant, just to be a little bit clear, um, is like Chanel said, uh, a grant, not an, I mean, not, not a alone, it hasn't increased that much from 10, 15 years ago. Right? 10, 15 years ago, it was about five to 6,000 and today it's still in a $6,000 range. So that would actually be a huge action, right. That he would be doubling that amount, an amount that used to be that is currently 63 45, so $6,345 per year, um, to double that, that, that, that would, that would be significant. So, uh, we agree with you, the Biden administration, you have start news approval for that, that one line or the student loan podcasts approval, for sure. So let's move on to the next item. And this one is interesting taking the income based repayment and having the, how having the disk decreased payments. So cutting them in. Okay. So

Shamil Rodriguez (14:52): Let's break that down for the audience. So what does that actually mean? Sure.

Daphné Vanessa (14:57): So what that actually means is that instead of your income-based repayment being no more than I believe it's 10% of your income, it would perhaps be no more than 5%.

Shamil Rodriguez (15:12): Okay. This

Daphné Vanessa (15:13): May seem like a good idea, right? You're paying less money. However, where they did not elaborate is on the notion of compounding interest and compounding interest is a way to be trapped in debt forever and ever, and ever. And so I don't know that I agree with this piece because it keeps people indebted. If we're not clear on what happens to the amount that's not paid, is it capitalized? Does it compound, you know, those are all questions that need to be answered to understand whether this is actually a benefit or whether the us government is making more money as the, the country's largest student loan lender.

Shamil Rodriguez (16:02): Mm okay. No, I think that's, uh, uh, that's a great, uh, great point. And, and this really does specifically impact just so that the listeners know this impacts the income based repayment program. Right. But there are other programs that the federal government offers, uh, and feel free to check those out, which include the revised pay as you earn repayment plan, which is considered it's called repay, but as an extra at the end there, um, then there's the pay as you earn repayment plan and the income contingent repayment plan. So if you are in one of those plans right now, this is not impact you based on what we have access to through the campaign site. Right? So the IBR, which is income-based repayment plan, their, uh, their percentages of generally 10% of your discretionary income, if you're a new borrower after July 1st, 2014, but never more than the 10 year standard repayment plan, uh, amount. Um, but, but just keep this in mind for some of you that have ma that may have had loans for longer or before then it's generally 15% of your discretionary income if you're a new borrower on or after July 14th, but never more than the 10 year standard repayment plan amount that we said before. Right. So just want to keep it in mind. So it could be the difference between a 5%, a new number if it's halved or a 7.5% number, just so that the listeners can, you know, have some sort of guidance there.

Daphné Vanessa (17:29): That's very helpful. Thanks Chanel for that.

Shamil Rodriguez (17:32): Of course, that's what we do here at the city of LA podcast. And if you want to like capture some of this information, I know not everybody's a, an audio list audio learner, or you may be listening to this while you're driving or, uh, or whatever the case would be cleaning or whatever, whatever, if you wanted to like a look at some of these numbers, uh, or some of the resources and like where we're getting this information from, uh, then take a look at the show notes, uh, for more information. So the student loan podcast.com four slash episode 13, uh, and you'll get the information that you need, that, that you may want to go and revisit in the future.

Daphné Vanessa (18:05): Awesome. So the next item in the Biden plan for student loans is for people that have dedicated their lives to public service, he recommends fixing the public service loan forgiveness program and forgiving $10,000 of undergraduate or graduate student loan debt for every year of national or community service for up to five years. This is very much different than the current public student loan forgiveness program. Right?

Shamil Rodriguez (18:45): Yeah, absolutely. I think this would really flip it on its head, I guess, in my opinion, what I appreciate about what I'm seeing so far from some of these ideas is that they are genuine, incremental changes towards helping folks, uh, with their, their student loan debt, right. Especially if they are actually helping the community in one way or another. Um, I know that the public service loan forgiveness program doesn't get as many approvals right. From what we've seen. Um, a lot of people have been waiting for those. Uh, so I'm hoping that this is a bit more clear and provides that clarity for future graduates. Uh, and I'd be curious to see, um, you know, if the approval numbers go up and that is reported by the federal government, that, and we can link to that as well. Uh, but right now, as it currently stands, um, the numbers aren't very high. Uh, so I'd be curious to see, uh, if this clarity or I guess this, uh, this description of what his plan is for the public service loan forgiveness program would actually increase the amount of people that do actually get their forgiveness

Daphné Vanessa (20:02): Completely agree. And, uh, let's see what happens, I guess, is the best.

