Jan 26, 2016 7:11 PM

Rivier University to offer program to pay loans of unemployed grads

NASHUA - Rivier University will soon become the first in the state to offer a promise of employment to graduates or they’ll help pay for student loans.

As the school continues to expand its campus, they’re coming up with new ways to attract incoming students. They’ll be offering next year’s freshmen a brand new idea known as the “Employment Promise Program”.

University president, Sister Paula Marie Buley, says the program begins with the orientation in June.

"We believe in their ability to succeed, and we’re willing to back that up with this promise," Buley said.

The promise: if any member of the program in the class of 2020 does not find employment within nine months of graduation, the school will pay for up to one year of their federal student loans or offer six graduate courses tuition free.

The program requires a 3.0 GPA, along with internships, community service and other activities.

"So they can move from classroom, to the campus, to the community, and to a career," Buley said.

Current students are not eligible for the program. They and alumni are understandably "a little bit jealous" of the program but say it’s a great idea.

Elizabeth McCarthy is a 2014 graduate working as a nurse at Concord Hospital. She said some of her classmates struggle settling into their careers, and this would have been a great option for them.

"The way that student loans are now, I’m working full time, and I had a job right out of college and it’s still hard. So anything that they can do to help people who don’t even have jobs that’s a really good thing for them to do," McCarthy said.

Buley predicts most of the incoming students will take advantage of the program. They expect to continue for years to come.

"For Rivier it’s great to bet on ourselves, and it’s great to bet on our student," Buley said.

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