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Loan-Forgiveness Programs Available to Support Teachers, Aid Recruitment

A recent blog by the U.S. Department of Education highlighted three federal loan-forgiveness programs available to teachers, in addition to programs available at the state level. Make sure your students (and prospective students) know about these programs:

  1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness – Forgives the remaining balance on Federal Direct Loans after 120 qualifying payments (10 years).
  2. Teacher Loan Forgiveness – Forgives up to $17,500 of Direct or FFEL Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans after 5 complete and consecutive years of teaching at a qualifying school.
  3. Perkins Loan Cancellation – Forgives up to 100% of Federal Perkins Loans for those teaching full-time at a low-income school, or teaching certain subjects.

Loan-forgiveness programs can be an effective recruiting tool for students who may be apprehensive about joining a profession known for low pay. A recent policy brief from the Learning Policy Institute found that when the financial offset was great enough, programs were able to more successfully recruit (and retain) strong teachers – particularly for high-need schools and fields. The brief also reviews various programs’ successes and challenges in attracting teachers.

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Zachary VanHouten

Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE