SCRANTON -- Forget the next four years, as Anthony Baker unpacked his daughter's dorm room at Keystone College, he was just worried about making it through the next few hours.
"I`m going to cry, of course! That`s an understatement. But, I feel excited, I`m proud," he said.
Baker does feel some relief knowing that his daughter Ja'ara won't be burdened with student loan debt when she's done with her degree.
This year's freshman class is the first to benefit from a program called "Keystone Commitment." The college promises income-based loan assistance to alumni who get a job within six months of graduation.
"I`m glad that they integrated that program starting now, this year, the freshmen that are coming in now. I hope other universities and colleges adopt that, you know, because it will help people. So, when you get out in the work field you won`t be burdened with a bill," Baker added.
College officials think that Keystone Commitment program contributed to a bigger freshman class this year than last year.
"We have an increase of about 20% from last year`s freshman class, students coming from locally and from outside of the area, as far away as 17 different states," said Keystone College spokesperson Fran Calpin.
Keystone Commitment did not factor into the college decision for freshman psychology major Hailey Curreri from Honesdale. But, it did for her mom.
"Absolutely, not something I want, [to] have a burden on myself or her four years down the road," Carolyn Curreri said.
When you don't have to worry so much about what will happen four years from now, it makes it easier to enjoy this new beginning.
"I`m nervous, anxious, don`t know really what to expect because this is my first time. Ready to see what comes up," Hailey added.