The U.S. Department of Education has loan forgiveness and cancellation programs available for individuals who become teachers and for students who are enrolled in post-baccalaureate teacher certification programs. More details about the following programs for teachers and students who become teachers are available on the Federal Student Aid website at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
FEDERAL LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR TEACHERS
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. If you have PLUS loans only, you are not eligible for this type of forgiveness.
FEDERAL LOAN CANCELLATION FOR TEACHERS
If you have a loan from the Federal Perkins Loan Program you might be eligible for loan cancellation for full-time teaching at a low-income school, or for teaching in certain subject areas. You can also qualify for deferment for these qualifying teaching services. Check with the school that made your Federal Perkins Loan for more information.
TEACH GRANTS FOR STUDENTS
A Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is different from other federal student grants because it requires you to take certain kinds of classes in order to get the grant, and then do a certain kind of job to keep the grant from turning into a loan.
A TEACH-Grant-eligible program is a program of study that is designed to prepare you to teach as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need field and that leads to a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or is a postbaccalaureate program. A two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree is considered a program that leads to a bachelor’s degree. A postbaccalaureate program is not TEACH-Grant-eligible if it is offered by a school that also offers a bachelor’s degree in education.
Schools that participate in the TEACH Grant Program determine which of the programs they offer are TEACH-Grant-eligible. A program that is TEACH-Grant-eligible at one school might not be TEACH-Grant-eligible at another school. Contact the financial aid office at the school you are attending (or that you plan to attend) to find out which programs at that school are eligible.
PELL GRANTS FOR POST-BACCALAUREATE TEACHER CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS
Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Federal Pell Grant.) You are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense.
A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances. Find out why you might have to repay all or part of a federal grant.