The Office of Personnel Management has issued a report on
the federal student loan repayment program stating that
agency use and program funding tripled from fiscal 2002
Agencies distributed over $9 million in repayment benefits
in fiscal 2003 to 2,077 federal employees, said OPM.
The announcement follows a government wide crackdown on
diploma mill abuse, aimed at stopping federal employees
from using government funds to purchase bogus academic
degrees for hiring and advancement.
Agencies are authorized to establish a program to repay
certain types of federally made, insured or guaranteed
student loans. Agencies can pay up to $10,000 per employee
per year up with $60,000 in maximum payments — secured
through a minimum three-year service agreement with the
OPM promoted the program as a recruiting and retention
tool and said agencies have reported success using the
program as a hiring incentive.
However it said only 24 agencies provided loan benefits
in fiscal 2003, though six more have established plans
and two are currently doing so. “We also encourage all
agencies to develop a budget plan for using recruitment
and retention incentives, including student loan
repayments,” said OPM.
Two sample agency loan repayment plans are available as