ST. LOUIS – As college students made their way into campuses and classrooms Wednesday in the St. Louis area, news unfolded about President Joe Biden providing a plan to cancel $10,000 in student loans and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.

A student from Lindenwood University in St. Charles shared their thoughts on the news.

“I think that’s a good idea what he’s doing,” Elias Newberry said. “I think it’s great that he’s doing it. I think it’s going to really help some people out.”

Dr. Joe Sallustio, senior vice president of Lindenwood Global and strategic enrollment management, spoke about Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. He also hosts “The EdUp Experience,” a podcast talking to educational leaders about topics including student loan forgiveness.

“It’s massive news,” he said. “It’s been whispered about and discussed the last couple of years at least. It can be great news for a lot of folks and for other folks who have paid off their student loans, they might have different opinions on it.”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea because we’re already in a lot of debt in federal spending and I don’t think we need to be spending money,” said Hope Lintzenich, a student at Lindenwood University. “I think we need to be cutting back.”

President Biden also extended the federal student loan payment pause through December 31.

To qualify for the $10,000 forgiveness, individual borrowers must earn less than $125,000 a year, or families must earn less than $250,000.

Students at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) campus also reacted to Wednesday’s news.

“I think it’s a good idea for our country to do something like this since schooling is so expensive,” said Riley Henderson, a student at SIUE. “I feel both ways about it. I’m kind of 50-50.”

At SIUE, one-third of students receive Pell Grants, which were designed to help low-income students pay for higher education.

“What this will represent for so many families is confidence that they can take the step and college is within their reach,” said Dr. James Minor, chancellor at SIUE.