Last week, the Supreme Court threw a wrench in President Biden’s proposal to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for some students.

The court in their majority opinion said that the administration did not have the authority under the HEROES Act to make this widescale change. Cody Hounanian, executive director of the Student Debt Crisis Center, told Capital Tonight that while activists were “disappointed” by the “misguided” court’s opinion, activists will be “doubling our resolve” to achieve student loan forgiveness.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the president announced new measures to cancel debt under the Higher Education Act of 1965. In the same speech, the president announced an “on ramp” to repayment, which will allow people to have partial, missed, or late payments on their loans which will not negatively impact their credit for one year. Hounanian argues that these proposals are “better than nothing but none of these proposals are a substitute for board base student debt cancellation.”

Despite the ruling of the court, Hounanian says that legal experts and his organization believe that the president has the legal authority to forgive student loan debt via executive action. He adds that, despite criticism, student loan forgiveness is popular among the general public. A Siena College Research Institute poll from September 2022, shortly after the president announced his initial forgiveness plan, found that 56% of New Yorkers supported the forgiveness proposal.