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Loan Forgiveness Program Revised

The Yale School of Management’s Loan Forgiveness Program was the first program of its kind when launched in 1986, and thanks to a recent overhaul, it is once again leading the field.

The program has always aimed to help Yale SOM graduates follow their passions for policy, social justice, and community activism by pursuing career opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors without the burden of student loan payments.

Last year, Dean Joel M. Podolny charged a committee with bringing the Yale SOM program up to date. As a result, the school has made the program more generous—participants with incomes up to $70,000 have 100% of their need-based loans covered. The application process has been radically simplified, requiring only a letter of employment stipulating the participant’s salary, and spousal contribution no longer factors into eligibility calculations. Yale SOM plans to offer assistance of some level to all graduates who qualify, including international students.

The Loan Forgiveness Program has had a tremendous impact on both individual alumni and the communities they serve, and it has depended from its beginning on the support of the Yale SOM community. The program was started with seed money from two generous members of the Class of 1985, Rod Correll and Peter Quesada. In 2003, the Charter Class of 1978 endowed the Memorial Loan Forgiveness Fund, in memory of Jeffrey McNally '78 and Donald Ogilvie '78, and the Class of 1979 followed suit by establishing the Class of 1979 Loan Forgiveness Fund, to commemorate their 25th anniversary. Both funds have added invaluable resources to the program. Since inception, the Loan Forgiveness Program has awarded over $750,000 to more than 300 graduates.

Graduates in the program have worked for a range of organizations--from local government offices, like the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, to international NGOs, including Enterprise Works Worldwide. As Hope Taylor Norman ’02 said, “I was able to follow a career dream due to the Yale SOM Loan Forgiveness Program. The Yale SOM Loan Forgiveness Program gave us the extra cushion we needed to take the financial risk and follow my dream.”

Additionally, with the cost of a business education soaring, providing financial relief for those pursuing careers in the nonprofit and public sectors is critical to attracting top students. Another graduate, Amanda B. Joseph ’96 wrote: “As someone committed to working for social and economic justice, one of the reasons I chose SOM specifically was for the Loan Forgiveness Program.”

If you are interested in contributing to this program, please contact Kathleen Brown-Dorato at (203) 432-5463 or