Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers

loan forgiveness for teachersFewer students are choosing to enroll in programs that could help them to become teachers, when experts compare current enrollment rates to those seen a decade or two ago. In California, for example, enrollment in programs like this has dropped by 66 percent in a decade, according to an article in EdSource.

It’s hard to know exactly why these numbers are dropping, but it’s possible that simple finances play a role. Tuition and associated education fees seem to rise each and every year with no end in sight, and in response to this economic pressure, some students might choose to enroll in somewhat profitable careers in business or medicine, rather than teaching. By enrolling in high-profit fields of study, these students reason, they’ll be able to pay back their tuition costs with ease.

It’s reasonable for students to behave this way, but the fact of the matter is that communities need teachers. Students need to learn a number of vital details about how the world works, so they can participate as successful adults in their communities. Since officials recognize that need, they’ve developed a number of student loan forgiveness programs made just for teachers. These programs have strict eligibility requirements, but they can make the field of education look just a little more appealing to students, and that might help enrollment numbers to rise accordingly.

Typical Cost of an Education

Students who want to work as teachers begin the journey by obtaining a bachelor’s degree. The cost of this degree can vary quite a bit, depending on the school the student chooses, but it’s safe to say that the cost of this portion of the education experience could run into the thousands.

Some students choose to augment that bachelor’s degree by enrolling in a master’s degree program in education. The costs associated with that enrollment can also vary by school, but typically, master’s-level education comes with a higher tuition bill. The Harvard Graduate School of Education, for example, charges $41,616 for full-time tuition

in the 2014-2015 academic year, and when other fees and expenses are added in, a student’s expenses could top $67,000 for one year. That’s much higher than the cost of some undergraduate programs.

Online programs can sometimes keep costs under control, and students who participate in programs like this won’t be required to live on campus or near campus, so they might have smaller bills associated with everyday living. A program like this at the University of Cincinnati costs $21,750 per year in tuition for students who don’t live in Ohio. That’s much cheaper than an on-campus tuition program, but it’s still quite expensive.

Other Options

student loansWhile many teachers might qualify for programs at the state and local level, and when they do, they might see their debts wiped away, most programs do require teachers to make a good-faith effort to pay back their loans when they graduate. Falling behind can close the door to assistance, so it’s vital that teachers do whatever they can to keep up with their payments until they become eligible for forgiveness.

Even teachers who do keep up with their payments might not be eligible for forgiveness, however, if they don’t work in eligible schools or if they don’t teach subjects deemed high priority. Students like this might qualify for Income-Based Repayment programs, however, which provide borrowers with the ability to pay only what their budgets will allow, with forgiveness after 25 years of successful payments. That’s a long time to pay back a loan, but it could be a good option for some teachers.

To find out more about how student loans work and how students can take advantage of options that can reduce their overall debt burden, browse our website. We have a number of resources that can help.

 

General