Updated 2/19/03

This web site is provided as a brief overview of the Dickinson College Homebuyer Program. For a complete description, please read the plan document available in Human Resource Services.

What Is the Dickinson College Homebuyer Program?

The Dickinson College Homebuyer Program assists eligible employees with either the purchase of a home in a specific area OR assists first-time homebuyers. The program provides a Forgiveness Loan of up to $2,000 for closing costs and downpayment assistance. It also provides a Deferred Payment Loan of up to $5,000 for additional downpayment and closing cost assistance which would be due on the sale of the house.

You must either buy and occupy a single, two or three family home in the specified area OR you must be a first-time homebuyer.

Who Can Participate?

This program is open to any Dickinson College employee who meets either one of the following criteria.
  • Faculty members of 50% or more of full-time with a minimum one-year appointment
    OR
  • Regular staff members scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week.

*Note: Only one benefit per family, even if more than one household member is an employee. Only one program (geographic area or first-time homebuyer) may be used per applicant.

A first-time homebuyer is (a) someone who has never owned a home; (b) someone who has owned a mobile home but not the land on which it was located; or (c) someone who has lost their home due to a divorce settlement and has not owned a home since that time (displaced homemaker).

Forgiveness Loan for Downpayment and Closing Costs

You must contribute at least 3% of the purchase price of a home with your own money towards downpayment on the property. The College will then provide a forgivable payment loan to you for up to $2,000 for downpayment and/or closing costs. The amount of assistance required is determined by the mortgage lender. The loan will be forgiven in increments of 1/60 per month from the anniversary date of the home purchase over a five-year period. The entire sum is forgiven after five years of home ownership. Any unforgiven amount of the loan is due and payable upon the conditions listed in the Termination of Loan Assistance section.

Should you die, the remainder of the forgiveness loan will be absolved based on years of service. If you have more than five years of service, the loan will be completely excused. If you have less than five years of service, 1/5 of the loan will be forgiven for each year of service.

This program has a cap of $10,000 in total for new Forgiveness Loans per fiscal year (July1 through June 30).

Deferred Loan

If additional assistance is required, up to $5,000 in no-interest loan funds can be provided to you. The exact amount is determined by the mortgage lender.

Should you die, and if you worked at the College for more than five years, this loan is payable when your immediate family ceases to occupy the property or when remarriage occurs. If you have less than five years of service at the time of death, repayment will begin within 60 days after death.

A cap for all deferred loans granted in one year is set at $25,000 per fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).

How Do I Apply?

Eligible employees who wish to apply for funds should obtain an application from Human Resource Services at 55 N. West Street. Available funds are provided on a “first-come-first-serve” basis.

Once a decision is made, you will be notified by mail about approval or denial.

First-time homebuyers who fall within certain income limits may also qualify for programs offered by local lenders and the Cumberland County Redevelopment Authority (249-0789).

Termination of Loan Assistance

Your loan becomes due when any one of the following circumstances occur:

  1. You are no longer a Dickinson employee,
  2. You no longer occupy the property as your principal residence, or
  3. You are no longer the owner of the property.

If you and your spouse divorce, and you, the Borrower, move out of the property but provide court-ordered support to members in the household, repayment is not necessary.

If you are on an approved Leave of Absence for not more than one year OR are serving as director of one of the College’s overseas facilities, no termination is triggered and repayment is not necessary.

Repayment is required within 60 days of termination of employment, change of address, or at property settlement.

Map of Specified Area


Although the information on the Human Resource Services web pages is kept as accurate as possible, it is for information purposes only and is subject to change at any time. The official documents and policies are maintained in the Human Resource Services office.