Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Office of Personnel Management has issued a report on

the federal student loan repayment program stating that

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agency use and program funding tripled from fiscal 2002

from 2003.


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

employee.


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

templates at:

opm.gov