Nearly 9 in 10 young Americans support government action on student debt

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 04: Debt Collective supporters gather near the US Department of Education to demand complete cancellation of student debt on April 04, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for MoveOn & Debt Collective)

Leigh Vogel | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Nearly 9 in 10 young Americans support the government taking action on student debt.

It is the conclusion of a survey conducted by the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School. More than 2,000 adults under the age of 30 were interviewed between March 15 and March 30.

Outstanding student debt in the United States exceeds $1.7 trillion, weighing more on households than credit card or auto debt. More than 40 million Americans are in debt for their education, and up to a quarter are overdue or in default.

The Biden administration is under pressure to cancel student debt, and as a campaign candidate, President Joe Biden promised to cancel $10,000 for all. The White House said it was still considering its options and in the meantime had continued to suspend payments.

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The highest proportion of young adults surveyed by Harvard – 38% – support the full cancellation of student debt. About a quarter prefer government help with repayment options, and another quarter think the best course of action would be debt cancellation for those who need it most.

Only 13% of respondents believe that the system does not require any changes.

The Biden administration last week announced a series of improvements related to federal student loan repayment plans.

Meanwhile, support for full student debt cancellation has increased by more than 5 percentage points since 2020.

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