New Program at Newberry College
Offers Loan Repayment Assistance, Allowing Students to Focus on Their Passion
By Madison M. Darby-McClure, a junior majoring in English at Newberry College
Students understand that a college education is an important investment in their future. Even so, student loan debt is a big concern for families. The uncertainty factor puts pressure on students to choose a major based on whether it leads to a lucrative career path rather than whether it fuels their passion.
In response, Newberry College recently launched the Loan Repayment Promise, an innovative program to help graduates repay their student loans if their income is modest after graduation. The Loan Repayment Promise gives students the freedom to pursue their dreams without worries about loan repayment affecting their choices.
“When I found out what the program meant for me, I nearly cried,” said Lauren Lopez, a freshman studying history and education who was part of a “beta” group offered the program last fall. “It’s awesome to know I don’t have as much to worry about when it comes to college.”
HOW IT WORKS
If a student earns less than $36,000 after graduation, the Loan Repayment Promise will help them repay federal, private alternative and parent PLUS loans. Loan repayment assistance works on a sliding scale, with those earning less than $20,000 eligible for full reimbursement and benefits adjusting to the upper threshold income of $36,000. Graduates must work at least 30 hours per week to be eligible.
For graduates seeking careers with typically low starting salaries, the Loan Repayment Promise can make the difference in their financial stability after college.
“I want to be a teacher so I can give back,” Lopez said. “It feels like Newberry wants me to pursue what I want to do and achieve my dream of helping others. The Loan Repayment Promise gives me the ability to do that.”
The Loan Repayment Promise will be offered at no charge to all incoming freshmen and transfers beginning with the fall 2016 semester.
“The Loan Repayment Promise demonstrates our belief in the value of a Newberry College education and our commitment to helping students pursue their vocational calling,” said Newberry College President Dr. Maurice Scherrens.
Newberry College is the first in South Carolina offering a program of this kind.
This article has been reprinted from March-April 2016 edition of The South Carolina Lutheran magazine. Subscriptions to the magazine are $10.00 for 6 issues annually. To subscribe send your name, address and check made payable to the “South Carolina Synod, ELCA” to 1003 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.