LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (WTEN) — Majorities of New Yorkers across most demographic categories approve of the student loan forgiveness plan announced by President Joe Biden last month, according to a special Siena College poll released Wednesday morning. The poll, conducted between Aug. 28 and Sept. 1, found that 56% of respondents overall support the plan while 33% of them oppose it.
“Majorities of New Yorkers support the President’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 worth of student loans for some, up to $10,000 for others and to cap the amount any borrower must pay each month at 5% of their earnings. Support is greatest among Democrats, Blacks, those with a balance on their student loans and New Yorkers under 50 years of age,” said Siena College Research Institute Director, Don Levy. “Nearly two-thirds of Republicans and a plurality of independents oppose the plan.”
Critics have argued that the plan would heighten inflation and place an immoral financial burden on people who don’t owe federal student loan money. Still, the poll found a 65% majority of those who have already fully paid off their loans support the proposal, along with a 49% plurality of people who never had any.
A 73% majority of those that still have a balance on their student loans back the plan, which was estimated to cost $240 billion over the next decade. Just 35% believe that the plan will skyrocket inflation and that it is unfair to those that never had federal loans, or to those that had the loans and already paid them back.
Pluralities or majorities of almost every gender, age, religion, income, ethnicity, or political party support the proposal, but not Republicans, Independents, or people over the age of 65, according to the poll. While 82% of Democrats support the plan, Republicans oppose it by a 65% to 26% margin, with a 46% plurality of Independents in opposition as well.
The survey found that 54% of respondents have paid off all their federal loans, while 45% still have a balance, with more Democrats in the red than Republicans. While most New Yorkers seem to support the plan, some still question its fairness.
“Fifty-seven percent of New Yorkers say that canceling some student debt will allow many Americans to get out from under the burden of student loans and that debt relief will both help them and the economy,” Levy said. “Over one third, 35%, disagree and say that canceling student loan debt will increase inflation and that this plan isn’t fair to those that never had student loans, or to those that had loans and already paid them back.”