Shamil Rodriguez (20:10): Yeah, that's really good. That's a good one is to see what the numbers turn out to be. So maybe on a future episode in a year or two, uh, we can dive into those.

Daphné Vanessa (20:20): Um, and, and maybe in the future, the administration will elaborate on what fix means fix the public service loan forgiveness program. Um, in what sense, um, do you mean fixing the people who have not received their money yet? Um, but, but there there's that.

Shamil Rodriguez (20:41): Yeah, no. I mean, thinking that the, you know, what I would remember, I'm just guessing here now as to, I think they would perceive as fix. And I think it goes back to that point earlier that, um, that the perception is like no one actually gets their student loans forgiven. Right. Um, so like there are very specific rules, um, you know, and how often does that like really work out? And I think that's the part that may be frustrating. A lot of people is like, is it that you want me to actually have my student loans forgiven because I'm helping the community? Or are you just saying that as more like a marketing tool, but when I try to actually apply to have it done, I have less than a 2% chance of actually having that accomplished, you know? So, you know, just keep, you know, I think that's what I would perceive as the fix, because I would be very frustrated if I were a person lining up myself for student loan forgiveness, and then come to find out there was some technicality that I wasn't aware of versus it being very straightforward, like the, you know, by the administration is proposing here so that you have a clear sight as to what that might mean.

Shamil Rodriguez (21:46): And like, I think that, uh, you know, we can obviously learn more as time goes by and like what they actually propose, but that would be my perception of like, what they're trying to fix, because that is, is, is, uh, horrendous to have such a low approval percentage of people that have applied for student loan forgiveness. And having that actually improved

Daphné Vanessa (22:06): Well said, well said, let's move on into the next item, which is the CFPB is enforcement of UDaB. And for those of you who have the blessing of not knowing what the CFPB it is, the, uh, government agency called the consumer financial protection Bureau and they have in the past, um, taken action against all sorts of consumer, um, organizations, but, uh, in the student loan space specifically, they have, uh, collected complaints and pursued action against, um, entities that violated consumer protection laws against a student loan borrowers. And one of those laws that applies is called UDaB. It is the unfair, deceptive, abusive acts and practices, something like that. And essentially it means, uh, a lender can't lie can not be deceptive, cannot have unfair practices, must be transparent. Um, you know, the basics of a contract must be honored essentially, and they plan to crack down on private lenders, profiting off of students. Why only private lenders? What, what are your thoughts on that?

Shamil Rodriguez (23:34): I think the perception is here is that you've got to be concerned about the private lenders, because there are certain federal guidelines that don't apply to them. Right. And the reason, I mean, I guess, uh, a reason you'll see this in places, because there will be instances where private, uh, lenders won't follow certain guidelines, uh, you know, whether it be, you know, uh, not, uh, reducing interest rates or allowing for deferments, uh, based on certain circumstances, let's say somebody who's unemployed or, uh, somebody's conducting military service, you know, whatever the case may be. That's why I think, um, it's easy to, you know, really, uh, shine a light on private lenders. Um, but I think it's worth noting. And I think your question might be getting to this is that it is worth noting that there are loan servicers that are used by the federal government to collect on these loans, correct me if I'm wrong, Daphne.

Shamil Rodriguez (24:39): And so I think it's important to make sure that those specific federal loan servicers also fall under, uh, the CFPB guidance or enforcement, uh, guidance. That that would be my opinion. So that it's a fair playing field because if the private lenders need to do it, then I think that the loan servicers of federal loans should also follow those guidelines as well, because this is only protecting the consumers, which are us, right? Like the student loan, borrowers, the American public, the people that are receiving this benefit and are working with these companies to pay back their loans, like everyone who is in that business should fall under the guidance of the CFPB and the enforcement of a UDaB is my perspective.

