Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How to Successfully Complete a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application


These days, teachers are among the lowest paid and, in my opinion, least appreciated professionals in our nation today. I should know as I’m married to one. The sweet holiday schedule and extended summer vacation only slightly helps ease the pain of dealing daily with undisciplined children, meeting with oblivious parents, maintaining professional continuing education requirements, and trying to prove oneself “highly qualified” according to totally ambiguous standards (thanks George W.) Fortunately, if you work at a qualifying low-income school for five years, you can apply for student loan forgiveness and here’s how.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access



Step One

Check the Federal Student Aid website to see if you qualify for forgiveness. The link is listed in Resources below.

Step Two

Check the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory (link below) and see if your school is recognized by the government as a low-income school. Check your school’s status for each year, and print out your results to send with your application. Even if your school is not deemed low-income for each of the five years, the designation in a single year will extend to next four consecutive years for purposes of loan forgiveness.

Step Three

Find and print the application form from the Federal Student Aid website (link to the application below). As always, read the directions and complete the application carefully.

Step Four

Write a letter to send with the form. See the image to the left for an example of the information that should be included.

Step Five

Make copies of all the paperwork for your records.

Step Six

In a large envelope, forward to the school board your completed application, letter, and proof of school status with an addressed and stamped envelope. Also include a note asking that the appropriate representative certify your length of employment and mail the package. Call ahead and let someone know its coming.

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