LA PLUME TOWNSHIP -- A college in our area is attempting to ease one of the biggest fears incoming college students and their parents have--student loans.
Keystone College plans to start helping its graduates pay their loans.
College-bound high school students may not be worried about four or five years from now and how they will pay back their higher education. Chances are their parents are worried about it.
Keystone College is hoping to ease those worries to attract more students to the campus in La Plume.
Keystone College officials say consider it a guarantee on your degree. If incoming freshmen don't get a lucrative job when they graduate, they will get some help with their bills.
Of course, there's a benefit for the college, too.
"I think that this is a way for us to reach out to a broader population, allow them to get a college education, to have that change in their lives, and hopefully we can have enough students that take advantage of it to show it's successful to others," said Janine Becker, vice president of enrollment and marketing.
Becker explained that Keystone College will pay a fee to an out-of-state company that will pay graduates a percentage of their monthly loan payments back. The percentage is prorated based on how much the grad makes as long as it is under $40,000 a year.
The loan repayment program won't apply for any students currently taking classes at Keystone. It will begin for freshmen in the fall of 2017. Those students are now high school seniors and they're touring Keystone now.
Mid-September is a popular time for campus visits. Dylan Kovaleski, a senior at Lakeland High School, and his parents were among the first to learn about the loan repayment program.
"If, like, I need help paying off loans in four years, this place will help. That's what they were telling me," Kovaleski said.
Since Keystone is selling the program to high schoolers, officials say it's often the parents who have the biggest reaction.
Chris Kibler, the college's track coach, has been talking to a lot of them.
"And the fact that they have some security, they're going to get a job that's financially viable, and if they don't right away then that's taken care of, they get assistance with repaying their loans, there's a huge wow factor and it just sets us apart," said Kibler.
Keystone officials say other colleges across the country have similar loan repayment programs but theirs is the first in the area.