Students camp outside Supreme Court, protesting college loans

About 60 college students from across the country camped outside the Supreme Court on Monday night, hoping to be first in line for seats inside the chamber to witness Tuesday’s historic arguments over canceling student loan debt.

The students were pelted by a brief, cold downpour of rain but said they would wait through the night for the chance to see the justices preside over arguments on whether the Biden administration can broadly cancel student loan debt.

George Washington University’s a cappella group “The Pitches” briefly serenaded the students who said that it was critical that the Supreme Court upheld the president’s plan.

“My family is low income. I’m living on my own right now, so it would be substantially great for me. I want to go to graduate school, I want to possibly get a Ph.D.,” said Kayla McMonagle, a sophomore at Temple University, who said she is already $20,000 dollars in debt. “I love learning. I love being in school. I want to make sure that I have the chance to further my education.”

Students camp outside the Supreme Court in D.C. to protest student loans and gain entrance into decision-making Tuesday morning. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

The students’ overnight stay before the steps of the Supreme Court was organized by a California-based nonprofit group called Rise, a group that advocates for free college education.

Members of the group said it’s important the student debt cancellation program be upheld by the Supreme Court.

“It would mean that not only would people be able to pursue their education, earn a degree, get a higher paying job, but they could also get married, have families, buy a home someday, live a life that’s less constrained by the burden of student loan space,” said Max Lubin, of Los Angeles, co-founder of Rise.

The justices are not expected to issue a ruling in the case until June.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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