Boston University law students offered therapy in response to recent Supreme Court decisions

 President Joe Biden on Friday announced new steps aimed at helping borrowers repay student loans after the Supreme Court invalidated his debt relief plan.

Biden outlined new repayment options that would be available to millions of borrowers, as well as his administration's plan to provide broader relief.

The president said that once student loan repayments begin on Oct. 1 — after a three-year pause that began during the Covid pandemic — borrowers will have the opportunity to enroll in a temporary 12-month "onramp repayment program" that will remove the threat of default.

"During this period, if you can pay your monthly bills, you should," Biden said in brief remarks from the White House. "But if you cannot if you miss payments, this onramp will temporarily remove the threat of default or having your credit harmed, which can hurt borrowers for years to come.”

The Department of Education will not refer borrowers who have missed payments to credit agencies during this period, Biden said.

"We know that figuring out how to pay these added expenses can take time for borrowers, and they might miss payments on the front end as they get back into repayment," he added. "Normally, this can lead borrowers to fall into delinquency and default."

This plan would be different from the student loan pause initiated in 2020 by then-President Donald Trump and extended several times by Biden. Under that program, which continues for the next few months, interest has not accrued since monthly payments have not been required.

Biden also announced changes to caps on the percentage of discretionary income paid toward student debt. Going forward, no borrower will need to pay more than 5% of their discretionary income on undergraduate loans, down from the previous cap of 10% each month.

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the Biden administration’s arguments that his student loan plan was lawful under a 2003 law called the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, or HEROES Act. The law states that the government can provide relief to recipients of student loans when there is a “national emergency,” allowing it to act to ensure people are not in “a worse position financially” as a result of the emergency.

During his remarks, Biden called the Supreme Court’s student loan decision a "mistake" and "wrong." He also criticized Republicans, saying they could not "bear the thought" of providing relief for working and middle-class Americans.

When asked by a reporter if he had given borrowers "false hope" on loan forgiveness, Biden pointed the finger at Republicans.

"I didn't give borrowers false hope, but the Republicans snatched away the hope that it was," Biden said.

Boston University School of Law students were offered therapy after three controversial Supreme Court decisions this week about affirmative action, religious freedom and student debt forgiveness.

The BU Law Student Government Association's (SGA) statement, sent out to law students Friday afternoon, denounced the three Supreme Court decisions of the week: Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, 303 Creative LLC. v. Elenis, and Biden v. Nebraska.

In an email obtained by Fox News Digital, the student board began by lambasting the Supreme Court's decision in the Students for Fair Admissions case, which declared race-based affirmative action in college admissions is unconstitutional. 

"[The assenting judges] went so far as to say that the race-based admission system uses race as a negative and operates it as a stereotype," the letter stated. "They may couch their opinion in legal jargon, but we all know what this opinion aims to do: advocate for a ‘colorblind’ admission process."

Boston University sign

Boston University in Boston. (Getty Images, File)

"However, as many of our students know and Justice Sotomayor says in her dissent, ‘ignoring race will not equalize a society that is racially unequal,'" the letter proclaimed.

"As a reminder, BU also offers a number of wellness resources that are willing and able to help students navigate these times."

The university's law school is not offering specialized counseling for its students, but the SGA recommended resources that are already available.

Two of the resources were BU Behavioral Medicine and BU Student Wellbeing. According to its website, BU Behavioral Medicine offers therapy, on-call service for mental health emergencies and mental health diagnoses, among other services.

Supreme Court protester as affirmative action ruling comes out

A person protests outside the Supreme Court in Washington Thursday, June 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The student government criticized the decision in 303 Creative LLC. v. Elenis, which gave a Christian web designer the right to deny services to same-sex couples. It also condemned Biden v. Nebraska, which ruled President Biden's proposed student loan forgiveness plan was unconstitutional.

"These three decisions form part of a lengthy sequence of this court's ruling which steadily erodes the rights of marginalized communities and undermines the very diversity upon which our nation was built," the SGA argued.

Christian graphic designer seen outside Supreme Court

Lorie Smith, a Christian graphic artist and website designer in Colorado, center in pink, prepares to speak to supporters outside the Supreme Court Dec. 5, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images, File)


Fox News Digital reached out to Boston University and BU Law SGA but did not receive an immediate response.

President Joe Biden said Friday his administration is moving forward with a new student loan relief plan after the Supreme Court struck down his original program to wipe out $430 billion in debt.

Biden detailed the next steps in remarks delivered at the White House, where he was joined by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

"This new path is legally sound," the president said. "It's going to take longer. And in my view, it's the best path that remains to student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible."

Under the alternative strategy, Biden said the administration will invoke the 1965 Higher Education Act to allow Secretary Cardona to "compromise, waive or release loans under certain circumstances."

In the meantime, Biden said they also have a plan to help alleviate the financial stress as loan payments restart in October after a three-year pause.

The administration will create a temporary, 12-month "on-ramp repayment program" that will remove the threat of default for borrowers who are unable to pay their bills. The Department of Education will not refer borrowers who miss payments to credit agencies for a year as they readjust to making payments again.

"Today's decision has closed one path, now we're going to pursue another," Biden said. "I'm never going to stop fighting for you. I will use every tool at our disposal to get you the student debt relief you need and reach your dreams. It's good for the economy and good for the country and can be good for you."

Biden also noted other work by the administration to provide relief, including modifications to the income-driven repayment plan to cut down the amount that borrowers have to make on their monthly payments by half -- from 10% of their discretionary income to 5%. Biden said the change will save the average borrower $1,000 a year.

"It's now the most generous repayment program ever," he said.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks about his plans for continued student debt relief after a U.S. Supreme Court decision blocking his plan to cancel $430 billion in student loan debt, at the White House, June 30, 2023.
President Joe Biden speaks about his plans for continued student debt relief after a U.S. Supreme Court decision blocking his plan to cancel $430 billion in student loan debt, at the...
Leah Millis/Reuters

In a 6-3 decision earlier Friday, the Supreme Court's conservative majority said the administration overstepped its authority when it unilaterally moved to waive billions in debt for eligible Americans.

Biden said he thought the court "misinterpreted the Constitution" in its ruling.

Biden's federal student loan program would have forgiven up to $10,000 in debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 a year. Borrowers who took out Pell Grants to pay for college could have had up to $20,000 canceled.

Forty-three million Americans would have qualified for the program, and the Education Department had already approved applications for 16 million borrowers before it was put on halt last fall due to legal challenges.

Biden on Friday hit Republicans for opposing his plan, painting them as hypocritical for opposing relief for borrowers while some had their own business-related loans provided by the government during the pandemic forgiven.

"The money was literally about to go out the door," he said of his original plan. "And then Republican elected officials and special interests stepped in and said no, literally snatching from the hands of millions of Americans thousands of dollars in student debt relief that was about to change their lives."

PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, June 30, 2023.
President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, June 30, 2023.
Evan Vucci/AP

Biden's loan forgiveness program was rooted in the 2003 HEROES Act, a law passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that gave the president authority to waive or modify loans in national emergencies.

Chief Justice John Roberts said the text of the HEROES Act didn't authorize the program, and the court's precedent "requires that Congress speak clearly before a department secretary can unilaterally alter large sections of the American economy."

Biden pushed back after a reporter asked him why he gave Americans "false hope" on this issue.

"What I did I thought was appropriate and was able to be done and would get done," he said. "I didn't give borrowers false hope but the Republican snatched away the hope that they were given and it's real, real hope."

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