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La Plume – Keystone College has announced a new program that will enable students to pursue the careers of their choice without the constant worry of long-term debt.

The Keystone Commitment Loan Repayment Assistance Program is a pledge to all first-time, full-time freshmen students pursuing baccalaureate degrees beginning in the fall of 2017. The program will be provided free of charge to all incoming students and include all majors.

Under the program, Keystone graduates working at least 30 hours per week and earning less than $40,000 per year will receive loan repayment assistance based on their annual income. The loan assistance will be determined proportionately by the income of the individual graduate up to a maximum threshold of $40,000.

For example, students with an annual income of $20,000 or less will receive 100 percent reimbursement on their quarterly loan payments. Students earning $30,000, which is half-way between the $20,000 and $40,000 thresholds, will receive 50 percent reimbursement on their quarterly loan payments. The program covers federal, private, and Parent Plus loans. Repayment assistance continues until the graduate’s income rises above the $40,000 threshold or until the loans are completely paid off.

The goal of the Keystone Commitment is to relieve the pressure of potential loan debt students often feel when selecting a college and a major. The Keystone Commitment helps ease that burden so students can choose the career which is best for them. The Keystone program is offered in conjunction with the Loan Repayment Assistance Program Association, based in Bloomington, Ind. (www.lrap.org).

“We are absolutely delighted to begin our new Keystone Commitment Loan Repayment Assistance Program,” said Keystone Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing Janine Becker, Ph.D. “This innovative approach will alleviate much of the stress students often face when selecting potential careers or making the decision to attend college. Students will now have more incentive to pursue the career they love without having to worry about paying the full amount of their loans within months of graduation.”

While the concept of a guaranteed loan repayment program is innovative and the only one of its kind in Northeastern Pennsylvania, it has been proven successful in the past. In fact, the concept began more than 25 years ago at Ivy League law schools.

The Keystone Commitment Loan Repayment Assistance Program is the most recent example of Keystone’s commitment to students and graduates. The program complements the college’s well-known Keystone Promise, which pledges that graduates will be accepted into a graduate program or receive at least one job offer within six months of graduation or have the option of returning to Keystone for additional coursework or career guidance.

“The Keystone Commitment and the Keystone Promise represent our belief in the skills, talent, and dedication of our students and the expertise of our faculty,” said Dr. Becker. “When students choose Keystone they know we will provide the best education possible and then stand behind them in the years following graduation.”