The average teacher accrues over $50,000 in combined debt to receive a master's in education according to a study conducted by the New American Foundation for 2012 graduates. Trying to overcome a $400 monthly payment does not have to be handled on your own and fortunately, there are forgiveness options available on a state and federal to help repay student debt.
There are four federal forgiveness programs to qualifying teachers who are interested in providing teaching assistance to underserved and/or low-income communities identified as a critical need shortage area or within a critical subject field.
Of note, the Federal Teach Grant offers up to $4,000 per year for a four-year service commitment within a qualified shortage field or area. For a recent masters graduate, the forgiveness savings can eliminate a large portion of debt and help teachers pay off their loans in a commendable way.On a state level there are approximately 24 states that have student loan forgiveness programs and forgive between $250-$6,000 per year. The level of forgiveness and likelihood of acceptance will increase for applicants who teach within subject shortages and at high value sites. In addition, these programs usually require:
- A service commitment to a state's critical subject field or shortage area in exchange for forgiveness.
- Graduation from the state's teaching program and/or have required state licensing.
- Qualifying loans and a demonstrated level of need.
- The applicant must not be a participant in a federal forgiveness program.
|Federal||Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness||Full forgiveness after 120 payments|
|Federal||Federal TEACH Grant Program||$4,000 per year|
|Federal||Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP)||Up to $17,500|
|Federal||The Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation||Up to 30% cancellation after three years|
|Alaska||Teacher Education Loan (TEL) Program||Up to 100% forgiveness|
|Arkansas||Arkansas State Teacher Assistance Resource Program||Betweeen $3,000 and $6,000 per year|
|Delaware||Critical Need Scholarships||Up to $1,323 for undergraduate coursework|
|Delaware||Delaware Teacher Corps||One year teaching one year of education forgiveness|
|Idaho||Education Incentive Loan Forgiveness||Repayment amount variable|
|Illinois||Illinois Special Education Tuition Waiver Program||Repayment amount variable|
|Illinois||The Illinois Teachers and Child Care Providers Loan Repayment Program||Up to $5,000 per year|
|Iowa||Iowa Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program||Up to 20%|
|Kansas||Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship||One year teaching one year of education forgiveness|
|Kentucky||Higher Education Assistance Authority Teacher Scholarship Program||$2,500 per semester|
|Kentucky||Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention Scholarship||$5,000 per semester|
|Maine||Educators for Maine Program||One year teaching one year of education forgiveness|
|Maryland||Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant (WSSAG)||Up to $19,000|
|Maryland||Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP)||Personal debt dictates award amount|
|Mississippi||Graduate Teacher Summer Loan/Scholarship (GTS)||$125 per graduate credit earned|
|Mississippi||Mississippi Teacher Loan Repayment Program (MTLR)||Up to $3,000 per year|
|Mississippi||William Winter Teacher Scholar Loan (WWTS)||Up to $4,000 per year|
|Montana||Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program||Up to $3,000 per year|
|Nebraska||Attracting Excellence to Teaching Program||Up to $3,000 per year|
|Nebraska||Enhancing Excellence in Teaching Program||Up to $3,000 per year|
|New Mexico||New Mexico Teacher Loan-For-Service Program||Repayment amount variable|
|New York||New York State Math & Science Teaching Incentive Program||Up to $5,595 per year|
|New York||NYC Department of Education: Teachers for Tomorrow||$3,400 per year|
|North Dakota||STEM Occupations Student Loan Program||Up to $1,500 per year|
|North Dakota||North Dakota University Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program||Up to $1000 per year|
|Oaklahoma||Teacher Shortage Employment Incentive Program||Repayment amount variable|
|South Carolina||South Carolina Teachers Loan Program||Up to $3,000 per year|
|Tennessee||Tennessee Teaching Scholars Program||Repayment amount variable|
|Tennessee||Tennessee Math & Science Teacher's Loan Forgiveness||Up to $10,000 for all years of study|
|Texas||Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program||Max award of $2,500|
|Utah||T.H. Bell Teaching Incentive Loan Program (TIL)||$995 per semester waiver|
|Virginia||Virginia Teaching Scholarship Program||Up to $10,000 for all years of study|
|West Virginia||Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship Program||Up to $5,000 per year|
|Wisconsin||Minority Teacher Loan||Up to $5,000 per year|
|Wisconsin||Teacher Education Loan Program||50% forgiven per year|
|Wisconsin||Teacher of the Visually Impaired Loan||Repayment amount variable|