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Student Debt Working Group issues report, employer guide

The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce recently released a report on student debt in the Commonwealth, including recommendations to help student borrowers and initiatives that are underway to address the student loan debt crisis. A guide for employers considering student loan repayment options as an employee benefit is also available.

The report is based on the year-long efforts of the Student Debt Working Group, which includes Providers’ Council President and CEO Michael Weekes. In Massachusetts, 66 percent of the graduating class of 2015 began their careers with student debt, averaging nearly $31,500 per student.

“Addressing the student debt crisis in our country is going to take everyone rolling up their sleeves,” said Attorney General Maura Health. “Our Working Group brought together leaders from the business community, colleges and universities and nonprofits to share new ideas about how to help students and families, while championing our state’s role as the center of American higher education.”

The Student Debt Working Group Report presents ways in which leaders from the for-profit and nonprofit communities, government and higher education can come together to make progress toward improving the state of student in Massachusetts.

Recommendations were made in five key areas: Financial Education and Transparency, College Affordability, Degree Completion, Debt Repayment and Bankruptcy Relief. Read the report.

Meeting the recommendation to help with debt repayment, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce compiled the Student Loan Repayment Assistance: Guide for Employers, which provides information and resources to employers considering student loan repayment programs as an employee benefit. Get the guide.

“The Working Group’s proposals, if adopted, would be significant first steps for our collaboration of nonprofit human services, government, higher education and the for-profit community to positively address this crisis,” said Weekes, who noted that the Providers’ Council has proposed legislation that would help human services workers struggling with burdensome student debt.

You can download the Student Debt Working Group Report here. Get the Guide for Employers here and learn more about the Providers’ Council’s loan repayment legislation here.