7 Great Jobs that Offer College Loan Forgiveness
Paying for a college education can last up to 20 years post-graduation. While the cost is usually justified through higher earnings, it can still be burdensome. These seven careers are not only growing in opportunity, but they can sometimes offer partial to complete loan forgiveness!
There are many arguments as to whether teachers get paid enough these days. If you could add in up to $17,500 in student loan forgiveness, however, it can make this high-demand career more appealing. Teachers that work in designated “low income” school districts for a minimum of five years can see some of that college debt wiped away. More debt forgiveness is offered to those teachers with an emphasis in math, science, and special education. (Full details found on the student aid government website.)
Social workers who dedicate their time to agencies servicing families in low income or high-risk geographical areas may see total forgiveness of their Perkins Loan. An increasing amount of debt will be forgiven for each of 5 years served in these areas. Licensed clinical social workers will see the most money forgiven through government programs. (Visit Socialworkers.org for more information.)
Popular programs such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA — which is now part of AmeriCorps) all offer deferment or partial payment towards loan debt. Each program differs in its formula for awarding payments. Participants may see up to 70% of select government loans forgiven. (While not technically considered a paying "job," a stipend is usually offered in the compensation package for these programs.)
The Montgomery GI Bill, offered through the U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting program, may pay up to 60% of college tuition costs. Those active in the Army National Guard may be eligible for a payment of up to $10,000 towards loan debt. Additionally, many veterans and private military associations offer funding through scholarships and grants.
Many child care providers are eligible for up to 100% of outstanding loan debt. To qualify, they must have received an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Their services must be used by a community of low-income families for two consecutive years. The program is open to new borrowers of federal education funds. (Note: This program has recently stopped taking applications to new participants. If you have received benefits in the past, however, you may still be eligible. See the program details on this page — scroll to the bottom.)
Doctors, nurses, and physical therapists can take advantage of several programs offering loan forgiveness in select geographic areas. By providing services to depressed regions, up to 100% of their loans may be deferred. Additional areas of need include clinical research and dental care. (A great list of resources can be found here and here .)
Law students and newly graduated lawyers who offer their services at free and reduced cost can take advantage of partial loan forgiveness. By working for agencies that provide public-interest or non-profit services, graduates can make a difference in the lives of those who can’t afford legal representation. Equal Justice Works has more information on these programs.
As the need grows for more professionals to serve our communities, there will be an increasing reward for those who answer the call. Loan forgiveness can be a big motivator towards commitment in these fields. Participation in forgiveness programs can add value to your degree and will make college affordable for thousands more each year.