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By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Student Loan Authority has announced a loan forgiveness program meant to encourage students to pursue internships and help ease student loan debt.
The program also is meant to help offset fees that students may incur when they take internships for credit.
Students would be eligible for one $2,000 forgiveness per three-credit paid or unpaid internship, with a limit of one forgiveness per student, for any R.I. Student Loan Authority, non-federal loans.
Students must be matriculated at a Rhode Island higher education institution or be a Rhode Island resident attending an out-of-state institution.
The student’s school must validate that the internship was for credit and that the student completed a degree certificate.
Loan forgiveness will be eligible for 2013 summer internships. The loan forgiveness will be taxable income and students will receive a 1099 for the tax year in which they become eligible for the forgiveness.
The loan authority announced the program Wednesday in a meeting with the Governor’s Workforce Board, which highlighted Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee’s proposed work immersion program.
That program would provide temporary, paid work experience for post-secondary school students and unemployed adults while helping local businesses by training residents for potential employment.
Rhode Island residents must be 18 years old or enrolled in a Rhode Island college or university to participate. The program would give 50 percent wage subsidy to employers that would increase to 75 percent retroactively if that participant is hired permanently at the completion of the immersion period.
Chafee has proposed budgeting $2 million in the FY2014 budget for the program.