What happens to student loan debts upon the death of the borrower depends on who made the loan. Loans that are made by the federal government will normally be discharged on death upon the proof of death by way of a death certificate. Generally, private lenders do not provide for loan forgiveness and quite often will pursue repayment from the estate of the deceased. Therefore, it is important to understand the potential estate implications of student loans.
For more information, see, "What Happens To Your Student Debt If You Die?", by Rakesh Sharma