Many areas of the country are experiencing difficulties finding and retaining qualified teachers for elementary through high school children. This is especially true in communities at or near the poverty level. As an incentive, the federal government has decided to offer special loan forgiveness programs for teachers willing to make a commitment to work in these designated areas. If you have either a Perkins or Stafford Loan and you meet any of the following, you may qualify.
1. Teach full-time in an approved school that serves a low-income population.
2. Work as a special education teacher.
3. Teach in an area designated as high-demand such as math, science, foreign languages, and bi-lingual education. Other disciplines where qualified teachers are in short supply may also qualify.
The amount forgiven is broken up over several years. Having the federal government forgive the maximum amount would require you to work at least five years as a full-time teacher in an approved school. There may be other restrictions as well depending on when you received your loans. You should contact your lender to find out more details if you think you may qualify.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|