New Jersey officials and company CEOs have partnered to make college more affordable for those going into nursing and other fields.
The $10 million initiative, the new Pay It Forward program, was unveiled Wednesday at Hudson County Community College by Gov. Phil Murphy.
The program has started at three public universities in the state and may be expanded.
“What we are announcing today is literally one-of-a-kind,” said Murphy. “It doesn’t exist anywhere else in the United States.”
Students looking for careers in healthcare, IT and clean energy will now have access to interest-free, fee-free loans to help them finish their studies and land jobs.
“The pandemic has made it clear that we don’t have enough nurses here.” “We don’t have enough in our hospitals.”
“We hope this is a proof of concept, and we plan to expand on it in the future,” added David Socolow, executive director of the New Jersey Office of Higher Education Student Services.
NJIT students will be assisted in cybersecurity careers, while Camden County Community College students will receive training for HVAC and welding careers, officials said. They also say that because the loan will be repaid, her HESSA in the state can recycle essentially the same $10 million with a view to expanding the project.
After five years, borrowers in good standing are fully forgiven of their loans.