In a recent survey on student loan forgiveness conducted by Loudoun County Magazine, more than 80 percent of participants supported forgiving up to $10,000 of a student’s federal loan debt. However, participants were divided regarding whether individuals earning more than $150,000 annually should receive the benefit. 33 percent supported loan forgiveness for individuals earning more than $150,000, more than 16 percent were unsure, and 50 percent were not in favor of loan forgiveness for this income level. Nearly 60 percent of participants did not support married couples earning more than $300,000 annually receiving loan forgiveness, however 25 percent supported loan forgiveness for couples at this income level.
“There should be a prorated amount above the salary cap,” commented one participant. Another said, “I believe it is most applicable when targeting lower and middle class individuals.”
Tax increases are a major concern regarding student loan forgiveness, however, more than 80 percent of survey participants supported student loan forgiveness even if their taxes were raised.
“I believe higher education will help the country so I am willing to pay for that,” commented one participant.” Another stated, “We have to do better in making higher education accessible and affordable.”
Nearly 60 percent of survey participants received student loans while attending higher education, however, participants were split when asked whether they would support the government forgiving student loan debt for individuals with higher income. More than 58 percent did not agree with student loan forgiveness for higher income earners and nearly 42 percent agreed with student loan forgiveness for higher income earners.
A majority of survey participants agreed that the government should prioritize making higher education more affordable but did not agree on how the government should address the issue. One participant stated, “Making college more affordable is a state budgeting issue, not as much a federal one,” whereas another participant viewed student loan forgiveness as a step in the right direction with affordability being the next step of a larger solution: “The economy benefits from individuals coming out from under layers of loans.”
Economic empowerment is one reason why one participant viewed student loan forgiveness as a necessity: “We have strapped a generation with crazy debt. If it were paid they could be free to buy homes and open businesses.”
Based on this survey, it appears that participants perceive higher education as a priority for the success of individuals and the larger success of the United States.
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Story by Aanya Patnaik