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Amari Student Debt
Press Statement January 18, 2024

NAACP Supports Push for 4th Negotiated Rulemaking Session in Letter to Department of Education

Amari Student Debt


January 18, 2024

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,


WASHINGTON – Today, the NAACP and 67 student debt relief advocacy organizations representing millions of disenfranchised students, workers, and borrowers, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education urging them to convene a fourth session of the Student Loan Debt Relief negotiated rulemaking (Neg Reg) to ensure the Department can develop a robust rule to provide relief to millions of student loan borrowers experiencing hardship.

Wisdom Cole, National Director of the NAACP Youth and College Division, who served as the sole Civil Rights negotiator during the official Neg Reg process, shared this statement:

"While we applaud the Administration's continued efforts to push forward on student loan forgiveness, our work is far from over. The NAACP firmly believes that clearly defining, and addressing borrower hardship is a crucial element of this program that has the power to positively impact millions of lives. We urge the Administration to reconvene our fellow advocates, experts and leaders to continue forging a path forward that will provide the largest amount of relief possible to those who are most in need. It's not done until it's done." 

Excerpts from the letter include:

"Failing to finalize a proposal to provide relief for borrowers experiencing hardship would result in millions of borrowers — including most recent graduates, many low-income borrowers, borrowers of color, and borrowers with disabilities — being left out of the necessary debt relief. This cannot be an option." 

"The Department must establish a fourth negotiated rulemaking session and present its proposal to the Committee so President Biden can keep his promise…The Department cannot wait until it is too late; it must act now and establish a fourth rulemaking session to ensure the promise of student debt cancellation happens swiftly as we embark upon a new year."

A full copy of the letter is available here.


The NAACP has long led the fight for economic justice for Black Americans and will continue having the necessary conversations to support the work that is yet to be completed. Americans nationwide practiced their right to vote and have entrusted our leaders to commit to the promise of student debt cancellation. It is our hope that despite the Department of Education failing to present a proposal in time before the conclusion of the third session, that they will consider a fourth session to develop a rule to support the millions of borrowers facing hardship.

For more information on our $50K and Beyond campaign, visit our website.



The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.