(BPT) – Higher education has become synonymous with debt. The Federal Reserve reported more than $1.7 trillion in outstanding student loans as of Q4 2020 while nearly $120 billion in student loans were in default, according to Statista. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or returning as an adult student, nobody wants to graduate owing more than they can afford to repay — and run the risk of becoming yet another cautionary tale.

Instead, you’re forced to make sacrifices to make college happen. You opt for a less expensive school that offers you the best possible financial aid package, even though it might not be your top choice. You may eventually abandon your dream career in favor of a more lucrative course of study. Maybe you even decide college isn’t worth it.

Don’t give up just yet. There’s a program that can give you the freedom to invest in yourself.

Help with repaying student loans

To help students and their parents overcome both the fear and burden of student loan debt, Ardeo Education Solutions has collaborated with over 200 colleges and universities nationwide to offer students the protection of its Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), at no cost to the student. LRAP awards can help you and your family repay your student loans after graduation. LRAPs have been providing a financial safety net to students for more than 30 years, with over 20,000 students covered by Ardeo’s program.

The program makes college possible for students across the country and helps the schools offering it improve access to education on their campus.

“LRAP awards provide students with peace of mind by reassuring them that debt won’t hold them back after graduation,” said Josh David, Vice President of Student Service, Ardeo Education Solutions. “Our financial safety net is especially impactful for students who pursue service-oriented careers, such as working for a nonprofit, which positively impact society but don’t typically provide a large paycheck.”

How LRAPs work

A growing number of colleges and universities nationwide are using LRAPs to reinforce their commitment to improve access to higher education, student success and graduate outcomes. By committing their own resources, these colleges and universities are putting their own “skin in the game” to ensure their students have successful outcomes. LRAPs cover federal student, private alternative and parent PLUS loans. Students must graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the school where they received their LRAP Award.

If your income is modest — typically less than $45,000-$50,000 — an LRAP will help you and your family repay your loans until your income exceeds the threshold or the loans are paid off entirely.

LRAPs provide 3 primary benefits to students:

  • School choice: Students can attend their preferred college or university, because they are able to focus less on cost and more on the value of their education.
  • Graduation rate: Students covered by an LRAP may be more likely to graduate, because they know they’ll have help repaying loans once they do.
  • Career path: Thanks to having an LRAP, students feel empowered to follow their dreams. With an LRAP to help when they graduate, they can follow their passions rather than a paycheck.

Assistance for parents

For parents who take out parent PLUS loans or for co-signers of student loans, an LRAP will help repay those loans based solely on the graduate’s income, not yours.

Want to learn more? Talk to your admissions office or financial aid counselor to find out if an LRAP is an option for you.

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