For Ji Wan, a Student-Friendly Loan Opened Doors to a Masters Degree
Dreamers Graduate Loan Program Participant
A recent immigrant to the U.S., Eunice worked as an optometric technician before enrolling in Hudson County Community College’s nursing program. She was able to finance her final year of school through the New Jersey Pay It Forward Program, which offered her a zero-interest, no-fee loan; a living stipend; and access to emergency aid funding and mental health counseling.
Buoyed by the living stipend, Eunice cut down her work hours and allotted more time to studying. Without having to worry about paying interest on her loans, she felt less stressed. When money ran short, the emergency aid fund helped her pay her utility bills.
Eunice graduated as a registered nurse (RN) in the spring of 2023 and began working as an ICU nurse at a nearby hospital. She hopes to continue her education, with the goal of becoming a nurse educator or nurse practitioner.
“The New Jersey Pay It Forward stipend and emergency aid funds helped me focus on my classes and worry less,” said Eunice. “The no-interest loan helps me stay in the here and now, instead of worrying too much about the compounding interest I would have to pay in the future.”