Living the college dream
The loan repayment program has transformed lives. People are who they are today because they chose to stay at Huntington University. And the LRAP made that possible.
"I'm just really, really blessed that I ended up staying," said Kyle Miller, a 2011 HU graduate and one of the first recipients of the LRAP. "I didn't realize the significance of the blessing until I ended up using it."
The loan repayment program provides a safety net for students after graduation. Students are reimbursed for all or part of their loan payments from the LRAP Foundation based on their incomes.
"I view the success of the LRAP through our alumni's eyes," said Scott Raymond, executive director of student success. "We hear story after story about how the LRAP has enabled our alumni to pay back their college loans, find jobs that they love, and in some cases, begin marriages and families on a stronger financial footing."
Miller is one of those graduates.
As a business major, Miller desired to use his degree for missions, but knew his chosen career wouldn't make him rich. He thought of transferring schools to save on loans, but Raymond presented him with an alternative.
After graduation, Miller was free to pursue a job in missions without fear of falling behind on his loan payments all because of the LRAP.
Today, Miller is doing what he loves, working at a not-for-profit, and he is months away from marrying the woman of his dreams.
"I always thought it was just repayment, but it does offer you a vast amount of safety and security in positions that don't pay a lot," said Miller, who is the ministry coordinator for Love INC, a community organization offering food, clothing and other services to residents in Huntington, Ind., who are in need. "It allows you to live out the dream that a lot of people talk about in college."
The LRAP program has provided security to a number of students in its five years at Huntington, including 22 graduates who are currently receiving benefits. Today, the program is offered to all incoming freshmen who take out student loans.
"While HU will continue to monitor and adjust the loan repayment coverage for our students to best serve our graduates and the institution, our current intention is to stay committed to the program," said Jeff Berggren, senior vice president for enrollment management and marketing. "We believe the real impact is yet to come in the form of extra-appreciative alumni who have more fiscal freedom than their friends who attended other universities."
For graduates like Miller, the LRAP provides hope. Yes, there is paperwork. Yes, there are requirements, like working full-time. But it's all worth it when that quarterly reimbursement check comes in the mail.
"A debt load is overwhelming. It's a scary place to be," Miller said. "Knowing that I'm at least being reimbursed for the minimum is very comforting. I'm very grateful."
If you would like to learn more about the loan repayment program (LRAP), visit www.huntington.edu/LRAP. All incoming freshmen qualify for the program, but you must apply.