Nationals members have voted to cap student loan indexation at 3.5 per cent a year as inflation spurs cost of living pressures.
Some MPs and rank-and-file delegates agreed to a motion to cap HECS and HELP debt at the party's national conference in Canberra on Saturday.
The interest-free government loans are currently tied to inflation.
Nationals MP Kevin Hogan spoke in favour of the cap, saying the compounding effect of people not starting to pay off the debt immediately - as they would a mortgage - was "quite devastating".
Michael McCormack and Senator Susan McDonald also backed the cap while Queenslanders Colin Boyce, Matt Canavan and Keith Pitt voted against it.
Motions are not binding on the parliamentary caucus and policy decisions remain up to the partyroom.
Concerns about the policy included that it was unfair for university students to receive concessions if tradies and small business owners didn't, especially when it was their choice to pursue tertiary education.
A second motion calling for workers to have the option to allow superannuation to be paid into their HECS/HELP debt or mortgages was voted down.
A motion to reduce the tax on beer proved one of the day's most popular, with the only speaker against asking why wine was not included.
Nationals leader David Littleproud used his address to the national conference to issue a call to arms for the next federal election and pledged to focus on re-engaging women after the coalition lost government.
Mr Littleproud said while the junior coalition partner had achieved electoral success at a state and federal level despite the Liberals going backward, it was important to note where things went wrong.
"While we held on to all our seats, there were clear signs that there were cohorts that left us and we've got to be honest - they were women," he told the conference.
"So what you'll see as we go towards the next election is a real emphasis on what's important to them, about a greater investment in regional health."
Mr Littleproud said the party needed to have the conviction to talk about nuclear energy as a pathway towards net-zero emissions, something Labor is staunchly against.
The party staved off a push to strip net-zero from the policy platform, with former leader Barnaby Joyce speaking against the policy.
A motion calling for the party to abolish the policy was successfully watered down to simply call upon the parliamentary team to "take a practical approach to lowering carbon emissions as a substantive move to nuclear power is made".
Discussion and a vote on the amended motion was deferred until Sunday.
Mr Littleproud also drew a line in the sand over live sheep exports, saying he was willing to pull the Nationals out of the coalition if they moved to ban the practice.
Deputy leader Perin Davey used her address to commit to fighting for the Murray Darling Basin after Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek unveiled a new plan to recover water earmarked for the environment.
The party backed the deputy leader, voting in favour of bringing forward a review to develop a practical water management plan and take the focus off water recovery and onto environmental outcomes.
Senator Davey said Ms Plibersek's plan to recover 450 gigalitres of water would hurt the regional communities it was created to protect.
"They are putting a number first ... above the environment and above the communities and above our agricultural production," she said.
Senate leader Bridget McKenzie spoke of the importance of maintaining conservative values as "powerful elite forces" tried to shut down and silence their voices.
"We shouldn't be discriminated against for our geography or our culture," she said.
The conference will wrap up on Sunday.