Google has decided to cover the student loans of its employees, by offering them an amount of $2,500 annually, Google has announced on Thursday.
The student loan repayment program introduced by Google will start implementing as of 2021, and the $2,500 allowance will be given to full-time employees aiming to help them save money which can be used for other purposes, such as purchasing a home or starting a family.
According to an email that Google’s Head of Global Benefits, John Casey sent to employees on Thursday, Black Googler Network and Black Leadership Advisory Group which are two of resource groups at Google, have assisted the company in coming up with this program, CNBC reports.
“Though student loan debt is an issue globally, Americans in particular face an enormous student loan deficit—$1.5 trillion dollars, twice what it was a decade ago. This burden disproportionately affects women and communities of colour: For example, on average Black college graduates have $25,000 more in student debt than white graduates four years after completing a bachelor’s degree,” John Casey noted in a blog post published on Thursday.
According to Casey, the main purpose of the student loan program is to offer support to workers so they can have long-term financial stability, claiming that the company will also consider other methods which could contribute to increasing access to education as well as to offer opportunities for everyone.
This decision includes only 123,000 full-time employees and excludes the company’s 130,000 contractors and part-time workers.
A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management has shown that as of 2019, 8 per cent of US companies offer support to employees for student loan debts.
Meanwhile, the total student loan in the United States has exceeded $1.5 trillion; most of the borrowers are people from marginalized communities.
After a decision of Google taken in April this year, employees are allowed to take up to 14 weeks during a year so they can take care of their family members. Moreover, in May, the company granted its employees an amount of $1,000, so they can arrange a home office.