JSU launches pioneering Loan Repayment Assistance Program to combat MS teacher shortage

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JANS – Jackson State University (JSU) has announced a new Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) designed to tackle Mississippi’s teacher shortage. The program offers students and their families a significant promise: if post-graduation income is below $45,000, the LRAP will aid in repaying federal student loans, private alternative loans, and parent PLUS loans. Notably, JSU is the first HBCU to implement such a groundbreaking initiative.

Jackson State’s Vice President of Enrollment Management, Kylon Alford-Windfield, emphasized the transformative potential of the LRAP. “Jackson State has a rich history as a teaching college, serving as a nurturing environment for young individuals to grow into tomorrow’s leaders,” he shared. “Our goal is to alleviate the financial burdens of our students, particularly teacher education students, enabling them to focus on their careers without the worry of student loan debt. We are proud to lead the way in providing practical, impactful support for our students’ futures.”

Commencing in the 2024-25 academic year, the program will be offered at no cost to all teacher education majors, as well as other incoming freshmen and transfer students as determined by Jackson State’s Office of Admissions.

“We are directly addressing the financial challenges that many of our graduates face,” said Janieth Wilson-Adams, Ph.D., Director of Undergraduate Admissions at JSU. “This initiative ensures that our students can focus on their professional aspirations and personal growth without the burden of overwhelming debt.

Founded in 1877, Jackson State University was designated in 1940 by the State of Mississippi with a mission to train teachers. This mission remains critical today as the state continues to grapple with a severe teacher shortage. Remarkably, JSU produces approximately 67% of the Black educators in the capital city, highlighting its vital role in meeting this urgent need.

“While the value of a Jackson State degree extends far beyond financial metrics, we acknowledge that student loans are a significant barrier to higher education, particularly for aspiring teachers,” Alford-Windfield explained. “With this program, we are committed to assisting in loan repayment. If your income is modest, LRAP is here to support you.”

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JSU launches pioneering Loan Repayment Assistance Program to combat MS teacher shortage

By Jackson Advocate News Service
June 30, 2024