April 30 Deadline To Consolidate Student Debt

Our union can help! 

The Department of Education is continuing to improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness plan and now they are going back to review ALL payments for borrowers who apply and complete Income Driven Repayment plans by April 30, 2o24.

Click here to register for Summer and to attend a webinar for union members. There are webinars scheduled. The next is Feb. 19, at 7:00 p.m., so get the information to save yourself money.

This could mean thousands of dollars of debt relief for student borrowers – and even some who took Parent Plus Loans will benefit from the Income Driven Repayment program.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a federal program that forgives the remaining balance on your direct federal loans after you’ve 1) made the equivalent of 120 qualifying monthly payments under an accepted repayment plan 2) while working full-time for an eligible employer. As an employee at Rutgers University, you are eligible for this program. 

URA members  have access to Summer—though our parent union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Summer will help you simplify and navigate your student loan, including help to: 

  • Enroll in income-driven repayment plans and managing annual income recertifications;
  • Complete the PSLF Employment Certification Form and managing the PSLF certification and application process; and
  • Find other loan forgiveness programs and maximize loan repayment and forgiveness options.
  • 120 months sounds like a long time, but the months of the COVID payment “pause” may also be counted towards that number. 

One Member of Many Who Saved

URA building rep Colleen Klein, program coordinator at the Dance Department in Mason Gross said: “I finally received a judgment on my PSLF application re: my student loans. They have been forgiven! The amount forgiven: $34,988. The years I worked at Pillar College, Princeton & Rutgers fulfilled the service requirement.

I am so thankful to the union for helping with this process. It’s daunting & takes some time but having Summer work with me was key to getting this result.”

Do Not Delay

Your last chance to have previously ineligible payments on any federal loans count toward PSLF ends on April 30, 2024. You must consolidate FFEL Loans and Perkins loans before this deadline to maximize the number of qualifying payments. Complete the consolidation application using Summer or at Federal Student Aid before April 30, 2024.


Union Plus Scholarships

Apply today: January 31 deadline for 2024 Union Plus Scholarships. A scholarship for union families. Union Plus Scholarships help union families with the cost of college.…/edu…/union-plus-scholarships


Ida Disaster Support Grant

The AFT NJ Disaster Support Grant offers direct grants of up to $250 to members who sustained significant losses of primary dwelling, personal property and vehicles or mandatory-evacuation expenses due to Tropical Storm Ida.

For application materials, click here. Applications must be received by October 31, 2021. Only dues-paying members of the URA-AFT are eligible to apply.


URA Vision Care Form


The URA-AFT Vision Care Reimbursement program offers up to a $50 reimbursement per pair of glasses purchased (frames and lenses) or contacts. Up to $45 per person cost of glasses or contracts is reimbursed and an additional $5 for bifocal or multifocal lenses.

We started this program because members felt the Rutgers vision care reimbursement was not sufficient and we decided to match this program. Remember to apply for both the Rutgers program and with URA.

1. Download and complete the URA Vision Care Reimbursement application and return to URA.  Make copies of your receipts.

2. Download and complete the Rutgers Vision Care Claim Form and return to UHR.

2014 Contract Benefits URA Contract

Introduction the URA-AFT Vision Care Reimbursement Pilot Program

{eyeglasses clipart}Rutgers University provides a benefit for vision care to its employees, but it is not enough to cover all the costs; and it does not cover frames—only lenses.  Rutgers’ management team refused to increase the benefit during union contract negotiations.

Article 55 “Vision Care Program” of the of the URA contract states that:

Full-time employees covered under this agreement and their eligible dependents (unmarried children under the age of 23) are eligible to participate in the Vision Care Program established by the University. This program shall provide for up to a $45 reimbursement for single vision corrective lenses and up to a $50 reimbursement for bifocal or trifocal corrective lenses.  Employees and eligible dependents are entitled to receive one reimbursement for lenses purchased over a two year period, with each two year period determined by the University.

The URA’s “Vision Care Reimbursement Pilot Program” will reimburse signed, full-dues URA-AFT members up to the same maximum amount provided by the Rutgers University Vision Care Plan on the balance of the total eligible expenses for the member and any eligible dependent. Claims are processed on a first-come first-served basis (up to and including the total amount approved in the URA-AFT annual budget). URA-AFT Officers and members will decide to extend or modify the program after the pilot.