In fall 2014 Wilson College implemented its first-in-the-nation student loan buyback program. Under the program, Wilson will pay up to $10,000 toward a student’s federal Stafford Loan debt if the student meets prescribed academic and service requirements. To qualify, a participant must be a first-time college student beginning Fall Semester 2014 and earn a diploma in four years or less of continuous, full-time enrollment at Wilson College.

Specifics of the loan buyback program include:

  • Restricted to Stafford student loans that relate to enrollment at Wilson College. The Stafford Loan is the primary federal loan for college students.
  • Requires a pledge by the student to borrow only what is necessary to meet educational expenses.
  • Requires participation in financial literacy programs, being offered to all students in their freshman and senior years.
  • Restricted to first-time college students who earn a diploma in four years or less of continuous, full-time enrollment at Wilson entering in fall 2014.
  • Buyback amounts vary depending on a student's final grade-point average (GPA) out of a possible 4.0.
    • $5,000 for those with a GPA of 3.5 to 3.69
    • $7,500 for those with a GPA of 3.7 to 3.89
    • $10,000 for those with a GPA of 3.9 or higher

The program aims to educate students and their families about the realities of investing in a college education and planning for life after graduation. Pledging to borrow only what is necessary to meet educational expenses helps contain student debt, while graduation in four years or less eliminates additional tuition and expenses. Each student and their parents/guardians receive personal financial aid counseling through the admissions process. Financial literacy courses in the freshman and senior years continue to build a strong foundation for students as they plan for graduation.

To qualify for the loan buyback program, students will also be required to demonstrate active involvement and participation in activities and community services that benefit the Wilson College community, such as: participating in student government, working with community organizations, tutoring other students and participating in campus sustainability initiatives.

“It provides an innovative form of support for Wilson students while serving as a powerful incentive for academic success, service to the community and participation in the life of the campus,” said Barbara K. Mistick, president. “We want to encourage students to take full advantage of the college experience while reducing the burden of student debt.”

Read more about the student loan buyback program in action.