Through a $5 million loan, Northern Trust is working with the Self-Help Federal Credit Union to provide low-cost funding to aspiring medical professionals who are attending or have been accepted to medical school and are members of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
While the DACA program provides eligibility for renewable work permits to undocumented individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children, its participants remain ineligible for traditional sources of student loans provided by the U.S. government. Northern Trust is stepping in to fill that gap.
“This investment will benefit talented young people who have been accepted to medical school but do not have access to traditional sources of student loans,” said Connie Lindsey, Northern Trust’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “This is an impactful and innovative way to provide access to capital and increase the diversity of those who practice medicine, and we are pleased to lend financial support for this effort.”
Administered by the non-profit Self-Help Ventures Fund, these loans will be given to DACA medical students at rates pegged to federal student loan rates – far lower than what would be available otherwise. This in turn helps protect these students from the high-cost, predatory financial products they might otherwise have to use.
Rudy Media, president of Second Federal, a division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union, explained that thousands of DACA recipients serve on the front lines of health care and other essential services. “Providing affordable, low-cost financing options for these students fills a critical void,” he said.
The effort builds on a previous Northern Trust-funded program for DACA medical students established in conjunction with The Resurrection Project, a Chicago-based community development organization.