State officials, business CEOs unveil new Pay It Forward program
New Jersey officials and business CEOs have partnered to make college more affordable for those going into nursing or other fields.
The new Pay It Forward program, a $10 million initiative, was announced by Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday at Hudson County Community College.
The program will start in three public colleges and universities in the state with possible expansion.
“What we're going to announce today is literally one of a kind,” said Murphy. “It does not exist anywhere else in the United States of America.”
Students looking for careers in health care, IT and clean energy will soon be eligible for zero interest, zero fee loans to help finish their education and land a job.
“With the pandemic, we found out we don't have enough nurses here,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. “We don't have enough for any of our hospitals.”
“We hope this will become a proof of concept, and we will expand this in future years,” added New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority Executive Director David Socolow.
Officials say students at NJIT will get help for cybersecurity careers and those at Camden County Community College will be able to train in HVAC and welding careers. They also say because the loan money is paid back, the state’s HESSA can essentially recycle the same $10 million with an eye to expanding the project.
After five years, borrowers in good standing will have their loans completely forgiven.