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The plan would cut the budget of the Department of Education by $5.6 billion and overall student loan forgiveness by $170 billion. 

Credit: Chase Sutton

President Donald Trump proposed cuts for programs to forgive student debt in a budget released by the White House on Monday.

The 2021 budget plan, called “A Budget for America’s Future,” would cut the budget of the Department of Education by $5.6 billion and overall student loan forgiveness by $170 billion. 

The plan would end future public service loan forgiveness and subsidized loans, under which the government covers the interest for those still studying or in financial hardship, CNBC reported. The budget would impose limits on the amount that graduate students and parent borrowers can take out each year and over their lifetimes.

Trump’s plan prioritizes reducing federal spending over supporting borrowers, who now owe $1.56 trillion in total, or an average of $32,731 per borrower, according to Forbes.

The budget is subject to congressional approval. Trump's previous attempts to cut the public service loan forgiveness program were restrained in 2019

Higher education policy expert Mark Kantrowitz told CNBC that the plan takes further the Trump administration’s “reputation of being anti-borrower.” Trump's policy of spending cuts to student loan relief is at odds with the views of voters, a majority of whom favor debt cancelation, according to a December poll. 

Penn implemented a "No Loans" financial aid policy in 2009, instead offering grants to students eligible for aid, but still, nearly a third of 2015 Penn graduates took out loans to finance their education. 

Candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has pledged to cancel all student debt and make public colleges tuition-free, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.) has promised to cancel some student debt, stressing the need for “an America that works for everyone” in an interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian.

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