MGCCC helping students avoid debt, student loans

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 4:53 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - President Biden announced he’s forgiving $10,000 in federal student debt for most borrowers and canceling up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.

College student Jordan Batson isn’t paying for school because he’s in the military, but says it’s good news for many of his classmates.

“I think it’s very beneficial for students,” Batson said. “A lot of students are parents, single-household incomes, I just think it is a good thing coming from this side of it.”

While many students are relieved to hear the news, Christen Duhe said Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College takes pride in making sure students avoid loans, if possible.

“We do that by offering very affordable tuition alternatives, lots of different scholarships and grant opportunities,” said Associate Vice President of Institutional Relations Christen Duhe. “The way we even award our students their scholarships and tell them about loans is very strategic. Their award letters have the free aid at the top before it lists any type of loan that a student would have to take.”

MGCCC offers financial literacy sessions and counselors also promote options that don’t involve borrowing money.

“We really try to combat that in the beginning,” Duhe said. “There are opportunities available through the state, the federal government.”

Batson said he was excited for many who will be receiving the financial relief, but he’s still questioning how it will impact the country long-term.

“The same with the stimulus checks and everything else that’s going on right now,” Batson added. “Yes, it helps people in need, but it has to be taken from somewhere. I want to know where it’s coming from. You can keep printing money. No one likes to say it, but we’re in a recession right now.”

Student loan forgiveness will not trigger a federal tax bill. The American Rescue Plan of 2021 made student loan forgiveness tax-free through 2025.

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