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Kresge commits additional $200,000 to support the SAVE on Student Debt Campaign


The U.S. Department of Education reports that 43.2 million borrowers had outstanding federal student loans as of the fourth quarter of 2023, representing $1.6 trillion in debt.

The Kresge Foundation recently joined a coalition of partners to bolster a national campaign dedicated to helping borrowers save money on their student loan payments by enrolling in the Education Department’s newest income-driven repayment plan — the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan.

Vice President Kamala Harris is championing the campaign with the SAVE Day of Action organized to promote the SAVE Plan and increase enrollment over the coming months and leading into Summer 2024.

As part of the SAVE Day of Action, more than 40 entities, including federal agencies, private sector institutions, nonprofit and member organizations, labor unions, philanthropic organizations and benefits managers, are making commitments to promote the SAVE Plan to their employees, members and customers. The commitments — ranging from social media engagement to in-person events — could reach over 100 million Americans. These actions will help to ensure that those carrying student loan debt can find affordable repayment options and a pathway toward forgiveness.

To help further inform consumers on the potential benefits of the SAVE Plan, the Council of Economic Advisors released a new report highlighting how the SAVE Plan will help low- and middle-income borrowers, those in public service, and community college graduates, among other borrowers. This report showcases how the SAVE Plan will drastically lower — and in many cases, eliminate — monthly payments for millions of Americans, prevent balance growth of outstanding debt and potentially shorten time to forgiveness. And with more cash available each month, millions more Americans will be able to buy homes or cars, pay for child care and return to college to complete degrees.

“Although student debt affects people of all ages, it has become emblematic of younger generations of Americans, especially Millennials and Gen Z students, but including plenty of Gen Xers and even retirees too, since they are borrowing at a much higher rate than their older peers once did, or on behalf of their children, said Bill Moses, managing director of Kresge’s Education Program. “For a variety of reasons tied to historical and structural racism, people of color are disproportionately more likely to have student loans, and to have larger loans, than their white peers. Moreover, since the 1980s, we have seen the gradual de facto privatization of significant parts of public higher education, effectively flipping the goal of higher education on its head. The exact people expected to benefit most from higher education are now having to borrow more to access it, which is increasingly making higher education a barrier for social mobility and racial equity.”

In addition to supporting organizations like Young Invincibles and Civic Nation, Kresge has convened multiple webinars to help inform grantee and philanthropic partners — or their subrecipients —  on how they can enroll in programs like the SAVE Plan and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), which is another route for the forgiveness of student loans for people who work in public service, including nurses, firefighters, teachers, professors, and nonprofit and government workers.  “The Biden-Harris Administration’s work on fixing student debt forgiveness to public service workers fulfills the original promise of PSLF signed into law by President Bush, and makes a huge difference to our grantees and partners and the people they serve,” Moses said.

Kresge Program teams supporting SAVE campaign include American Cities, Arts & Culture, Education, Health, Human Services and the Executive Office.

Information and resources about the SAVE Plan can be found here:  Learn About SAVE – Civic Nation