It's part of a one-time fix by the Biden administration to the income-driven repayment program for federal student loans.
The proposal bucks the party's usual laissez-faire approach.
It’s still a relatively rare benefit: About 8% of employers in the country offer help with student loan debt.
This spring, there were 14.2 million undergraduates in the U.S., about 9% fewer than in spring 2019.
U.S. borrowers hold a collective $1.8 trillion in both public and private student loans.
At issue is if the president has the authority to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student debt for some 43 million borrowers.
People who borrowed less than $12,000 for undergrad schooling could have debt forgiven after making regular payments for a decade.
About 36 million people in the U.S. have some college education, but no degree, yet they still owe money on student loans.
The government would cover unpaid interest for borrowers who are on income-based repayment plans and continue to make monthly payments.
Student debt cancellation would be an essential move toward affordable higher education, says Felicia Wong, president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute.