Houghton College is the first and only college in the eastern United States to offer a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to all incoming first year students in the 2014–2015 school year.

The LRAP is designed to assist or completely repay a student’s loans after graduation when he or she earns less than $38,000. If a student earns $20,000 or less, the Loan Repayment Assistance Program would reimburse 100 percent of the loan payments until the loan is paid in full or that graduate begins to earn a higher salary.

“Houghton College provides an education that changes a person’s trajectory for their life,” said Eric Currie, Houghton vice president for enrollment management. “With the loan repayment program, all new students have the opportunity to be a part of Houghton College’s rich and long-standing history, which will prepare those students for a significant and impactful future.”

Throughout the past year, national news stories and President Obama have focused attention on whether or not tuition rates are reflective of the value of a college education. In addition to Houghton College’s current financial aid programs, the LRAP builds the confidence of prospective students that a Houghton education is both a possible and worthwhile investment in their future. Through the LRAP, if a Houghton graduate earns less than $38,000 per year, the student’s loans will be either totally or partially repaid.

Educational loans eligible for repayment include 100 percent of private, federal, and also all parent PLUS loans.

A student must meet some basic requirements to qualify for the loan repayment. They must graduate from Houghton, be working a job that averages at least 30 hours a week, and be employed within the United States.

According to a study by the College Board, a not-for-profit organization, the national average debt for a 2012 graduating college student with school loans totaled $26,500.

“While a Houghton student graduates with an average debt load of about $5,000 less than the national average, Houghton still sees this program as a significant and important investment to make on behalf of our students,” said Marianne Loper, director of student financial services at Houghton.

Ryan Spear, associate director of admissions added, “With Kiplinger’s recent ‘best value’ ranking of Houghton College, we’re excited that our partnership with LRAP Association will provide students further confidence that a Houghton education is an excellent investment,” said Ryan Spear, associate director of admissions.

In this economy, some graduates might find that they have to choose between following their calling or meeting their financial commitments. The Loan Repayment Assistance Program shows that Houghton graduates don’t have to make that choice and, in some cases, could have their loan payments completely covered.

For more information, contact the Houghton College office of admission at 800.777.2556 or visit www.houghton.edu/LRAP.