Department of Education takes important steps to reform Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

More than 500,000 will see immediate relief

Press Release

Contacts:
Dan Xie, Political Director, Student PIRGs, 858-353-1452, [email protected]
Kerouac Awbrey, COPIRG Campus Action, 832-390-9523, [email protected] 

WASHINGTON – The Department of Education announced steps to reform the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program on Wednesday. In response to this announcement, the Student PIRGs made the following statement:

“Today President Biden and Secretary Cardona took an important step towards relieving student loan debt for millions of Americans who serve our country. The promise of student loan forgiveness for those who commit themselves to public service will make it easier for students in my generation to choose careers in teaching, nursing, and non-profit service work.” Kerouac Awbrey, student leader at the University of Colorado Boulder

Background

The idea behind the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is simple: work as a teacher, for a C3 non-profit, in social work, or any other public service for ten years and have your remaining student debt forgiven.

Unfortunately since the program was established in 2007, 98% of applicants to the program have been denied loan forgiveness due to problems with the program. In addition —

  • Out of hundreds of thousands of military members with student debt, only 124 have had their loans forgiven.
  • Mismanagement and abuse by student loan companies have left hundreds of thousands deeper in debt and blocked access to PSLF for those with older federal loans.

Estimates show that fixing this program would cancel student debt for an estimated 25% of borrowers in the United States.
The Student PIRGs advocated for the establishment of the PSLF program and joined more than 200 organizations to call for it’s reform through public comments and student lobby days.

The Student PIRGs is a network of student run and student funded organizations that work with professional staff at colleges and universities to make sure our peers have the skills, opportunities and training they need to create a better, more sustainable future for all of us. Our chapters on over 35 campuses provide the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more. For nearly 50 years we’ve helped students to get organized, mobilized and energized so they can continue to be on the cutting edge of positive change.