There is actually precedent for Student loan forgiveness.
Military service, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Educators in high risk districts, or specialized fields.
I am sure there are others, but those are off the top of my head.
I would be in favor of legislation to possibly expand these to voluntary service forgiveness.
Mentor youth, work in a soup kitchen, help in an assisted living facility, etc.
Set a formula for a certain amount of hours discharges a certain percentage of your loan debt.
SCOTUS didn’t say it was illegal to forgive, just that it couldn’t be done via Executive Fiat.
Here is the thing from the Vox article that said all I needed to hear:
A 2003 federal law known as the Heroes Act gives the secretary of the Department of Education sweeping authority to “waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision applicable to the student financial assistance programs … as the Secretary deems necessary in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency.”
There was as much a national emergency here as there was this time:
And, I am pretty sure MCarley opposed that action.
This is what SCOTUS said (from the syllabus):
“The Secretary’s power under the Act to “modify” does not permit “basic and fundamental changes in the scheme” designed by Congress. MCI Telecommunications Corp. v.
American Telephone & Telegraph Co., 512 U. S. 218, 225. Instead, “modify” carries “a connotation of increment or limitation,” and must be read to mean “to change moderately or in minor fashion.” Ibid.
That is how the word is ordinarily used and defined, and the legal definition is no different.”
“In sum, the Secretary’s comprehensive debt cancellation plan is not a waiver because it augments and expands existing provisions dramatically. It is not a modification because it constitutes “effectively the introduction of a whole new regime.” MCI, 512 U. S., at 234. And it cannot be some combination of the two, because when the Secretary seeks to add to existing law, the fact that he has “waived” certain provisions does not give him a free pass to avoid the limits inherent in the power to “modify.” However broad the meaning of “waive or modify,” that language cannot authorize the kind of exhaustive rewriting of the statute that has taken place here.”
There is a more detailed discussion in the decision.
Elimination of the nonprofit status for colleges, making student loans only available privately, making it illegal to co-sign a student loan, and allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy are great ways to bring down college costs by forcing down demand.