Pell Grants should be renamed in honor of Ebenezer Scrooge, says John Avlon. Avlon: It's not the borrowers who did anything wrong, it's the country. We’re the ones who should be asking their forgiveness, he says.

The legal guidelines in bankruptcy court often demand that those wanting out from under their student loans have a “certainty of hopelessness” Those woebegone souls must prostrate themselves in front of judges, begging their honors to declare them complete and total failures. Forgiveness for these sins might — might — be reasonable.

If President Biden removes $10,000 of federal student loan debt per borrower, it would total $321 billion. That would leave 69 percent of debtors with remaining balances. That is a large dollar figure, but its size ought to help reframe the national conversation.

40 percent of borrowers who acquired some debt but did not get a degree after six years lack the earning power that a diploma often brings. Still not convinced that the nation should ask debtors for absolution, and not the other way around? Share your thoughts with CNN iReport.
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