Poll: Student loans OK; grants not so much

Aug. 19, 2011 at 6:12 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Most U.S. voters favor keeping government loans for poor and middle-income students but are less keen on federal grants that aren't repaid, a survey indicated.

Results of the Rasmussen Reports survey released Friday indicated 75 percent of likely U.S. voters think the government should make loans available to a good student from a poor household for college. Fourteen percent said they oppose such loans and another 11 percent said they weren't sure.

Government loan and grant programs for post-secondary education are among the programs that could be cut to reduce the federal deficit.

Similarly, 77 percent of voters said they think the government should provide loans for good students from middle-class households to go to college. Fourteen percent were opposed.

The federal government awards Pell grants to about 8 million college students at a cost of about $30 billion a year.

Forty-three percent of voters said they should be continued, but 38 percent said they thought the grants should be discontinued. Eighteen percent said they were undecided.

Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews of 1,000 likely voters conducted Wednesday and Thursday. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

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