The White House is charging ahead with student loan forgiveness despite the Supreme Court's decision to overturn President Biden’s executive action earlier this year.

In the final week of October, around 50,000 borrowers received student loan cancellation notices from the Department of Education.

“Congratulations! The Biden-Harris Administration has forgiven your federal student loan(s) listed below in full,” begins an email sent to qualifying borrowers last week.

The Education Department estimates that the latest round will forgive around $2.8 billion in student debt as part of the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan.

Biden's student loan forgiveness for 3.6 million borrowers

The Education Department notified the first batch of college loan discharges in July. Eligible are borrowers who have made qualifying monthly payments for 240 or 300 months.

In all, the Office of Federal Student Aid says some 3.6 million student loans will be forgiven through this program: “More than 3.6 million William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program borrowers will receive at least three years of credit toward loan forgiveness, and many will see their loans forgiven automatically.”

Despite the Supreme Court blocking a previous executive action to forgive millions of student loans, the White House has found workarounds through existing laws.

So far, the administration has been able to cancel $127 billion in college loans. In addition, the White House has rolled out several regulations with new protections for student borrowers.

College enrollment rises for the first time since the pandemic

The White House's relentless efforts to neutralize student loan debt for millions of borrowers could be rescuing college enrollment levels from their post-pandemic lull.

College enrollment rose for the first time since the pandemic in the fall 2023 semester, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

The growth was mainly driven by racial minority students: “Black, Latinx, and Asian students accounted for most of the undergraduate and graduate enrollment growth this fall.”

The Washington Post reported the results on Oct. 26, showing that undergraduate enrollment is 2.1% higher than in fall 2022 and 1.2% higher than in fall 2021.

Another highlight from the center’s fall 2023 report is that community colleges grew faster than the national average. They recovered enrollment levels by 4.4% over last year and 4.3% over 2021.

College enrollment has seen a significant decline since 2010, when 18 million students were enrolled in the fall semester. By 2019, that number fell to 16.6 million.

The pandemic lowered university enrollment rates even more, with fewer than 15.9 million fall enrollments in 2020. By fall 2022, there were 9.5% fewer collegegoers than in 2019.

How college loans affect credit scores

Taking out student loans to pay for college can certainly affect a consumer’s credit score. “Having a student loan will affect your credit score,” according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“Your student loan amount and payment history are a part of your credit report.”

Some information about student loans that shows up in credit reports include outstanding balance owed, payment history, and how long the consumer has held the loan.

Credit reporting agency Equifax points out that, “taking out a student loan can potentially increase your credit scores by diversifying your credit mix.” But Equifax also cautions, “it’s important not to take on too much debt.”