For some, the debt can well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. For over ten years, more than 550,000 people have relied on the “Student Loan Forgiveness Program” to eventually alleviate the debt and continue pursuing other career ambitions after graduating college.
Public Service Employer Qualifications
To help eliminate student debt, the government under the Bush and Obama administration created the Student Loan Forgiveness Program, which relinquishes student debt after 120 qualifying monthly payments in eligible public service employers.
Qualifying employers include:
- Government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal)
- Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
- Other types of not-for-profit organizations that are not tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, if their primary purpose is to provide certain types of qualifying public services
Conversely, the following employers did not qualify for the program:
- Labor unions
- Partisan political organizations
- For-profit organizations (this includes for-profit government contractors)
- Not-for-profit organizations that are not tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that do not provide a qualifying public service as their primary function
Student Loan Forgiveness worked because it provided a light at the end of the tunnel for those individuals that relied on the government to provide them access to a proper education and pay them back doing respectable public service. The Forgiveness program was respectable, but it did cost the government a lot of money.
The program racked up upwards of $100 billion for debt-eligible graduates, which makes cutting the budget very appealing to the Trump administration. The Department of Education’s plan is to reduce the initiative after June 2018, while there are still thousands of graduates relying on the plan to focus on their dreams and goals.