HCA Healthcare supports colleagues with student loan and tuition assistance
The most recent data from the National Student Loan Data System shows that 43 million Americans collectively owe more than $1.5 trillion in student debt. Compounded by the ongoing financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, student loans continue to make news headlines as the second-largest category of U.S. consumer debt, second only to home loans and higher than debt for both credit cards and auto loans.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average medical school debt for 2020 graduates exceeded $200,000. So it’s no surprise that in today’s labor environment, new graduates and job seekers aren’t merely looking for jobs with a paycheck — they’re seeking ways to eliminate debt they’ve accrued, or may eventually accrue, in pursuit of their career.
HCA Healthcare took action to help relieve this key stress point in the lives of our colleagues by launching our Student Loan Assistance and Tuition Assistance programs. These programs have invested approximately $77.5 million to support more than 26,000 colleagues.
Student Loan Assistance
In the first six months of 2021, more than 13,000 HCA Healthcare colleagues have received approximately $8 million in student loan assistance. Our Student Loan Assistance program includes the following benefits:
- A monthly $100 benefit for eligible full-time colleagues and $50 for part-time colleagues, up to a lifetime maximum.
- Eligibility of U.S.-based education loans that may include federal Perkins loans, private student loans, grad PLUS loans, subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans, health professions loans, student refinance loans and consolidated student loans.
- Financial wellness coaching, including free and unlimited one-on-one sessions with a financial wellness coach to develop action plans related to student loan debt, evaluate repayment and refinancing options, avoid or rehabilitate a default and make the most of the HCA Healthcare benefits.
From January to June 2021, more than 7,000 colleagues utilized tuition assistance benefits, approximating $18 million — with $8.2 million for nursing programs alone. Highlights of our Tuition Assistance program include:
- Up to $5,250 annually in tax-free reimbursement for eligible higher education tuition, plus education discounts from more than 220 accredited schools.
- Zero out-of-pocket tuition expenses in pursuit of an online RN to BSN through our HCA Healthcare-Galen College of Nursing Grant, which facilitates direct billing between our two organizations.
- Galen also offers other unique online and campus-based programs to HCA Healthcare colleagues.
At HCA Healthcare, we’ve built a unique culture of caring, and because of our scale we’re able to unlock numerous possibilities for our colleagues (and their dependents!) to learn and grow. Here’s a few of the ways their education is supported too:
- The Patricia Frist Memorial Scholarship, established and funded by the HCA Healthcare Foundation, awards scholarships of up to $5,000 for higher education expenses to dependent children of eligible HCA Healthcare colleagues. Awards are merit-based, with the amount of the award determined by financial need.
- Colleagues’ dependents also have access to a team of college admissions and finance experts who can help maximize academic success and plan for college costs through Bright Horizons College Coach provided by HCA Healthcare.
Program eligibility for all of the programs detailed above can vary by location and employment status.
HCA Healthcare’s high standards and expectations for patient care have led us to invest heavily in our greatest asset: our people. We proudly encourage the professional growth of our colleagues who wish to improve their knowledge, skills and potential for advancement through continued education. Offering education assistance is just one way we care together — for our patients, communities and each other.
Visit Careers.HCAhealthcare.com for opportunities to work at HCA Healthcare.
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About HCA Healthcare
HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our approximately 275,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.
As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.