Today, we’re introducing a student loan repayment program for all Googlers in the U.S. Starting in 2021, Google will match up to $2,500 per Googler per year in student loan payments to help them pay off their student loans faster, allowing them to save money to use in other ways, whether it’s purchasing a new home, starting a family, or investing in a 401(k). We plan to expand the program globally over time.
Though student loan debt is an issue globally, Americans in particular face an enormous student loan deficit—$1.5 trillion dollars, twice what it was a decade ago. This burden disproportionately affects women and communities of color: For example, on average Black college graduates have $25,000 more in student debt than white graduates four years after completing a bachelor’s degree.
Lack of financial resources should not prevent someone from accessing the opportunities that come with education. For a long time, we’ve worked to increase access to education and help people get the skills they need to advance their careers and attain economic stability to better support themselves and their families. In July, we announced a new suite of Google Career Certificates that will help Americans get qualifications in high-paying high-growth job fields—no college degree required. Google will also consider the new career certificates as the equivalent of a four-year degree for entry-level related roles. Within Google, we’ve long focused on helping employees pay instruction costs for job-related and personal learning through education reimbursement. We’ve also been working with our vendor and staffing partners in the U.S. to provide a base level of educational benefits to those working on Google-related projects beginning in 2021.
Change starts at home. We’re hoping this student loan repayment program gives our workforce some relief from student loans and helps them build more financial stability over the long term. And we’ll keep looking for more ways to increase access to education and opportunity for everyone.
BY John Casey, Director, Global Benefits