Daphné Vanessa (25:26): Great point, great point. Um, but, but I agree. I think the student loan services are missing in the crackdown. Um, you know, the fact that they are government contractors, that shouldn't exempt them from CFPB enforcement. So I think if they're going to look at UDaB, they should look at UDaB as it applies to the bar, like look at it from the borrower's perspective and borrowers that have federal loans are interacting with servicers. That, I mean, if you read the recent litigation, um, the servicers may not be, you know, doing the best, the best work. So,

Shamil Rodriguez (26:08): Yeah, and I, and I think, um, something that, that our listeners can look forward to in the future is, and, and we can take deep dives into what the CFPB does, what you adapt does, and like, what are some of these actual unfair practices that people don't know about, right. Because if you don't know what you don't know, and you're just being told by your, by your lender or your servicer, that this is the way it has to work, what if that's not true, right. Like you, I can see how a lot of people can be taken advantage of and just say like, Hey, I spoke to the customer service representative and they just said they didn't have any options for me, even though I lost my job. Right. Or they didn't have any options for me because I'm in the military or they didn't have it, you know, whatever the case may be. Um, and I think that it is important for us, uh, to provide that resource. And, um, for sure, we should definitely have an episode that goes into that so that, you know, uh, what your basic rights are, so that when you are interacting and if you fall on a financial hard times, uh, you know, what your options are and that you aren't being misled, um, you know, for somebody else's profit, which is exactly what they're trying to prevent in this administration

Daphné Vanessa (27:19): Completely agree. I think that is, uh, a fair assessment, if you will. Um, so this administration really is, um, focused on a lot of high-level things that impact, but they took it a step further by looking at different groups that may have been historically, uh, mistreated in this space a little bit more. And it looks like those groups are various minority serving institutions. So that is [inaudible] public colleges, tribal universities, Latino, like any sort of group that's been historically, um, mistreated in the space of education and not being granted the same opportunities. The Biden administration appears to put forth a plan to serve those groups. So the first of those items of these grouping of initiatives is to forgive all undergraduate and tuition related federal student loan debt from two and four year public colleges and universities and private HBC use and minority serving institutions for debt holders earning up to 125 K that Subaru.

Shamil Rodriguez (28:49): No, for sure. I think the, um, to me, it's a no brainer. I think the immediate thought that comes to mind that I I'm, I want to make sure that we're playing both sides of the, of the fence here to make sure that people are getting both perspectives. I would be curious to see where the funding is coming from. Right. Like I just was like, that was just like the immediate thought that came to mind was like, wait a minute, how are we paying for all this? Right. Like, is it just, are we just racking up national debt or is some other, you know, program going to be providing the funding for this? Because I love the idea, but where is it coming from? Right. Like, I think that's a good counter argument that I would expect to hear if this goes to the Congress or, you know, I would expect to hear, uh, you know, on the, on the, on the Capitol Hill, uh, as folks, you know, wrestle with these types of, but I do think that ultimately it is a form of attempting to address a very real issue, uh, which is equalizing the playing field for four systems that have been in place that have disenfranchised and negatively impact impacted the ability of, of minorities that have not been able to move forward because decision-makers decades ago, put systems in place that don't allow for upward mobility, um, in the same way as white counterparts in the same space.

Shamil Rodriguez (30:20): So I think it's, it's an interesting approach to it. And I think that, uh, at least it will continue to have the conversations that have continued, uh, since 2020 in a way that I think will actually lead to some sort of actual change. Uh, so I'm curious to see how this, this one plays out for sure.

Daphné Vanessa (30:38): Agreed, agreed. Super curious. And another piece that this line item has is the income cap. So you mentioned where's the money coming from. It seems like it's coming from the taxes of the people who make above one 25. Like I think income caps are dangerous, right? Because people with six figure student loan debt tend to make six figures when they graduate, because they went to school for a particular type of program that may tend to create a certain type of job. Um, but that doesn't erase the fact that they have student loan debt or massive student loan debt. So offering a benefit and having an income cap says I'm going to help some people, but not all people.

Shamil Rodriguez (31:34): That's a good point. I actually, uh, didn't I overlooked that initially. Uh, and I'm glad you brought that point back up. Yeah. I think that the, the idea of professionals graduating out of school, um, and then what I, what, with what I call the, as my term of, uh, the student loan mortgages, I don't call them student loans. I call them sit a little mortgages when you've got people graduating with trademark enough. I'm sure somebody else has said it before. Um, but I, I just keep that in perspective, when I speak to certain people that have, you know, three, $400,000 in student loan debt, and it's not uncommon for other professionals to, to actually have this experience. Like, it's, it seems absurd to people that may not be pursuing these types of degrees, but it is a real, real issue. Uh, and so I think that you, you make a great point there that the why, why the need for an income cap, is it solely, uh, is, is it a marketing perspective, right?

Shamil Rodriguez (32:38): Is it a political move, right? Is this saying like, Hey, we just don't want the backlash of people saying, Hey, anybody who's making $125,000 or more shouldn't get any help from the government when they are contributing to the pot, just like everyone else, right? Like this is still coming from, uh, like this is still a benefit that is, that is supposed to help individuals that are, that have been desperately impacted by the system in one way or another. Right. So, because someone decides to get a higher degree or a professional degree, they can't receive that support. So not even the idea of like, we're helping someone, not everyone, but like we're still not then achieving the objective of allowing for minorities that are going to HBC use to actually have the upper mobility that we're trying to help them achieve.

Daphné Vanessa (33:30): Well said, what is the upward mobility? If when you get there, you're stuck. So, Oh, you should succeed, but not too much. We want you to do your best, but not too much, you know, what does that say? So I think, um, it would do the administration, um, and, and, and the entire us population a favor. It would be positive if they could reassess the income caps.

Shamil Rodriguez (34:05): Absolutely. I think in my mind, in my mind, I think that if I am in a room with a byte administration and the folks that make the, that help make a recommendation for your decisions or with the staff members of the, uh, majority office leaders for both houses, that I would think that they would be open to this idea if this, uh, viewpoint were presented, I really do. I would hope that that would be a conversation worth having, uh, because, um, because upper mobility and leveling the playing field in that way, uh, shouldn't only exist for, for some folks, it should exist for every level of education. And for those that decide to pursue professional degrees, they should also be allowed to do so without the encumbrance of, um, the benefit or I guess without the, or they should also be able to do so with the benefit that's afforded to their colleagues that are pursuing, you know, bachelors or other types of higher education degrees that may not afford them an income like they may be receiving

Daphné Vanessa (35:12): Agree, agreed. And so as long, the same, uh, mindset and with the same demographics, the administration offers for students zero tuition for those same populations. So for those populations, and that is, uh, historically black colleges and universities, HBCUs, minority, serving institutions, MSIs, and public colleges that is government, uh, universities and colleges for people making less than one 25 tuition is free and your student loans are forgiven.

Shamil Rodriguez (35:49): I love the idea. Like I just can't even say anything else. I just, once again, that, that cap of $125,000, um, to me it's did, and I think this is a bit different, right? Because I, uh, the idea is that this is making it free for those that are entering college. Whereas the other one was more for people that have racked up student loan debt right. Based on their income. So I do think there is a difference here. And so I think I'm a bit more, uh, I still am just, I'd rather, I'd rather, I'd like to believe that in 2021, we are a bit more advanced when it comes to analytics, when it comes to AI and all the other things that you see progressing all around us, that like, we just don't have to have a hard cap. Uh, we can consider a sliding scale.

Shamil Rodriguez (36:32): We can consider, uh, percentages of income, right. Like we can, we can be a bit more creative with how and why. Right. Like, here's the question it's like, why are you creating a cap? Like, what is it that you are attempting to accomplish by actually having a cap? Right. So I'd just be really curious, um, what, you know, what the answer is to that question specifically. Um, and, and then, you know, kind of go from there, but I love the idea. I think it, it makes sense and it encourages people to, to, to go to these colleges, right? Like, it's not saying just HBCU that MSI is for anybody who might be listening. That's like, wait, well, what about, what about me if I'm not in this category, but you just still go to a public college. Right. Like it says public colleges and universities.

Shamil Rodriguez (37:20): So, um, you know, I'm a proud, uh, uh, in a law school grad from a public state university. And, um, that was a great decision for me. So I think that having this, uh, rule where zero tuition, uh, would help a lot of people, like just across the board, right? Like it is a all across the board, uh, benefit. And I think this actually does, I guess it's the, the cap again, sorry. And I keep getting stuck on this cap, um, with the idea that, like, what about people that live in different parts of the country, right? Like that $125,000 cap could probably go a long way in a lot of parts of the country where the cost of living and, and, and it's a lot lower, right. But if you're living in New York city, if you're living in the Northeast, like $125,000 in a combined family income, isn't absurd.

Shamil Rodriguez (38:11): Now we don't have the specific details. Right. We're looking at basically footnotes or I guess, you know, bullet points of, of a plan. And I would hope that if they ever listened to this podcast and that they do before they made the decisions, they can take into account, uh, regions of the country. It costs of living factors. So that when they're applying this, this concept in terms of who's, should they include versus, uh, they can consider what parts of the country people are coming from and what they're earning wages, you know, what the earning, earning, living wages for those folks in those areas. Yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (38:46): No, well, well said, well said the next item on the plan is to support colleges and universities and the unique and vital role they play in their communities. And when they say resources, I think they just mean budget. I think they're referring to the zeroed out budget that happened with the previous administration, for these groups. So essentially refunding, HBC, use TCUs, et cetera.

