Governor Murphy and the STEM Loan Forgiveness Program
Why schools like NJIT are on the cutting-edge
By Taylor Smith
Governor Phil Murphy recently announced two initiatives — the STEM Loan Forgiveness Program and the NJ Career Accelerator Internship Program — to encourage individuals in STEM fields to make a long-term commitment to build and maintain a career within New Jersey. The initiatives were part of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget message.
After certification that an employee has worked for at least four years in a designated high-growth STEM occupation in New Jersey, the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) will redeem eligible student loan expenses for up to four years. The state would provide eligible employees with $1,000 annually to defray outstanding loans and employers would be required to at least match this award — or otherwise partner with the state — to provide a total benefit worth at least $8,000. 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.
To support current students, Governor Murphy also announced the N.J. Career Accelerator Internship Program, a paid internship program to be administered through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The department will target first-time interns enrolled in New Jersey high schools, colleges, and universities with offers in STEM industries such as IT/software, life sciences and health care, and energy. Participating employers will be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of wages paid to new interns for up to $1,500 per student.
“The catalyst to reclaiming New Jersey’s innovation economy is our ability to attract and retain the scientific talent New Jersey businesses require to succeed in a 21st-century economy,” said Murphy. “By implementing these two STEM initiatives, we’re making a critical investment in human capital — one that will fuel the growth of innovation at businesses across the Garden State and recapture New Jersey’s reputation as a pre-eminent leader in science and technology.”
To learn more about the STEM Loan Forgiveness Program, visit https://www.hesaa.org/Pages/LoanRedemptionPrograms.aspx.