Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New York State To Help Some Graduates Repay Student Loans

People walk on the Columbia University campus on July 1, 2013 in New York City. An interest rate hike kicks in today for student loans, an increase for 7 million students. Congress left town at the end of last week failing to prevent rates on new Stafford student loans increasing from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

New York state is offering to help college graduates who meet certain criteria to pay their student loans. Pictured, people walk on the Columbia University campus on July 1, 2013 in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

There is good news for some college graduates in New York: if you graduated after December 2014 from a school in the state, make less than $50,000 a year and fit some other criteria, you can now apply to have the state pick up your student loan payments for up to two years. It’s called the Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program.

At least 35 other states offer some kind of student loan repayment or forgiveness for people working in fields like teaching or healthcare, but New York is the first offer something based on income.

Here & Now’s Robin Young talks with James Malatras, director of state operations for New York, about the program. She then talks with Natalia Abrams, executive director of, a non-profit dedicated to reforming the way we pay for higher education in America, about whether Abrams thinks the program goes far enough. Abrams recommends for people who want more information about student loan repayment options.


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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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