I recently read a press release from Spring Arbor University, a Christian university in Michigan, that they will automatically enroll new students in their loan repayment assistance program. The program guarantees that the college will help repay the student’s loans if their income does not meet the “upper-income threshold” of $37,000. The school’s main motivation for this new program? According to Spring Arbor President Charles Webb, it is to provide “students and their families with peace of mind”.
This is a fascinating concept. Spring Arbor College has essentially taken a bold stand against the rising costs of tuition. They have declared to all of their prospective students that the student’s education, and their ability to get a quality, private school education, is more important than the college’s revenue. I imagine this will create a sharp increase in the number of new student applications they receive this year!
I do wonder however, if this is a good idea. Does it teach students responsibility, or does it teach students that they have one more crutch to fall back on if they can’t make ends meet after they graduate? Student loans are becoming an epidemic however, and radical changes do need to happen. Maybe this is a great start towards that end.
Regardless of whether you pay off your student loans or you have someone else pay them off for you, it is important to remember that these loans will cost somebody. You should never take out more student loans than you absolutely need, and you should pursue all other “free” financial aid options before considering student loans. Student loans are often inevitable, but they should only be used as a last resort.
With that said, for those of us not fortunate enough to graduate from a college that paid off our student loan debts, here are a few other ways to have someone else pay off your college debts.
This is obviously not an option for everyone, and it should not be considered solely as a loan repayment service, however the military does offer generous loan repayment benefits. They also offer tuition assistance benefits for pursuing a graduate degree while in the military. These degrees can often be pursued while on deployment.
Employer Tuition Assistance
When you evaluate a job offer you should ask specifically about their tuition assistance programs. Many companies offer to reimburse you for the cost of graduate degree programs because it is mutually beneficial for you and your company to pursue an advanced degree. Some companies will even offer to reimburse you for your previous student loan debt. Be sure to include this benefit in your salary package negotiations as this could be a significant deciding factor when evaluating job offers.
Move Your Residence
Some cities are so desperate to attract working adults with college degrees that they will offer incentives to move and work there. For example, if you move to a “Rural Improvement Zone” in Kansas, they will send you a check for $15,000 which you could use to help pay down your student loans. Also, if you decide to move to the state of Alaska, you will benefit from their oil profit sharing payout each year. You could use these funds to pay down your student loans debt.
Do you have any more creative ideas of a way to have someone else pay off your student loan debt?
This post is written by our new staff writer DJ. Be sure to look for more of him and check out his author bio under the about section above.