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Accounting and consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers is hoping to attract recent college graduates — and keep the ones it’s already got — by offering them $1,200 a year for up to six years to pay down their student loans.
The benefit could not only give the company an edge in employee recruiting and retention, but furthers the company’s goal of disrupting the cycle of wealth and educational disparity by improving access to education.
Black and low-income students are more likely to take out loans to pay for college, and borrow more than white students, said Shannon Schuyler, PwC’s chief corporate responsibility and purpose officer, in a Huffington Post guest piece.
“To compete in the global marketplace we need a diverse, highly educated workforce of men and women that can focus on innovation and new technical challenges,” Schulyer said. “We need to make sure today’s students can afford the education they’ll need to advance this work.”
PwC’s announcement of its student loan stipend program made a big splash in the media, with the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today and Chicago Tribune among those picking up the story.
According to the Wall Street Journal, close to half of PwC’s 46,000 U.S. employees are recent college graduates who could qualify for the stipend, and the company plans to hire around 11,000 college grads this year.
“While PwC is the first to invest in this type of commitment, I believe that other organizations across the county are stepping up with innovative approaches to develop a more financially savvy workforce and to encourage the pursuit of higher education,” Schulyer said.
Options to help address student loan debt are growing, including income-based repayment for federal loans and refinancing of both federal and private loans. Many of those with student loans do not realize that relief may be available.
Student loan refinancing can help graduates reduce the interest rates, and overall interest they would pay on their student loans. Credible’s platform partners with over 70 alumni associations, employers and professional groups to help educate their members and employees about student loan relief, including student loan refinancing.
Matt Carter is editor of Credible News.