March 25th, 2010
12:11 PM ET
8 years ago

Poll: Big support for student loan change

Washington (CNN) - Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they favor a proposal to increase the amount of money available for college loans by allowing the government to provide those loans directly to students, according to a new poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that 64 percent of respondents favor the proposal and 34 percent opposed it.

The measure is part of a package of fixes that were added by House Democrats to the Senate health care reform bill that was passed by the House on Sunday and signed into law by President Obama Tuesday. The fixes still need to be passed the Senate and then returned to the House for final approval.

The student loan measure, which is a priority for Obama, would end the practice of having private banks offer student loans backed by the government.

"Many Americans may not know that a major change to the federal student loan program is part of the health care legislation moving through Congress, but those changes appear to be generally popular," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The survey also indicates, to a degree, some rare bipartisan support, with a vast majority of Democrats, a solid majority of Independents, and a slight majority of Republicans favoring the proposal.

"There is still a big partisan gap, 82 percent of Democrats support the change, compared to 52 percent of Republicans," adds Holland. "Nonetheless, a majority of both parties have a positive view of the proposal. We haven't seen that very often in recent polls."

The poll was conducted March 19-21, with 1,030 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: CNN poll
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Bertina

    After tensions die down, this bill will be lauded by everyone.

    March 25, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Voted4HealthCare

    Does the GOP still oppose the amendment fixes against the will of the majority, even in their own party?

    By opposing the fixes, the GOP consequently opposes the student loan policy, supports the "Cornhusker Kickback," and should be held accountable.

    March 25, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Barack Stalin

    I think it is a great idea. We have already taken over the banks, car dealerships, investment firms, insurance industry, every other business by the end of the year. Socialism is great lets just tax everybody more and let this country crumble and fall into an economic abyss than I can blame Bush for everything

    March 25, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Andy from NYC

    The GOP has cited this as one of the reasons for sending the fixes bill back to the House. They and their bean counting friends in the banking industry stand to loose a bundle.

    March 25, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Lucy, Texas

    Everyone who tried to negoiate a mortgage loan found out that their original loan was sold to a service company and you had no one to negogiate, thus these companies were just collecting a monthly fee with no real services and ignored customer complaints and fraud complaints. Student loans are for kids that were accepted into college and payback is not expected until they graduate or quit. Why pay a monthly fee for every loan to an outside agency for the life of the loan? When it comes time to pay, those who don't pay their student loan can be sent to a collection agency. Even if 50% turn up to be dead beats, then the government still saves 50%. plus all the monthly fees while the kids attend academic or vocational college. Also you only have one person to report to if you think you school is ripping you off to stop student loan frauds.

    March 25, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. SocialismBad

    Why doesn't Obama and the DemocRAPS just take over all the colleges and universities and declare the right to a college education yet another government mandated entitlement program?

    Why just take over healthcare and not all the colleges? Don't they know the sky rocketing costs of college? Surely the only solution involves a government takeover to control costs, dictate salaries, etc.

    Oh yeah... the liberal elite already controls the colleges and universities so I guess this gouging of people is acceptable.

    March 25, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Rush Limbaugh sponsors violence

    This is great news,after years of dumbing down the American people for financial gain by Republicans.

    March 25, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. El Gordo

    64% approval? That poll must be wrong, because that would mean that millions of Conservatives want the socialist federal government to provide money for education instead of the friendly neighborhood bank. That can't be true!

    March 25, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. A Kickin' Donkey

    Brought to you by the Party-of-The-People

    Opposed by the Party-of-No.

    March 25, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Not Blue, Not Red, but Purple will this one be paid for? Glad I don't have children to dump this one on.

    March 25, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Mike in NYC

    No doubt political considerations will enter into who gets the loans and who doesn't.

    March 25, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Steve

    Student loans should be renamed 'Student Handouts' now that the government is in control. Any doubts they will be, essentially, grants given to poor and minority children to further the class warfare that the liberals in congress are determined to keep fighting?

    March 25, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. It's time for another change!

