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Federal and State Loan Forgiveness Programs for Teachers

Below are the federal and state loan forgiveness programs available to teachers. Note that each program has its own eligibility requirements. A comparison chart (PDF) is available.

Note: The information outlined on this page is not intended as a substitute for information provided by the actual providers of the following programs, nor is it an exhaustive list of all available loan forgiveness programs.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Available for borrowers who hold public service jobs in areas that include health and education.
  • Requires 120 qualifying monthly payments be made to the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program before loan forgiveness consideration.
  • More detailed information is available at www.studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice.

Federal TEACH Grant Program

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program to provide grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.
  • Contact your financial aid office to see if your school participates in the TEACH Grant program.
  • More detailed information is available at www.teachgrant.ed.gov.

Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applications should be submitted after the student has graduated. Applications are provided by the college or university that issued the Perkins Loan(s).
  • Applicants must teach in a federally designated low-income school, teach special education or teach in a designated subject-shortage area.
  • Benefits are earned incrementally, with up to 100% cancellation after five years of qualified teaching.
  • Payments are deferred during years of teaching; paperwork is coordinated through the college or university that issued the Perkins Loan(s).
  • More detailed information is available from the U.S. Department of Education.

Federal Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers

Eligibility Requirements:

Iowa Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applications should be submitted after the student has graduated.
  • Applicants must be fully licensed teachers, begin their first classroom teaching job in Iowa no earlier than July 1, 2007, and must teach in a shortage area as designated by the Iowa Department of Education.
  • As much as $6,658 in eligible Federal Stafford or Federal Consolidation Loans can be forgiven at the completion of one year of teaching (2012 graduates).
  • More detailed information is available from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission.

Note: The information outlined on this page is not intended as a substitute for information provided by the actual providers of the following programs, nor is it an exhaustive list of all available loan forgiveness programs.

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