1 potential consequence of Biden's student loan forgiveness plan, per 1 dentist

President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan could lead dental schools to increase tuition costs, one dentist predicts. 

 The plan lists several initiatives to lower student loan debt, including canceling up to $20,000 in debt to Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 to non-Pell Grant recipients. Eligible borrowers include those with individual income less than $125,000 or married couples with income less than $250,000.

Federal student loan repayments are also paused through Dec. 31, and the Department of Education is proposing to cap monthly payments for undergraduate loans at 5 percent of a borrower's discretionary income and provide additional loan forgiveness to those who have worked at a nonprofit organization; in the military; or in federal, state, tribal or local government. The plan also includes an initiative to protect future students by reducing the cost of college.

Mario Samaniego, DDS, of Las Cruces (N.M.) Dental Associates, recently spoke with Becker's about the plan and how he thinks it will affect dental schools.

Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity and length. 

Question: Is President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan enough to help dental professionals and dental students? 

Dr. Mario Samaniego: I think the whole program is ridiculous. There are many of those students that never finished their studies and therefore never received a degree. The taxpayers eventually wind up picking up the tab for this. Most of us doctors would not qualify for any loan forgiveness. We make more than the limit of $250,000 for the household. I had loans and the agreement we made when I signed was that I would pay the debt when I finished with my studies. So I did. 

My daughter owes more than $600,000 in student loans. Of course, she is a periodontist so she would not qualify for any forgiveness, and that’s OK. She can work and pay for it. I helped her with $150,000 and room and board. Private school is expensive. Four years of dental school and three years of residency is costly. What we will see is tuition in most of these colleges going up since the government is picking up the bill. As it is, there are many schools that have billions in endowments [that] could easily afford to forgive the loans. Our national debt is already ridiculously high because these politicians continue to spend our money to buy votes. I’m 70 years old and still enjoy practicing dentistry, but if I ran my practice the way politicians run our country, I would have gone broke a long time ago.

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