An outstanding financial balance may prohibit many individuals from from completing their college degree, getting a diploma and advancing their careers. To help students overcome this financial barrier, the Questa Education Foundation and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership developed the Degree Finish Line program. Degree Finish Line helps students pay off existing institutional balances so they can re-enroll or continue enrollment and finish their degrees. In addition, students will join Questa’s Contemporary Scholars program and receive low-interest loans to help fund tuition and fees for their remaining semesters. Questa loans are up to 75% forgiven when students graduate from partner schools and live and work in northeast Indiana for five years after graduation.

Degree Finish Line was developed with the Northeast Indiana Colleges and Universities Network, a regional collaboration facilitated by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. This partnership builds on the 2019 Talent Hub designation by Lumina Foundation, which recognizes the region’s collaborative approach to fueling credential attainment.

“Programs like Degree Finish Line are critical to helping our region attain 60% of the population with a postsecondary degree or credential,” said Ryan Twiss, vice president of Talent Initiatives at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership in an announcement. “Northeast Indiana is able to implement this unique program because of the exceptional collaboration of our regional colleges and universities and the expertise of Questa Education Foundation in helping students finance their college education.”

Local institutions are partnering with Questa to forgive up to $4,000 of outstanding balance, and Questa will provide up to $5,000 a year in additional funding. Debt forgiveness and financing options vary by institution.

“We believe in the talent of our residents, and we have been investing in local talent for decades,” said Elizabeth Bushnell, executive director of Questa Education Foundation, in the announcement. “This innovative program ensures that students can overcome financial obstacles, complete their degree programs and contribute to our regional workforce.”

Residents of the 11 counties of northeast Indiana are eligible to apply, including Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, Noble, LaGrange, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. Participating and partnering institutions include: Grace College, Huntington University, Indiana Tech, Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech Community College, Manchester University and Trine University.

“Grace College committed to this program in order to help more students achieve their degrees,” said Mark Pohl, associate vice president of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid at Grace College, in a statement. “We are dedicated to the success of every student at Grace and are proud to collaborate with other colleges and universities in the region to support the success of all students in Northeast Indiana.”

Students are encouraged to contact their financial aid department for more information or visit the Contemporary Scholars page at www.questafoundation.org.

To learn more, visit the website at www.neindiana.com/news.

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership:  The organization's mission is to build, market and sell northeast Indiana to increase business investment. For more information, visit www.neindiana.com.

About Questa Foundation: Since 1937, Questa Education Foundation has been helping individuals access post secondary education, graduate with less debt, and become contributing members of northeast Indiana’s workforce.

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