Policy Updates

Latest Updates

NASW Applauds Biden Administration for Historic Action on Student Loan Debt Relief, Including Cancellation

Washington, D.C. – Today President Biden announced a three-part plan to provide student loan debt relief for borrowers who need it most. This plan includes cancellation of student loan debt for individuals earning up to $125,000 annually, an extension of the federal student loan payment pause and moratorium on interest through December 31, 2022, as well as proposal of a new income-based repayment plan that will reduce future monthly payments for lower- and middle-income borrowers. Individuals who had PELL grants can have up to $20,000 canceled and other student loan borrowers can have up to $10,000 canceled. This historic student loan debt cancellation will assist thousands of social workers and their families, also alleviating the economic strain associated with the burden of student loans, for many more borrowers.

“We recognize that student loan debt burden significantly impacts the social work workforce, especially social workers of color and those who are first generation college graduates.” Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, Chief Executive Officer, NASW. “We thank President Biden and champions in Congress for their steadfast work to provide meaningful relief to student loan borrowers”.

Even though a decision on broad-based cancellation has been long-awaited, the announcement comes after significant prior actions already taken by the Biden administration to address the complex student loan debt and higher education financing crises. These actions include implementation of a Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver of certain eligibility criteria that benefits many social workers, as well as proposed reforms to the troubled PSLF program. NASW has advocated for an extension of the PSLF waiver, which is currently set to expire on Oct 31, 2022.

“NASW has advocated tirelessly for student loan debt relief for social workers, including through cancellation, public service loan forgiveness and other mechanisms, like employer supported student debt relief measures”. Sarah Christa Butts, MSW, Director of Public Policy, NASW. “Today’s action by the Biden Administration is historic and impactful; however, NASW recognizes that student loan debt remains a tremendous burden for social workers across the country and will continue to advocate for sound policies providing additional relief.”


Selection of NASW’s related advocacy:

NASW Coalition Partners:

Washington Update

Washington Update Archive > >

newspaper, iPad

News Releases > >

NASW Members who attended NASW's 2023 Advocacy Day

NASW Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

Nearly 100 social workers from 44 states and two U.S. territories attended 143 meetings with Congressional offices in the U.S. House and Senate on June 28, 2023

Read about their advocacy work on behalf of social workers and those they serve

Pioneers at 2023 event

Social Work Pioneers Learn about New Challenges and Community Building

The 2023 NASW Social Work Pioneers program honored members who contributed to the evolution and enrichment of the social work profession.

Learn more about the Pioneer program and the social workers who transformed our profession.

Sarah Butts in front of the Capitol

How NASW Advocates for the Profession

Learn how NASW advocates for social work