A new employee benefit is beginning to surface in Corporate America that has the potential to become common practice for employers that wish to attract and retain millennials saturated with student loans.

This month, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the global audit and consulting firm, officially launched a program it piloted that will pay down a portion of student loan debt incurred by employees enrolled in its student loan paydown plan. The plan is offered through Gradifi, a Boston-based startup founded in 2014. So far, 6,300 PwC employees have enrolled. The firm offers immediate enrollment for new hires.

Participants in PwC’s plan may receive this benefit for six years or until they’re promoted to manager, whichever comes first. PwC will pay up to $100 per month, $1,200 a year and $7,200 in total. Michael Fenlon, the global talent leader at PwC, says the benefit can help some participants shave two to three years from the life of their loans and reduce their debt obligations by $10,000.

PwC was the first company to sign up with Gradifi. “They approached us and we loved the idea,” says Fenlon. “We wanted to be a pioneer in this space since it’s a major societal issue.” PwC notes that 40 million recent grads (approximately 71 percent) carry more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. The average loan balance for members of the class of 2015 is $35,000.

PwC recognizes it must offer innovative benefits to attract and retain good talent, says Fenlon. Approximately 22,000 of the firm’s employees in the U.S. could potentially be eligible for the student loan paydown plan, he says. This is based on their age, he notes, but doesn’t necessarily mean they all carry student-loan debt. PwC sees the benefit as an extension of its Earn Your Future program, which provides a financial literacy curriculum to students in grade school and high school.

Gradifi spent much time building scalability and security to meet PwC’s needs, says Tim DeMello, Gradifi’s founder and CEO. “We were fortunate to lift off with a large client like PwC,” he says. Publicity regarding Gradifi’s relationship with PwC, first announced last fall, helped trigger inquiries from more than 400 companies, he says.

Approximately 20 companies, including Natixis Global Asset Management and advertising agency Connelly Partners, went live with paydown plans on the Gradifi platform prior to PwC’s official launch, says DeMello. “This week alone we registered $150 million in student loans,” he told Financial Advisor in mid-June. Many companies will launch plans in January 2017, he adds.

Gradifi makes student loan payments directly to loan providers on behalf of employees, and it’s also expanding its perks. The company recently announced a partnership with Citizens Bank, which will enable it to offer student loan refinancing services to its clients. Starting this fall, a new partnership with Radius Bank will allow MasterCard debit card users to earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases, which will automatically transfer to the cardholders’ student loans.

DeMello is watching proposed legislation that could make corporate tuition reimbursement a tax-free benefit to employees. He doesn’t see its current taxable status as a deterrent, but thinks a tax-free provision would accelerate interest.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Tuition.io is also seeing interest in its employer-funded student loan contribution platform, Flex365, which it launched in April 2015. Last month, the company announced the platform has saved employees more than 5,000 years of student loan payments and millions of dollars in interest payments.  Tuition.io, whose clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies including Fidelity Investments, describes its product as a hiring and retention tool.

PwC is helping Raisa Cruz, a tax associate in its banking and capital markets and insurance practices in New York City, whittle down some of the $50,000 in student loan debt she amassed earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in taxation.

“I’m so excited and kind of relieved,” says Cruz, who signed up for PwC’s student loan paydown plan during its pilot phase. As a student, “you’re not really thinking about what you’re signing,” she says, “and it hits you all at once” upon graduation. Being in accounting has made her especially cognizant of the numbers now, she says, noting that her rent and other cost of living expenses are also very high.

Cruz, who started as an intern with PwC in 2012 and joined the firm full-time in January 2015, says she heard potential interns talk about PwC’s student loan paydown benefit when she participated in recruiting events on college campuses. “It’s a huge pitching point for our firm,” she says.

Fenlon, the global talent leader at PwC, agrees. “The feedback has blown us away,” he says. “Students and faculty are telling us it’s a real differentiator.”