Newberry College promises loan repayment help for graduates

Newberry College promises loan repayment help for graduates

NEWBERRY, SC (WIS) - Newberry College is making a new promise to incoming students: If they don't make enough money when they graduate, the school will help them with their student loan bills.

Newberry College is the first school in South Carolina to offer the Loan Repayment Promise. Graduates who make less than $36,000 qualify.

Newberry College President Maurice Scherrens says this is the next step to the school's College Tuition Promise, guaranteeing incoming students no tuition hikes during their four years.

"We, in essence, are betting on the belief that by offering something like the Loan Repayment Promise, that we're going to have more students get involved," said Scherrens.
 
Scherrens likened the plan to a life insurance policy. The school will invest money for each new student enrolled with a third party company. That money will then be used to help the graduates who need it the most.

The program will begin with fall 2016 freshmen and transfer students who finish at least two academic years at Newberry College.
 
"It helps me pursue my dream with confidence. It really does," said freshman Lauren Lopez. "It's like, 'Okay. When I get out of here, it's going to be okay.' I'll have someone who has my back on helping me to pay, I don't have to worry about if I can afford after I get out of college to pay back my student loans."

Lopez is a first-generation college student. She says the Loan Repayment Promise seemed too good to be true, but it pushed her to choose Newberry.

School officials hope others will do the same.

Scherrens says the current plan is to offer the program for five or so years to see if it increases enrollment.
 
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