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The Best Corporate Benefit in 2017? Student Loan Forgiveness

Some companies have set up a progressive program to help their employees pay off their student loans, offering up to $10,000 in assistance over the course of employment.

US student debt reached USD 1 trillion on April 25, 2012, and has continued to rise. (Photo credit Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Some companies have setup a program to help their employees pay off their student loans. Only a few are participating at this time, but the ones who are, are offering up to $10,000 in assistance over the course of employment.


So, which companies are giving away money to help their employees repay their student loans? Forbes recently highlighted 10 companies, which include Fidelity, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Aetna, Penguin Random House, and more. But out of the 10 featured in the piece, the Society for Human Resource Management estimates this latest perk is only being offered by 4 percent of companies. However, like flexible vacation time, 401Ks, and health care, many are predicting this will be the “hottest employee benefit of 2017.”

A piece in Time, discussing Penguin Random House’s announcement to adopt this benefit found many companies may not be implementing a plan quite yet, but they are shopping:

“Gradifi, which will administer the benefit for Penguin Random House, says it has 20 companies on its platform now, but more [than] 700 have inquired about it in the past year. The company is adding five to 10 new employers a month, CEO Tim DeMello says.”

It’s important to note that employer payments to a student loan account are still considered income, so there will be taxes on the benefit. Some companies may require an employee to work there for one year before providing this benefit, which may be to help increase worker retention.

Still, this plan will benefit the nearly 70 percent of graduates leaving college with some amount of debt. It also provides a benefit to companies by increasing their applicant pool and giving them a competitive edge in hiring college graduates.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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This optical illusion plays tricks on your brain

Check out these mysterious optical illusions that affect our visual perception.

If you look at the cross in the middle for at least 10 seconds, colorful spots on the sides will begin to fade away, courtesy of the Troxler effect.

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  • Troxler's effect or "fading" causes images to disappear from your field of vision.
  • Scientists don't have a full understanding yet of how this works.
  • The effect is linked to the way neurons are adapted by the visual system.
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Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

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Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

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