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New loan repayment program can help NMSU College of Health and Social Services grads

Student loans can be daunting for graduates in every field, but loan repayment programs can help ease the burden for health professionals.

The newly created New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Worker Loan Repayment Program can assist graduates from New Mexico State University’s School of Social Work in the College of Health and Social Services.

The goal of the program is to increase the number of professionals employed with the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department who work in the protective services division or juvenile justice division of the agency. The program can award up to $25,000 in student loan forgiveness to professionals who are employees of CYFD.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed House Bill 341 into law in early April. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Hall of Albuquerque and Rep. Doreen Gallegos of Las Cruces.

The program provides funds to repay the principal and accrued interest on federal government or commercial lender loans for costs associated with undergraduate or master’s education.

As a social work college associate professor and field director at NMSU, Olga Cabada said this program is beneficial because many of the students pursuing social work degrees have limited resources.

“The loan repayment program seems to me to be a positive and supportive move for those already employed at CYFD as it not only demonstrates a level of care for those already employed but it brings financial relief and incentive for social workers for those considering joining the CYFD workforce,” Cabada said.

Applicants have to complete at least one year of service with the agency prior to applying for the award. Awards will be related to the years of service completed as a social worker.

The application for the awards will be accepted through Aug. 15.

For more information on the program visit http://www.hed.state.nm.us/students/new-mexico-children-youth-and-families-worker-loan-repayment-program.aspx.

Additionally, the New Mexico Higher Education Department has a Health Professional Loan Repayment Program along with the Allied Health, Nursing and Nurse Educator loan for service programs. For more information on each program visit http://www.hed.state.nm.us.