MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody in Vermont, is now accepting applications for its Student LIFT debt repayment program. The unique program awards three Vermonters with $5,000 each, to use towards student loan payments. In contrast to typical scholarship programs, Student LIFT aims to empower former students to reduce the burden of student loan debt. Student loan debt can be a significant expense long after students leave college. Research from the Institute for College Access & Success (link is external) found that 65 percent of Vermonters hold student debt balances, with an average debt of $29,060.