Rep. Morin introduces ‘Get on Your Feet’ student loan forgiveness program in Rhode Island
STATE HOUSE — The House Finance Committee has heard legislation introduced by Rep. Michael Morin (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket) that would establish the ‘Get on Your Feet’ student loan forgiveness program targeted at helping middle-income students afford the high cost of college.
The legislation (2017-H 5169) would assist recent college and university graduates in the repayment of their student loans, by providing a grace period for the first two years after graduation. For those who meets the requirements, the state would pay the difference between what the federal government covers and the individual’s total loan payment.
“The purpose of this bill is to help out the students who live and go to college in this state — and who choose to continue living in this state,” said Representative Morin. “More students today than ever are borrowing to pay for their college education. And that education is an investment — not just for the student, but for the whole state. And this is a good way to protect that investment and have a well-educated, highly skilled workforce that can compete with other states in attracting the kind of business that will boost our economy by offering high-paying jobs while at the same time broadening and diversifying our tax base.”
To be eligible for the program, a student must attend a college or university in Rhode Island for at least two years; graduate from one of the institutions; reside in the state while attending the institution and for at least two years after graduating; participate in the federal PAYE repayment program or, if not eligible for that program, meet all other eligibility requirements; earn less than $50,000 annually for each calendar year in which a student is repaying his or her student loans; and not take a deferment on a student loan.
The legislation is cosponsored by Representatives Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland), Stephen M. Casey (D-Dist. 50, Woonsocket), Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) and Raymond H. Johnston Jr. (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket).