Albany, NY - December 29, 2015 - Governor Cuomo announced that New York State will begin accepting applications for the new 'Get On Your Feet' Loan Forgiveness Program on December 31. First announced as part of Governor Cuomo's 2015 Opportunity Agenda, the program offers up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief to recent college graduates living in the State.
"Ensuring students are able pay for college and not saddled with debt is critical for both their individual success and the continued economic growth of New York State," Governor Cuomo said. "With this program, we are telling recent graduates: if you invest in New York's future, we will invest in yours."
Studies have shown time and time again that helping students pay for college is critical to ensuring their success after graduation. Students who graduate with debt are less likely to start a small business or to purchase a home, and the consequences of defaulting on student loans can prevent a person from ever realizing their goals. This program offers that help by supplementing the federal Pay As You Earn loan repayment program and allowing eligible college graduates living in New York State to pay nothing on their student loans for the first two years out of school.
To qualify, applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree from a college or university located in New York State in or after December 2014, have an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000, and be enrolled in the federal Income Based Repayment plan or Pay as You Earn plan. Recipients will have a maximum of 24 payments, equal to their monthly student loan repayment amount, paid on their behalf. Applications are accepted year round.
Already, more than 2,500 graduates from the class of 2015 have registered to apply for the program through the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. Once fully implemented in 2020, more than 24,000 recent graduates are expected to participate.
SUNY Student Assembly President and Binghamton University Student Thomas Mastro said, "The 'Get on Your Feet' loan forgiveness program ensures that SUNY graduates have time to settle into New York State careers before taking on the added financial burden of having to make student loan payments. The SUNY Student Assembly is proud to stand behind this innovative program and we encourage all eligible students to apply when they are eligible."
To learn more or apply, visit hesc.ny.gov/GetOnYourFeet.