Shamil Rodriguez (39:17): Yeah. And they, and they go, and just so that people know it's not, it's not just HBCUs in this one. Right. Like this is there, there are the, these are the nuances, I think we're, yeah. Like we're, these are, we're getting into some really good what I pursued. I got, I guess I'm nerding out here, but like really good topics here. Right. Because it's, it's when we say TCU is, we're talking about CRA tribal colleges and universities, right. Uh, when we're talking about HSIs, we're talking about Hispanic serving institutions. Uh, right. And so the list goes, it literally goes on and on for a few more categories where you're talking about your Asian American and native American Pacific Islander servicing institutions. Right. Luckily I have a sheet in front of me, that's giving me that because I did not memorize that. Um, but the point is, is that this is much more inclusive, um, in terms of support and, you know, support is, can be, or is a very ambiguous term. Uh, so, you know, we'll have to see what the administration comes out with, but luckily you have the sit alone podcast and that's why you're listening. So when the news breaks or we find out more information, we'll put out on the podcast, we'll put it out on the blog, we'll put it on the website and we'll put it on Instagram and any other social media that we have at the time, uh, so that you guys are tracking the same information that we have, uh, when it comes out.

Daphné Vanessa (40:30): Oh, I agree. A lot of the plan goes into detail about these specific institutions. And, and this is very much in line with their racial equity plan. So it's like they took a little bit of economic recovery and then they mixed it with racial equity. And that was the synopsis of their, their student loan plan. If you will, they don't have a specific student loan plan, but bits and pieces were found from, from two, from two different plans as it affects education. So it looks like high level, right? The Biden administration plans to do something about student loans, how much we don't know, but we know that immediate cancellation of a minimum of $10,000 was in the plan. Immediate sounds like it should be in the first a hundred days, but because this was not discussed in the debates, um, you know, Brighton has really only discussed this and, and, and Harris, they've only discussed this issue when prompted, you know, we haven't had independently, um, raised conversations about student loan crisis from, from the incoming administration. So those aspects lead me to believe that this will not be done in the first 100 days. Um, but of all the items that we just spoke to the cancellation of the minimum of $10,000 is the closest thing that will happen in the first 100 days. What do you think Shamil?

Shamil Rodriguez (42:03): Yeah, I think so. Uh, I think that will likely, I think what will happen is that the button ministration will present their number to Congress. I think that's what will happen. Yeah. I don't know if Congress will act on it, but I know that they will present their number. And I would be very curious to see if the byte administration will decide to go through the executive order route, which we talked about before has its own, uh, issues that could backfire on the idea versus allowing for Congress to hash it out and decide what those details are. And as you said earlier, provide a bit more stickiness for whatever that final plan is. Uh, so I think that would be, uh, uh, an I to keep out our, what to keep an eye out for, um, for this administration. But there, there was another point, uh, Daphne, if you don't mind that I wanted to make sure that we brought up as well.

Shamil Rodriguez (42:57): Um, was the, uh, idea, uh, providing two years of community college or other high quality training programs, uh, without debt, uh, is that you want to go there just yet? Or was there another topic you wanted to go for before then? No, go for it. Okay. Yeah. So I think I was a big fan of this, this concept. Uh, I've I've heard of other places doing this as well. Um, and so the idea here is to provide, uh, two years of community college or other high quality training programs without debt for any person looking to learn or improve their skills. Right? So this is what I think is a direct result of alternative education, right? Um, and this would ensure that every person can go to community college for at least two years, right. Without having to pay any tuition. And then, you know, individuals will also be able to use these funds to pursue training programs that have a track record of completing their programs and securing good jobs.

Shamil Rodriguez (43:58): Right. And so I'm a big fan and you guys have probably heard me repeat this on a couple of episodes before. And Daphne has heard me say this on and off the air, that I'm a huge fan of, of alternative education programs, right? Whether it be trade schools, which has everybody always typically speaks about that. But because of my background of being on a board of a community college for several years, you know, those were really great programs that had superv numbers in terms of graduation rates and securing employment that had higher than your average income for those, if they had otherwise pursued no degree or a degree, but not in the specialty trade. But if we take it one step further, it, it also includes what's been very popular right now, right? So it's very in is trading, uh, it's coding boot camps, right?

