Students row to the beat of 'debt' drummer. (Photo: Paul Fell/Artizans Entertainment) Students row to the beat of ‘debt’ drummer. (Photo: Paul Fell/Artizans Entertainment)

Student loan debt has reached its highest point in the U.S. Forbes reported that more than 44 million borrowers collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Since the recession (2008-2014), student debt has increased a whopping 84%.

With a large percentage of the workforce burdened by student debt, employers are taking it upon themselves to lift some of the weight — but just a few. The Society for Human Resources Management reported that only 3% of organizations offer some form of student loan repayment benefit, while just 1% of employers plan to add this benefit in the future.

According to Gregory Poulin, CEO and co-founder of Goodley, if employers are interested in attracting and retaining top talent, they should consider adding student loan repayment to their suite of benefits: “If employees are feeling stressed about student loan debt, it might seem intuitive to just raise their salaries. After all, with more money, these workers would be able to pay off a larger chunk of their student loans. However, today’s employees are interested in the full package, not just salary,” he wrote for BenefitsPro.

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Heather A. Turner

Heather A. Turner is the managing editor of ALM's NU Property & Casualty Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

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