    I'm cautiously optimistic about this one. The banks have done a horrible job at this, doing everything they can to stick it to the families. I want to see the details though before I'd give support. We don't need another Fanny Mae with a different name.

    March 25, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. Spirit of America

    Public education from preschool to higher education should be publicly funded. Period. Abolish private tuition to America's public institutions of higher education.

    March 25, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. walleye

    I have heard before that guns dont kill people. People kill people. As long as there are crazies out there (like reload Sarah) then I believe this is another reason why GUNS should be BANNED.

    The second amendments states “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. “ This may have been the case 200 years ago when our country was founded, but how many gun advocates belong to a militia? We now have an Army to protect us. Its time to change this amendment and allow only arms for the sportsman to hunt with. The person who occasionally goes to a shooting range should be permitted to have a handgun to pursue this hobby, but assault weapons and other such arms should be done away with.

    March 25, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Tracy

    I am so glad for this change. I took a private loan to pay for grad school, and they were the worst financial company I've ever worked with – misrepresenting, difficult to contact, dictatorial payment plan options, poor service. Get these companies out of the student loan arena for good!

    March 25, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. TexAl

    Is this poll accurately reflecting what's in the legislation???? Where, exactly, is there more money for loans in the new law? I've begun reading HR 4872, and I see no mention of increased loan amounts for a typical college student. I do see, however, the redirection of money from commercial lenders towards financing the Democratic health care proposal, increased subsidies for historically black colleges and junior colleges, and a boost in pell grant amounts for the poor. No where do I see the pool of money for student loans or any real relief for middle-class families trying to finance a college education. Where is it in the legislation? If it's not there, this poll seems suspect, to say the least.

    March 25, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. kevin tx

    who are all these "POLLERS" polling? Come on CNN and Fox, start polling somewhere other than high schools and colleges. These kids just want more for nothing, and take these empty promises to heart. They've lived off their parents and are only used to having everything given to them.
    These lawmakers need to stop putting these riders on everything and keep to one subject. No wonder it takes the Government to come up with hairbrained laws and get them passed. Wow, had the American peopl known that these elected officials were such sellouts and cheats they probably wouldn't have elected them to start with.

    March 25, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Michael from Ventura

    Hear that Boehner and gop? Exclude the banks! Make Education a priority- not banking institutions getting rich off poor students trying to educate themselves!

    March 25, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Sam Ellison

    I love it. And anyone complaining about this can help me pay off my $140,000 student loan debt, earned at PUBLIC universities during Bush's bubble years, where tuition hiked up 200%. I'll be glad to accept your check.

    March 25, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. T'SAH from Virginia

    Examine each component in the Health Reform Bill and you will see that the WHOLE package is good. Of course some minor changes would need to be done over the years but that is with EVERY Reform bill!!!

    NOW, take each piece of a RepubliCAN'T and examine their MOTIVE and you will discover that their WHOLE package is NOT GOOD. But, if MAJOR changes were made towards correcting their misguided and unfortunate behaviors, over the years – maybe – they will get better!!!

    March 25, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Informed Voter

    Here is yet another wonderful issue to be dealt with by the new health care legislation. So many great things for all Americans who struggle to work, feed their families, pay their bills (and taxes) and educate their children. The more the public learns about what really is in the bill, the more they will realize how beneficial it is to all Americans. This health care "debate," with all the hyperbolic lies from the Republicans, will become their Waterloo!!

    March 25, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Tulsa

    So is the Republican party listening to the majority of Americans?


    That"s all they know.... heck even a clear majority of REPUBLICANS think this is a good thing. Talk about hypocrits.

    March 25, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Bob in Pa.

    AN what percentage were college students thinking they would get loans forgiven under special considerations ?

    March 25, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. ATL Guy

    Very smart linking this effort to healthcare reform. If the Republicans try overturning the healthcare bill, they will witness the wrath of college students. They will deny or takeaway expanded healthcare to college students and then lead to the denial and revocation of Pell Grants to college students. It will be a clash of epic proportions.

    March 25, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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