Shamil Rodriguez (44:47): And I use that as an example, because you can join these programs, right? Learn your specialty skill and then end up doubling or tripling your income. Right. Why all it takes is a YouTube search to say, you know, how much I've made after I finished this specific program where I've learned how to code or learn how to program specific software or whatever the case may be. And you're seeing people, you know, starting off their programs in the six figures easily. Uh, and so I think that allowing for the public to level up their skillset for free so that they can secure a better jobs and a higher income really sets a good pace for our ability as a country, right. To adapt to the changing economic landscape. This allows for those that are in school or out of high school, that wants to level up great.

Shamil Rodriguez (45:44): We understand that. And we see that as a, as like a, as like the obvious example. But what about your folks that are in jobs that are losing their jobs, especially during the pandemic? What about the people that are trying to figure out what they should do next? Because maybe their skill or their job is no longer here in the way that it used to be for decades before. So this two year window allows for somebody to, to revamp and come back to school for free and then get themselves and their family members back in a better place financially, so that they are excelling versus having to figure out what the next steps are, or, you know, you know, taking on unemployment, which is what we've seen during the pandemic, right? Just so many people having to take unemployment and understand the pandemic is a very unique situation, but we can't act like there wasn't a divide between folks that were in jobs that were being phased out because of the technology, or because companies were simply leaving or, you know, morphing the way that their business models were existing, which reduced their workforce.

Shamil Rodriguez (46:47): And so what happened to all those folks that were working in jobs that no longer exist this right here allows for you. If you're in that position to go to school, gain a new skill and get back to work and hopefully a higher paying and a more stable job for the future. So I'm a big fan of this topic. Uh, Daphne, I'd be really curious to hear your thoughts on the idea of providing, you know, two years of community college and other high quality training programs, uh, without that for any person, what do you think about that? Definitely.

Daphné Vanessa (47:18): Well, it should be noted that my view may be different. Um, I think that for the purposes of this episode, I don't know that we can go into huge detail, but I think you did a really good job of, of offering the various sides that people can start to form their own opinions. I would just encourage the audience to do research, do research, do your own research.

Shamil Rodriguez (47:49): Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we're not, we're not giving any advice here. Uh, this we're just sharing our own personal opinions, uh, and bringing to you, uh, topics or areas of the student loan industry or in this specific instance, the different points of the Biden administration's plan education plan that they had on their, uh, campaign site. And in this instance specifically, Biden's build back better plan. So, um, you know, we'll see how much of this actually makes it into, into his executive orders, into his decisions and, and onto the four, uh, of Congress and Capitol Hill. Uh, but yes, this is, um, this is not legal or financial advice whatsoever. Uh, hashtag disclaimer for everyone listening,

Daphné Vanessa (48:36): Not financial, not legal, not accounting, not anything that requires a license does to people giving their opinions on life.

Shamil Rodriguez (48:46): Yup. And sharing, you know, sharing some news that's coming out. That's all

Daphné Vanessa (48:50): Exactly happy inauguration day, everyone. I wish the incoming administration and all those attending a day of safety, a day of peace and a day of peaceful transition of power as many administrations before have done. I wish, uh, the entire audience, a renewed sense of hope as I hope you have every single administration, not just this one. Um, but just kind of looking at it like a new year for new opportunities to look at your student loans and remember that no matter what the administration is, you are still in control of your life, right? You can still take actions to achieve whatever goals you want for your student loans, regardless of who is in office. And, you know, the strategy may be different based off of who is in office and who is not, but that will not change your determination. It should not change your goals. We are individuals. We are people that have control of our own lives. And if the administration will facilitate, you know, increase payments towards student loans, great. But if not, you should not let that deter you from achieving the goals that you want to achieve. So I just wanted to add that note, um, that this administration is coming it's different from the last one, but what will stay consistent? Is yourself your determination in your goals?

Shamil Rodriguez (50:28): Absolutely well said our, our objective and our mission here is to bring you information so that you can make better and informed decisions. And I hope that we do that. I think today was a fantastic episode, Daphne. Uh, thank you for leading the discussion on these topics. And if you are looking for more information, uh, take a look at the show notes. I know we covered a lot today and you can find those@thestudentloanpodcast.com forward slash episode 13. That's one, three, the numbers one three, and that's the student loan podcast.com forward slash episode 13.

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