(East Farmingdale, NY)- Spencer Payton graduated Longwood High School in 2016 and went on to receive his undergraduate degree at Stony Brook University. Payton, a Division 1 Athlete for the Track and Field team, is currently a pursuing a masters degree in Higher Education Administration at Stony Brook University Graduate School. Spencer, like many other college and graduate students, needed to take out student loans to pay for his degrees.
On Monday, December 7th, Spencer, joined New York State Senator Chuck Schumer in New York City, to call on President-elect Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt per student. Schumer estimates that 2.4 million New Yorker’s owe at least $90 billion dollars in student loans according to studentaid.gov. Schumer, explained how incoming President-elect Joe Biden could use executive authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel debt for students across New York State, adding that the student loan crisis will be one of the first legislative actions they will take up in the new legislative year.
Spencer Payton shared personal experience with higher education and student debt, “my family like many others have had to take out loans to pay for my college.” Spencer estimates that he will be looking at around $21,000 in student loan debt by the time he graduates and added “we do not know each families economic status or circumstance. Not all debt is equal and families struggle under different amounts based on their circumstances. For some families $20,000 is the equivalent to $100,000 for another.” Payton also spoke about how much more difficult obtaining a job will be for him and other students due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Senator Schumer was also joined on Monday by U.S. Representative-elect Jamaal Bowman who said “It’s flat-out wrong that people in this country hold more than $1.6 trillion in student debt,” and added that, “Forgiving $50,000 in student debt will change young people’s lives, particularly for Black young people, who hold far more student loan debt than their White peers. It’s the right thing to do, and I urge the Biden administration to act.”
Schumer explained that student debt cancellation, “can provide immediate relief to millions who are struggling during this pandemic and recession, and give a boost to our struggling economy through a consumer-driven economic stimulus that can result in greater home-buying rates and housing stability, higher college completion rates, and greater small business formation”.
Photo: Senator Chuck Schumer Facebook