CONTACT YOUR REPS.

CONTACTING CONGRESS MEMBERS

Connecting with your elected representatives is an important step towards building more pressure and support for the need to reduce the national student debt and end the student debt crisis. 

 

Here are some first steps for contacting key people: 

Federal Representatives and Senators can assist with debt cancellation in a few ways: 

  • Push the Biden-Harris administration to use executive action to cancel student loan debt 

  • Support and champion loan forgiveness and affordability legislation 

  • Influence the conversation by championing the issue and building support among their colleagues. 

Pressuring congress members on both sides of the aisle is valuable, as both sides support fixing the student debt crisis. Encouraging congress members from both parties to nudge the Biden-Harris administration is impactful because it creates pressure from all sides to move towards federal loan debt cancellation. 

SCRIPT

Dear Senator/Representative [last name]:  

My name is [your name]. I am a constituent from [insert town] and a student attending / or alumni of (insert post-secondary institution). I am [writing/calling] to urge you to support the effort to mitigate the federal student debt crisis and forgive federal student debt. Student loan debt holds back our community members from investing in the local economy, hinders financial freedom, and adds to the income inequality in our state. In Minnesota, 68% of people have student loan debt, according to The Institute for College Access and Success. They also cite the average student loan debt in Minnesota is more than $32,000. 

As higher education costs have continued to rise, students have taken out more loans to keep up. The cost of an in-state, four-year public school has tripled nationally, according to the College Board that creates college-prep tests like the ACT and SAT. Last year, the Minnesota State Board of Trustees passed a two-year six percent tuition increase onto students across the state system. In 2010, a Minnesota State University degree-seeking student paid on average $5,901 for tuition. Last year, the average tuition was $7,297. This cost doesn’t include living expenses, food, or textbooks. This additional tuition increases the likely amount of student debt degree seekers will accumulate. 

Student loan debt among people ages 25-34 is $498 billion, ages 35-49 carry $558 billion in student loan debt, and people ages 50-61 carry $230 billion. According to the Federal Reserve, more than half of all college attendees take on student loan debt. Additionally, the student debt crisis disproportionally affects students from low-income families, first-generation college students, people of color, and people who didn’t complete their degree. 

[Insert: Why this is personally important to you and people you know]

If you support this legislation and recognize the need for managing the national student debt crisis, please urge your colleagues and the Biden-Harris administration to do the same. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren have put out a proposal outlining President Biden’s executive authority to cancel up to $50,000 of debt per borrower. I support this proposal as this is urgently needed and ask you to do the same. 

Thank you for your time and your consideration of this request. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

 

Sincerely,

[Name]

PRO TIPS

  • Contact the people whose districts you live in [you should be a constituent of the congress member]

  • Refer to them by their title and last name. Example: Senator Smith, Representative Craig 

  • Identify if your congress member is or is not already signed onto or supporting any relevant legislation or has taken positions on the need to reduce the student debt crisis. You can find out what bills they’ve sponsored/cosponsored on their websites. You can also look at this link to see which Congressmembers are supporting Schumer-Warren's proposal. 

  • If a Congressmember already supports debt cancellation, push them to pressure President Biden to use his executive authority to cancel federal student debt and to pressure their Congressional colleagues.

  • If you are unsure of their position and cannot find information online, you should ask them to clarify their stance in your email request. 

CONTACTING THE BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION

Many legal scholars believe that the Biden-Harris administration has full executive authority to forgive federal student debt. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren have put out a proposal outlining President Biden’s executive authority to cancel up to $50,000 of debt per borrower. They are lobbying their colleagues in the House and Senate to collectively pressure President Biden to move forward with canceling some of the federal student debt. 

As local and state economies begin to open, there is a risk that the pressure to cancel some federal student debt will die down. 
 

We need the Biden-Harris administration to immediately understand, and exercise, their authority to cancel student debt. You will need to fill out the online form to contact the White House. For the “What would you like to say?” section of the form, you can use the script below. 

SCRIPT

“Dear President Biden:  

My name is [insert name]. I live in [insert city and state], and I am a [student attending/or alumni of [insert post-secondary institution]. I am writing to urge you to support the Schumer-Warren debt cancellation proposal. Student loan debt holds back our community members from investing in the local economy, hinders financial freedom, and adds to the income inequality in our state. In Minnesota, 68% of people have student loan debt, according to The Institute for College Access and Success. They also cite the average student loan debt in Minnesota is more than $32,000. 

As higher education costs have continued to rise, students have taken out more loans to keep up. The cost of an in-state, four-year public school has tripled nationally, according to the College Board that creates college-prep tests like the ACT and SAT. Last year, the Minnesota State Board of Trustees passed a two-year six percent tuition increase onto students across the state system. In 2010, a Minnesota State University degree-seeking student paid on average $5,901 for tuition. Last year, the average tuition was $7,297. This cost doesn’t include living expenses, food, or textbooks. This additional tuition increases the likely amount of student debt degree seekers will accumulate. 

Student loan debt among people ages 25-34 is $498 billion, ages 35-49 carry $558 billion in student loan debt, and people ages 50-61 carry $230 billion. According to the Federal Reserve, more than half of all college attendees take on student loan debt. Additionally, the student debt crisis disproportionally affects students from low-income families, first-generation college students, people of color, and people who didn’t complete their degree. 

[Insert: Why this is personally important to you and people you know]

 

Thank you for your time and your consideration of this request. I look forward to hearing from you soon.  

 

Sincerely,

[Name]

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