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As Student Loan Debt Soars, Oklahoma Wesleyan University Offers a Solution

BARTLESVILLE, OK With student loan debt at record levels, high school seniors are becoming increasingly apprehensive about going to college in light of the potential debt burden that will follow them upon graduation.

The fact is that seven out of ten graduating seniors at public and private nonprofit colleges had student loans in 2013, according to a recently released report from the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). “Graduating with burdensome debt is not a foregone conclusion,” says Lauren Asher.

That is, unless you attend Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU). OKWU is the only college or university in the state of Oklahoma that has implemented an ongoing program, called PURSUE, that assists students in making their loan payments if they can’t find a job or can’t find one with a high enough salary to adequately make their loan payments.

“The American dream is dying,” says Dr. Everett Piper, the president of OKWU. “Going to college is becoming riskier than ever. What if you graduate and can’t find the right job that will help you pay off your student loans. This happens more than you would like to think.”

OKWU and Piper saw this coming years ago, and did something about it in 2012 with the program’s implementation.

“We embraced this program because we believe students should be rewarded for their hard work and empowered to pursue their calling — no matter what field they choose,” says Dr. Piper.

PURSUE is available to all incoming students at OKWU, whether they are freshmen or transfers, as long as they have 60 or more hours left to graduate. The school pays the premium. Upon graduation, through the PURSUE program, OKWU will partner with students with low to moderate income to assist them in paying back student loans. PURSUE covers all federal student loans, private alternative student loans, and parent PLUS loans. In order to receive assistance, students must graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and must be employed a minimum of 30 hours a week.

To find out more about how PURSUE, visit www.okwu.edu/pursue.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is a private Christian university. Recently voted one of the Regionally Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, OKWU continues to gain national attention for their commitment to education. OKWU has also caught the eye of CBS Money Watch and Forbes’ Top College list.

To learn more about Oklahoma Wesleyan visit www.okwu.edu.

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