SHRM Survey: More Than Half of Workers Say Employer-Provided Student Loan Benefit Would Play Role in Assessing Job Opportunities

May 31, 2019
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — More than one-half of working Americans said employer-provided student loan repayment benefits would play a role in how they evaluate job opportunities, according to new research from SHRM — the Society for Human Resource Management. 

The survey’s finding from the NORC AmeriSpeak Omnibus Panel comes as SHRM is advocating for H.R. 1043/S. 460, the Employer Participation in Repayment Act. This bipartisan, bicameral bill would expand current employer-provided education assistance to include student loan repayment as a type of tax-free benefit.

“Expanding the scope of employer-provided education assistance to include student loan repayment would be a win for both employees and employers,” said Chief of Staff Emily M. Dickens, who oversees SHRM’s Government Affairs. “Providing employers with the flexibility to offer support gives employees choices when making decisions on education. And, as the research shows, education assistance helps employers attract talented employees and build diverse teams to compete globally.”

A Federal Reserve study found that student loan debt has increased by 96 percent since 2010, which signals that more people entering the workforce are graduating with significant student debt. As a result, employees are seeking benefits such as employer-provided education assistance and student loan repayment. In this competitive labor market, some employers are already restructuring benefit offerings to attract and retain talent.  

SHRM chairs the Coalition to Preserve Employer Provided Education Assistance, which is made up of nearly 100 organizations representing employers, labor and higher education, all of which are committed to strengthening employer-provided education assistance. 

Methodology: The research polled 1,084 Americans using AmeriSpeak Omnibus, a monthly multi-client survey using NORC at the University of Chicago’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population. The survey was conducted from May 14 to 21, using both online and phone methods.

MEDIA: For more information about the research project or to schedule an interview, please contact Kate Kennedy at 703-535-6260 and or Vanessa Hill at 703-535-6072 and  

About the Society for Human Resource Management
SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.



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