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Nearly 26 million Americans have applied for relief under the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan, the White House announced Thursday.

The administration said 16 million applications will be approved by the end of the week. The application for debt relief opened up three weeks ago. Under the plan, eligible Americans can see up to $10,000 forgiven, while those who received a Pell Grant can get $20,000 forgiven. The administration expects more than 40 million people to benefit from the plan.

But the administration is not able to begin discharging student loans. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted a request for an emergency stay from six Republican-led states that have sued to block the administration’s plan.

Both sides in the lawsuit have filed briefs on the motion for an injunction, but the court has not yet issued a ruling. The administration is fighting several other lawsuits against the plan, but none have been successful yet.

“If Republican officials get their way, tens of millions of Americans’ monthly costs will rise dramatically when student loan payments resume next year,” White House officials said in a fact sheet released Thursday.

President Biden spoke once again about student debt relief during an event Thursday in New Mexico, criticizing Republicans’ efforts to stymie his plan and encouraging borrowers to apply. A sign with the application URL,, was displayed behind Biden.

“I’m never going to apologize for helping middle-class families as they recover from the economic crisis created by a pandemic,” he said.