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Who Doesn't Want $60,000 of Their Student Loans Paid for Them?

$60,000 Tuition Payback!
by Mike Causey

A few years back, at least among younger workers, anybody who stayed with the same company or in the same job for more than a few years either got bored, burnt-out or was labeled a loser who had peaked in mid-30s.

Not any more...

Many federal agencies report a bumper crop of job applicants who at one time might have would have sneered at anyone who sought job security over excitement and challenge.

But thanks to the recession, and a generous student loan repayment deal, a growing number of young professionals are viewing the federal government as the employer of choice. Sometimes the only choice. At least for now...

Bottom line is that whether people are coming into government to serve, make a difference or give back (most oft cited reasons) many are coming into government and signing agreements that will keep them in government for at least three years.

In addition to being about the only place that's hiring these days, and also the place where one can make-a-difference, give-back or serve (choose one) Uncle Sam will pay off your student loans. Workers who qualify (and sign an agreement to stick around for at least 3 years) can get up to $10,000 per year to pay off a student loan, up to a maximum of $60,000 per qualified employee.

The most recent OPM report (fiscal year 2009) on the Student Loan Repayment Program shows that 40 of 89 agencies that responded did provide some loan relief, or had programs in place. The average student got $7,137 to pay off the loan. That's considered income for tax purposes, which pains some recipients, but it is better than the proverbial sharp stick in the eye.

Guess which occupations took advantage of the program? You are right if you said attorney, criminal investigator, intelligence community and contract specialists. Agencies reported people with those skills are the one's they want to attract and retain, so they got first consideration when it came time to decide who gets what and how much.

Posted by kkowatch at August 30, 2010 01:38 PM

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