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Loan Redemption Programs


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Loan Redemption Programs


Currently, HESAA administers the following loan redemption programs. A summary of each program and eligibility requirements is available by clicking on each link:


New Jersey STEM Loan Redemption Program

On December 14, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law The New Jersey STEM Loan Redemption Program. This program offers an incentive for professionals to build and maintain their career in certain high-growth occupations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in New Jersey. This incentive will support innovative New Jersey businesses in attracting and retaining the talent they need for success and growth.


The program offers student loan redemption in exchange for an employee’s commitment to full-time employment in a designated high-growth STEM occupation at an employer in New Jersey for a period of at least four years and up to eight years. After certification that an employee has worked for at least four years in a designated high-growth STEM occupation in New Jersey, program participants are eligible to have up to $2,000 of eligible student loan expenses redeemed each year, for up to four years, up to a maximum of $8,000. Of the annual $2,000 loan redemption payment, $1,000 will be funded by the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) through a State appropriation, with the balance matched by an equal contribution from the participant’s current employer. Employers could also request approval from HESAA for others forms of contribution with similar value.


Eligibility

To qualify for loan repayment assistance, an applicant must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Be a resident of New Jersey and maintain domicile in the State during participation in the program;
  2. Have earned a degree from an approved STEM degree program from an institution of higher education located in New Jersey.
  3. Have worked full-time in an approved high-growth STEM occupation at a New Jersey employer for a minimum of four years before applying for the program.
  4. After applying for the program, work for an additional one to four years of employment in an approved high-growth STEM occupation at a New Jersey employer;
  5. Annually received certification from the employer, attesting that the employee is working in an approved high-growth STEM occupation,
  6. Annually receive approval from his or her current employer for an employer matching payment;
  7. Have an outstanding balance with a State or Federal student loan program and not be in default on any student loan.
  8. Have graduated on or after the effective date of December 14, 2018

This new loan redemption plan was signed into law on December 14, 2018 and was effective immediately. The first applications for STEM loan redemption will be accepted in December 2022 and first redemption payments will be issued in December 2023. This program is subject to available funds. For more information or additional questions, please email Client_Services@hesaa.org.

John R. Justice Federal Student Loan Redemption Program

One pressing challenge facing New Jersey's criminal justice system today is the retention of qualified prosecutors and public defenders. This program is designed to attract and retain talented attorneys in the service oriented public sector. Qualified attorneys who would be interested in public interest law often forego these careers because of the overwhelming student debt burden assumed during their education. Loan Redemption programs such as the John R. Justice Loan Redemption program are successful in attracting and retaining capable attorneys to careers that they might otherwise not consider.

This program is supported through a federal grant and is offered contingent upon receiving those funds.

To qualify for loan repayment assistance, an applicant must:

  1. Be currently employed full-time by the State of New Jersey as an eligible prosecutor or public defender, and

  2. Have eligible outstanding federal student loan debt in good standing with each lender

  3. Complete the application process and be selected to participate

  4. Sign a service agreement committing to remain employed as an eligible public defender or prosecutor for up to least three years

All required documents must be received by HESAA on or before November 30, 2019.

If you have not received benefits from a previous JRJ Loan Redemption Program, please click here.

If you have previously received JRJ Loan Redemption Program benefits and fulfilled your service obligation, please click here.

If you are currently receiving JRJ Loan Redemption Program benefits and have not fulfilled your service obligation, please click here.

Frequently asked questions are posted here.

Interested candidates who need more information may contact HESAA at 800-792-8670, ext. 5535.

National Health Services Corp Program

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) awards scholarships and loan repayment to primary care providers in eligible disciplines. For details and application information on this federal loan redemption program, visit https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loan-repayment/index.html

Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program

The Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program has always been subject to state appropriations and available funding.

Program Objective: To address the current and projected critical shortage of nurse faculty in the State of New Jersey by providing an incentive for persons to enter graduate nursing education programs by offering student loan redemption in exchange for full-time faculty employment at a school of nursing in the State of New Jersey for a five-year period following completion of the approved graduate degree program.

Eligible Participants must:

  • Be a resident of the State of New Jersey and maintain domicile in the State during participation in the program;
  • Have obtained a degree from an approved graduate degree program. An approved graduate degree program means:
    • a master’s degree in nursing (MSN),
    • a doctor of nursing science degree (DNS),
    • a doctor of nursing practice degree (DNP), or
    • a doctor of philosophy degree (PhD) in nursing or another related field of study.
  • Have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0, or its equivalent while enrolled in an approved graduate degree program;
  • Be hired for full-time faculty employment on or after July 1, 2010 at a school of nursing in the State of New Jersey. Employment must begin within one year of completing approved graduate program;
  • Complete five years of employment as full-time nursing faculty at a school of nursing in the State of New Jersey;
  • Have an outstanding balance with a State or Federal student loan program and not be in default on any student loan.

"Eligible student loan expenses" means the cumulative total of the annual State of New Jersey and/or Federal student loans covering the cost of attendance at an approved graduate degree program.  Interest due on student loans obtained by an applicant is eligible for reimbursement.

An "eligible institution" means a school of nursing that is nationally accredited and licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing or a nursing program at a Commission on Higher Education licensed institution of higher education that is nationally accredited and licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program application

Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program

The Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program is subject to annual state appropriations. As of September 2019, all program funding has been allocated for the current fiscal year. If you interested in joining a wait list and have priority consideration should additional funding become available, please click here.

The Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program promotes access to primary care services in medically underserved areas of the State by improving the distribution of primary care health providers, including physicians, dentists, physician assistants and certified nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives, by providing for the redemption of eligible student loans expenses of providers in exchange for a specified periods of service in medically underserved areas. Funding for this program is subject to state appropriations.

The program will provide up to $120,000 in student loan redemption for two to four years of service as a primary care provider in areas of medicine defined by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in areas ranked by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services reflecting a health professional shortage. Funding for this program is subject to state appropriations and available funding.

Eligibility:

Applicants must:

  • Be a resident of the State of New Jersey 
  • Be licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey; 
  • Secure an undergraduate medical school, dental school, or other primary care professional school faculty member’s recommendation for program participation; 
  • Execute a contact for a minimum period of 2 years, which includes a six-month probationary period, with the Authority or its designated agent upon the completion of the final year of residency training in the case of a physician; at the end of the final year of undergraduate dental training or residency training if the training is required in a primary care dental specialty in the case of a dentist; and at the end of the final year of other primary care training in the case of another primary care provider; 
  • Be granted final acceptance into the program following the six-month probationary period; 
  • In the case of a physician, have completed an accredited residency training program and received a recommendation from the director of the training program concerning participation in the loan redemption program; 
  • Agree to practice primary care medicine, dentistry, or another primary care profession in a State designated underserved area; 
  • Not be in default on any qualifying student loan; 
  • Service must begin within two years of the completion of training or residency. 

Application and Selection

Annually, applicants must submit a completed program application for consideration. Applicants will be matched to a State designated underserved area. The applicant must complete the six-month probationary period and receive a recommendation of either the continuation of the applicant’s placement or a change of placement. Satisfactory completion of the probationary period will be considered final acceptance as a program participant and the applicant will receive full credit for the probationary period in the calculation of the first full year of service.


The federal government offers other loan forgiveness programs. For more information on the federal programs, such as Teacher Loan Forgiveness or Public Service Loan Forgiveness click here.