Skip Navigation

More than Half of Teens Believe Student Loan Debt should be Forgiven, According to Junior Achievement Survey

A new survey of 1,000 13- to 17-year olds shows that more than half (51%) believe that the government or lenders should forgive the $1.5 trillion in student loan debt held by Americans. One-in-five (20%) of respondents said student loan debt should not be forgiven, while nearly a third (29%) said they "Don't Know" or are "Not Sure." The survey was conducted by research consortium Engine for Junior Achievement (JA).

"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," said Jack Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. "For many of us, college is the second largest expense we will have behind buying a house. It's important that we equip our young people with the information necessary to make informed choices about paying for higher education."

May 1st is considered "National College Decision Day," and between now and then many high school students are receiving acceptance letters from colleges and will be making a decision on which one to attend. Junior Achievement's programs focus on financial literacy, in addition to work readiness and entrepreneurship, to better prepare young people to make informed decisions about money-related issues, such as which post-secondary education choices to consider given the potential income they hope to receive with their preferred career path. To learn more about Junior Achievement, visit

Survey Methodology

This report presents the findings of a Youth CARAVAN survey conducted by Engine among a sample of 1,002 13-17 year olds, comprising of 501 males and 501 females.  This survey was live on December 18-23, 2018. 


Respondents for this survey are selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.  Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options.

Select a button below to see how you or your organization can get involved with Junior Achievement of South Dakota, Inc..

Donate Volunteer Request A Program

Any questions? Contact us!

We use cookies to provide you a personalized experience. How we do this is by analyzing user behavior on our site and sharing data with our advertising and analytics partners. You consent to our cookie policy if you continue to use this website.

I understand