Stafford Loan Justice

Stafford Tidbit #2: Forgiveness

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (Pub L 110-84, 20 USC 1001, September 27, 2007), Title IV “Loan Forgiveness,” outlines the scope of loan forgiveness. Loan forgiveness occurs after 120 payments, and is available to borrowers who are “(ii) employed in a public service job during the period in which the borrower makes each of the 120 payments described in subparagraph (A),” and a few other criteria. A “public service job” is defined as

“a full-time job in emergency management,  military service, public safety, law enforcement, public health, public education (including early childhood education), social work in a public child or family service agency, public interest law services (including prosecution or public defense or legal advocacy in low-income communities at a nonprofit organization), public child care, public service for individuals with disabilities, public service for the elderly, public library sciences, school-based library sciences and other school-based services, or at an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code; or

‘(ii) teaching as a full-time faculty member at a Tribal College or University as defined in section 316(b) and other faculty teaching in high-needs areas, as determined by the Secretary.’’

Sadly, millions of adjunct faculty, of which the higher education system depends, will never meet this criteria.

As an example, if one teaches full time one semester or year, and part time the following semester or year due to department cuts or downsizing,  this is not considered a full time. The missing word from the law is continuous employment.

Not helpful Congress.

Full time tenure track jobs in certain areas  such as the humanities and liberal arts are rare these days. And if one applies for a full time faculty position outside the U.S., (where teaching jobs seem to be),  the loan forgiveness “benefit” is not available to many borrowers.

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Written by S.

April 10, 2010 at 10:54 pm