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New Jersey STEM Loan Redemption Program


New Jersey STEM Loan Redemption Program

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.

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 graduated on or after the effective date of December 14, 2018;
  4. 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.
  5. 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;
  6. Annually receive certification from the employer, attesting that the employee is working in an approved high-growth STEM occupation,
  7. Annually receive approval from his or her current employer for an employer matching payment;
  8. Have an outstanding balance with a State or Federal student loan program and not be in default on any student loan.

New Jersey residents may now submit an application for this program based on four years of qualifying employment that started on or after December 14, 2018. Applicants found to be eligible for loan redemption under the program will agree to work for at least one additional year in a qualifying STEM occupation, for up to four additional years. Student loan redemption payments will be made to the applicant’s loan servicer after the employer certifies the employee’s completion of each year of agreed-upon additional employment. The first redemption payments will be issued in December 2023, subject to available funds.

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