Brigham Young University Prelaw Review


Bankruptcy, student loans, student debt, living wage, student exceptionalism, Brunner Test, Rosenberg


For over forty years, student exceptionalism has been a crucial doctrine of U.S. bankruptcy law, stating that student debt can only be discharged in bankruptcy under extraordinary circumstances of undue hardship. This practice has been essential for the survival of the federal student loan program, however, the high and unclear standards for what constitutes undue hardship makes it almost impossible for even the most deserving debtors to discharge student debt. This paper explores the history of student exceptionalism and makes proposals for how to balance fairness between debtor and creditor.