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Student loan forgiveness program rolls out with no demands on local universities

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The federal student loan forgiveness program has now formally opened. And the ease of the process has taken a lot of responsibility off the shoulders of local university officials.

When President Biden announced the loan forgiveness program a few months ago, Donna Holubik, director of student aid at Eastern Michigan University, says students and former students were inundating her office with questions.

"Late August, early September, our phones started ringing."

But now that the Department of Education actually has the program officially up and running….

"We haven’t seen an increase in calls. The application is out there, and it’s taking less than five minutes."

Holubik says what students are telling her, they simply go online to studentaid.gov and fill in questions like their name, social security number, date of birth, and an email.

The Department of Education then says it will contact users if more information is needed in a process that could take up to six weeks.

While they wait, Holubik encourages applicants to be careful about debt scammers and only respond to information from the Department of Education, or their loan servicer.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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