More than 50 percent of teenagers want the $1.5 trillion in student loan debt to be forgiven so borrowers do not have to pay the money back, according to survey findings released Tuesday.
Junior Achievement USA, an organization devoted toward youth work readiness and financial literacy, conducted the survey between Dec. 18 and Dec. 23, 2018.
Teens between 13 and 17-years-old were asked the following question:
“All combined, Americans have more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Should this debt be forgiven by the government and/or banks so that those who borrowed money to go to college do not have to pay it back?”
Fifty-one percent of teens believed the student loan debt should be forgiven, 20 percent wanted the loans paid back and 29 percent were unsure, according to a press statement released Tuesday.
Another question asked respondents if the loans should be “fully or partially repaid by future employers that meet certain criteria (e.g., > 10k employees).”
Forty-five percent wanted future employers to be held responsible for paying the loans, 16 percent said “No” and 39 percent were not sure, according to survey results.
“While there’s been much discussion in the news about debt-free college, counting on college debt being forgiven in the near future is probably not the best approach when it comes to planning for college today,” Jack Kosakowski, Junior Achievement USA CEO said in the news release.
Senior Vice President of Brand for Junior Achievement USA Ed Grocholski suggests potential college students consider the potential future earnings for their chosen careers to make smarter financial decisions.
“They may want to consider less costly options for higher education, such as going to in-state schools instead of out-of-state,” Grocholski said to The Daily Caller News Foundation over email. “Maybe living at home while going to school, instead of living on campus. Or even looking into spending their first two years at a more affordable community college before transferring into four-year institution to complete their education.”
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos warned of the rising student debt as a “looming crisis” and the “program on which so many students rely will be in serious jeopardy” if policy changes were not made. The average amount of debt owed by public and private nonprofit university students was $28,650 in 2017, according to nonprofit education research and advocacy organization The Institute for College Access & Success.
The survey had a sample of 1,002 people between 13 and 17-years-old who volunteered to participate in online polls. Youth CARAVAN presented the findings and the survey was conducted by Engine. The study could not present sampling error because the “sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation.”