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Nearly 9 in 10 Young Americans Support Government Action on Student Debt, Harvard Survey Finds

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  • The highest share of young adults interviewed by Harvard – 38% – favor the full cancellation of student debt.
  • Around a quarter preferred the government help with repayment options, and another fourth believe the best action would be debt forgiveness for those with the most need.

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

That's the finding from a survey conducted by the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School. More than 2,000 adults under the age of 30 were polled between March 15 and March 30.

Outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. exceeds $1.7 trillion, burdening households more than credit card or auto debt. More than 40 million Americans are in debt for their education, and up to a quarter are in delinquency or default.

The Biden administration is under pressure to forgive student debt, and as a candidate on the campaign trail, President Joe Biden had promised to cancel $10,000 for all. The White House says it's still looking at its options, and in the meantime has continued to keep the payments on pause.

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The highest share of young adults interviewed by Harvard – 38% – favor the full cancellation of student debt. Around a quarter preferred the government help with repayment options, and another fourth believe the best action would be debt forgiveness for those with the most need.

Just 13% of respondents believe the system doesn't require any change.

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

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

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