Updated October 2022

Many Americans see the benefits of a college degree, such as opportunities for well-paying jobs. Yet over the years, college costs have become extremely high, both from private and public colleges. This increase has led to more and more debt -- a total of about $1.75 trillion, with the average borrower owing over $35,000.

With student loan debt consuming Americans’ bank accounts, Presidetn Biden has discussed a plan to forgive some student loan debt. Loan forgiveness may be most closely associated with the Democratic Party, but surveys show the majority of Republicans also believe that government has a role to reduce the debt burden. The surveys below show that many Republican support partial forgiveness, showing there is some overlap across the political spectrum that government should take action against student loan debt. 

An ethical dilemma looms over many who ponder whether or not forgiveness should be granted. Do we eliminate the debt, even while there were people who worked so hard to clear their own? For people who chose another path, such as not to go to college or worked three jobs while in school, is this unfair?

Despite these ongoing questions, the bottom line is clear. Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents agree that the government has a role to address this debt. We all want to have good, quality lives without being constantly burdened by student loans.

Morning Consult

(Survey conducted August 26-28, 2022)

  • 77% of voters support creating a plan to lower the cost of higher education in the U.S.

Student Borrower Protection Center

(Survey conducted March 17-May 3, 2022)

  • Of young voters (age 18-34) 56% of Republicans and 84% of Democrats think the U.S. governmen should eliminate some or all student loan debt for every borrower. 

The Institute of Politics at Harvard University/ Harvard Youth Poll

(Survey conducted March 15, 2020- March 30, 2022)

  • 85% percent of young Americans favored some measure of reform to student loan debt challenges facing their generation, though there was no consensus on the best to address the issue. 

College Finance

(Survey conducted January 24-28, 2020)

  • 89% of respondents with student loan debt supported at least one of the forgiveness plans
  • 87% of Republicans believed student loan forgiveness would benefit certain people, and 50% believed it would help the country overall
  • 83% of Americans, including 89% of Democrats, 84% of Independents and 75% of Republicans believed that student loan debt impacts many young adults’ quality of life
  • 81% of Republicans with student loan debt supported at least one student loan forgiveness path
  • 80% of Americans, including 86% of Democrats, 82% of Independents and 72% of Republicans believed that student loan debt prevents many young adults from reaching milestones
  • 80% of Democrats, 72% of Independents and 58% of Republicans supported forgiving interest on all student loans
  • 79% of Democrats, 63% of Independents and 50% of Republicans believed student loan debt is the result of an unfair system
  • 77% of respondents who’d repaid their student loan debt supported at least one of the forgiveness plans
  • 76% of Democrats, 66% of Independents and 54% of Republicans supported income-based, month-by-month payment reduction on loans
  • 75% of Americans, including 86% of Democrats, 75% of Independents and 64% of Republicans believed that student loan forgiveness would allow many people to live a better life


Bella Jasper is currently a high school student who is deeply interested in politics and journalism. In her writing, she hopes to provide a sense of commonality in politics. Bella has a Lean Left bias.

This piece was edited by AllSides.com News Editor Micaela Ricaforte (Center bias), and was reviewed by James Coan (Center).