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Survey: Democrat, Republican, Independent Voters Agree Capping Federal Student Loans for Parents and Grad Students a Necessary Step Toward Addressing Student Debt Crisis

Press Release

Published on July 21, 2023

For Immediate Release
May 31, 2023

Media Contact:

Washington, DC – Today, Global Strategy Group and Center Forward released a survey of 1,000 registered voters nationwide on Americans’ attitudes on education debt. The survey shows Republicans, Independents, and Democrats overwhelmingly identify the burden of federal student loan debt as a major problem for the country and all want government to do more to make higher education affordable. A majority of Americans also support capping the amount parents and graduate students can borrow through federal loan programs as an effective and necessary step toward addressing the student debt crisis. Federal Grad and Parent PLUS loans are the only federal programs that do not currently have loan caps.

Voters believe that students and parents pay more for college and graduate programs due to the availability of unlimited federal loans and overwhelmingly agree capping federal loans for parents and graduate students will force colleges and universities to lower tuition or face declining enrollment.

In addition, the majority of voters of all income levels agree that offering unlimited loans to parents of undergraduates and graduate students hurts low- and middle-income Americans more than it helps and support capping such loans, even if it means some students may have to explore other options to access higher education, such as choosing a less costly college or university.

“This survey shows that voters, regardless of party, overwhelmingly believe the cost of higher education is a problem for the country and ranks up there with other kitchen table issues such as rising interest rates and salaries falling behind the cost of living,” said Cori Kramer, CEO of Center Forward. “And rather than allowing unlimited borrowing that drives students and parents into unsustainable amounts of debt, the majority of voters believe in capping loans for parents and grad students as a reasonable way of getting at the problem.”

Furthermore, the survey shows voters believe colleges and universities who “charge high prices for tuition and expenses,” “the federal government” and “government policy-makers” are most responsible for the country’s federal student loan debt burden.

View full survey results here. Center Forward and GSG also completed surveys in ArizonaGeorgiaNevadaNorth CarolinaPennsylvaniaVirginia, and Wisconsin with similar results.


Center Forward brings together members of congress, not-for-profits, academic experts, trade associations, corporations and unions to put aside the partisan bickering that has gridlocked Washington and find common ground. Center Forward gives centrist allies the information they need to craft common sense solutions to the serious issues facing the country, and provide those allies the support they need to turn those ideas into results.

Survey Methodology: Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 1,000 registered voters nationwide between March 6th and March 13th, 2023. The survey has a confidence interval of +/-3.1%. All interviews were conducted via web-based panel. Care has been taken to
ensure the geographic, political, and demographic divisions of the population of registered voters are properly represented. Additional interviewing was also conducted among registered voters in in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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