Davis College To Offer Tuition Loan Repayment

04.24.14 | Sarah Harnisch

Davis College will introduce a program this fall to help incoming students pay off their loans after graduation.

The Christian college in Johnson City will introduce FLEX -- Financial Liberty Exercised — for incoming students. FLEX provides assistance to students and parents and will help with loan repayment after graduation if students do not meet specified income thresholds.

Assistance will continue until the graduate’s income rises to a level of financial sufficiency, or until the loans are completely paid off.

“This program provides a safety net for our students,” said Dino Pedrone, president of Davis College.

With this program, students will be able to pursue their interests without the fear of defaulting on student loans, Pedrone and other officials said on Wednesday, when the program was announced.

At Davis College, about 91 percent of students receive scholarships and 98 percent receive financial aid. About 44 percent of students take out loans as part of financial aid and about 70 percent of full-time students take out loans to attend the college, according to officials.

The average loan debt of a Davis College student is about $22,000, according to officials. The national average for loan debt is closer to $30,000.

At Davis, tuition and fees cost $19,500 per academic year, according to officials. The college has also frozen tuition costs to help with affordability.

The FLEX program will be available for free to incoming students. Students must graduate and be employed at least 30 hours a week to qualify. The program is administered in part with the Loan Repayment Assistant Program Association, an independent provider of loan repayment assistance programs for college and university students.

Students whose income will be less than $35,000 after graduation will be eligible for the program. If a graduate’s income is less than $20,000, the program will fully reimburse the loan payments. As incomes rise, the reimbursement percentages drop until a graduate’s salary reaches $35,000, where reimbursement will no longer be offered.

“We are really trying to make ourselves as affordable and accessible to students as we can,” said Rick Cramer, chief enrollment officer at Davis College.