For eligibility in this program, applicants will need to:
- Be a resident of the State and maintain residency during program participation;
- Be a graduate of an approved STEM degree program at an institution of higher education located in New Jersey;
- Have an outstanding balance on a qualifying student loan and not be in default on any qualifying student loan;
- Have been employed full-time in a designated high-growth STEM occupation for a minimum of four years prior to initial application to the program and be employed thereafter for an additional one to four years in a designated high-growth STEM occupation;
- Provide certification that the applicant’s employer has agreed to annually provide the applicant at least a 100 percent match of the loan redemption benefit under the program during the applicant’s participation in the program and employment in a designed high-growth STEM occupation; and
- Satisfy any additional criteria the authority may establish.
“Science and technology are at the vanguard of a growing economy, providing the research and development that will help sustain job growth and continued economic growth,” said Senator Paul Sarlo, the chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “We need to support STEM education so that New Jersey’s students are offered the opportunities to acquire the skills and knowledge to compete in the modern economy and we need to do what we can to see that they are not burdened with unmanageable debt.”
“With New Jersey producing such renowned inventors as Selman Waksman and trailblazing engineer Beatrice Hicks, this program helps create an environment where the next generation of inventors, scientists, engineers and other STEM professionals can thrive,” said Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker. “While many students may have the mindset to pursue a STEM career, they may not always have the assets to do so. The STEM Loan Redemption Program was designed to help these students, many of whom come from families of modest means.”
“Unfortunately, many promising students shy away from STEM careers, because they fear exorbitant student loan debt upon graduation from college,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. “The signing of this legislation will help alleviate some of those misgivings.”
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