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PricewaterhouseCoopers, the large auditing and professional services company, has created a program to help its new hires pay off their student debt. The company, which hires up to 12,000 recent college graduates each year, will contribute $1,200 per year for up to six years to pay down its new employees' student debt.

The average PWC employee is 28 years old, said Bob Moritz, the company's chairman and senior partner. And student loans are a big problem for many of the company's younger employees, he said, particularly those who are members of minority groups, who tend to have a higher average debt level.

The company will make automatic monthly contributions directly toward its employees' debt. The payments can be applied to both undergraduate and graduate debt.

Moritz said one goal of the new program, in addition to helping employees, is to encourage them to stay with the company longer.