One of the most unique ways to pay for college is to participate in a loan forgiveness program following graduation. There are several situations in which the federal government might cancel all or part of your student loan debt.
Examples of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs:
AmeriCorps: Students who participate in the AmeriCorps network of service programs can receive money to assist with school loans. Those who work full time with AmeriCorp for a y ear can earn up to a $4725 education award. Those who serve part time can receive partial awards.
National Health Service Corps: Eligible health professionals who enter the National Health Service corps and work in underserved areas receive up to $25,000 per year toward their student loan debt, in addition to competitive salaries and tax benefits.
Peace Corps: If you have Perkins loan, and you join the Peace Corps, you will earn a 15% cancellation of your debt (under the Perkins program only) for each year that you serve. You can also defer most other Federal Student Loans while in service in the Peace Corps.
Teach for America Program: The Teach for America program selects 2,000 recent graduates every year and place them in teaching positions in rural and urban public schools. Teach For America participants receive salary and benefits similar to those offered to any entry-level teacher. They are able to put their student loans in forbearance status while in the program, and they receive $4,725 to apply toward existing student loans or future educational expenses for every year of service in the program.
These are just a few examples of the programs that allow students to earn loan forgiveness by working off debt in approved programs. It is important to note that there is no guarantee of being accepted into one of these programs upon graduation, so if you take out student loans, you need to be prepared to pay them back.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|