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Employers Mull Offering Student Loan Repayment

June 20, 2019

Adding to anecdotal evidence about major companies considering student loan repayment benefits for their employees and new hires, a new survey found that a large share of employers (23 percent) are considering offering such plans.

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans released results of the survey this week. It said 4 percent of the 772 responding employers currently offer some form of student loan repayment assistance as benefits. Another 2 percent are in the process of creating such a program.

The top five reasons employers cited for holding back on offering the benefit were high cost, uncertainty and complexity of implementation, resentment among current employees who have paid off their student loans, resentment among employees with ineligible debt, and employee turnover after requirements for repayment have been met.

“Student loan repayment is a very new benefit offering. Its short life span makes it difficult to measure success or anticipate a possible ROI,” Julie Stich, vice president of content at the foundation, said in a written statement. “With high interest from employees and no firm governmental guidelines in place, it’s something to watch closely in the future.”

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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