Employers Offering Student Loan Repayment As New Benefit

May 19, 2016

In a bylined article for Employee Benefit News (EBN), Randall Abbott, senior consultant for Willis Towers Watson, recalled a time when students could stitch together part-time job, work-study programs and help from parents to graduate from college debt-free. That was, in fact, his own experience when he graduated from college.

But according to Abbott, with college tuition skyrocketing, those days are largely gone and many students graduating today take with them a huge student debt burden. Abbott further noted that while debt is a serious problem for students, it’s an opportunity for employers seeking to hire the next generation of talent.

In his article, Abbott wrote, “Employers are seeking new ways to attract and retain millennials. Among them are benefits programs that help employees manage their student debt burden.”

These programs can take many forms, from employers offering simple debt advising to full-blown debt repayment. Some forms of student debt benefits include:

  • Counseling
  • Vendor assistance in consolidating debt
  • Debt repayment matching
  • Loan repayment allowances

With roughly 69% of college graduates leaving school on average $30,000 in debt, Abbott advised employers that now is the time to consider offering student loan repayment programs to ensure competitiveness in the war for young talent. Abbott wrote, “For employers seeking to creatively enhance their benefits portfolio in a highly competitive market for young talent, student loan assistance is an opportunity to compete in a new way.”

For the complete article in EBN, click here.

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