Teacher Loan Forgiveness in Texas | Best 2020 Programs

Teacher Loan Forgiveness in Texas | Best 2020 Programs.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness in Texas: Texas has multiple student loan forgiveness programs that are specific to just the State of Texas. However, residents of the State of Texas can also potentially qualify for various Federal student loan forgiveness programs.​ This article is a good catch for teachers to take advantage of.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs 2020

Every teacher knows that a good education isn’t always cheap. If you’re battling student debt, check out these loan forgiveness resources for Texas educators.

You’ll learn from this article:

Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers

Every year TEA submits a list of teacher shortage areas by subject matter and a list of designated low-income schools to the U.S. Department of Education. Teachers with certain types of student loans may qualify for partial loan forgiveness, deferment, or cancellation benefits.

Eligibility for these benefits depends on the type of loan the teacher has, the date of his or her first loan, and whether the teacher serves in a designated low-income school or subject matter teacher shortage area.

TEA does not determine an educator’s eligibility for teacher loan forgiveness. You will need to contact your loan holder directly regarding the amount of loan forgiveness you will be eligible to receive. The loan holder, not TEA, has authority regarding the provision of that allowance.

Teacher Shortage Areas

The 2019-2020 teacher shortage areas for Texas are:

  • Bilingual/English as a Second Language – Elementary and Secondary Levels
  • Special Education – Elementary and Secondary Levels
  • Career and Technical Education – Secondary Levels
  • Technology Applications and Computer Science – Secondary Levels
  • Mathematics – Secondary Levels

Loan Forgiveness Options

This section explains loan forgiveness options for teachers and all other school staff. Teachers may apply for any of the  programs listed below if the balance of their unpaid federal student loans exceeds the forgiveness amount and if they meet the requirements of the program. Private loans are not eligible. If you are not sure what type of loan you have,  contact your lender.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs are as follows:

1. Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness:

The Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is one of three loan forgiveness programs available to Texas teachers. If you are not eligible for the federal program, please review the Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Your school must be found on the Teacher Cancellation Low Income (TCLI) Directory to be eligible for the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

Tips on Searching the TCLI Directory

  • To qualify for inclusion in the TCLI Directory, a campus must be located in a district that is eligible to receive Title I funds and the campus enrollment of economically disadvantaged students must be greater than 30%. The list is updated annually, so campus eligibility can change from year to year.
  • Before searching, make sure you are entering the name of the campus as it appears in the TEA ASK Ted district and school locator.
  • When searching the TCLI directory use just the first part of the name, for example, if the school is named Highland Park Elementary you would search the directory under “Highland”.
  • When searching by location leave the name of the school blank and enter the name of the county.

Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Process

Follow these steps to complete the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs process:

  1. Read the eligibility requirements for the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.
  2. If you are eligible fill out the application found on Federal Student Aid website .
  3. Have the chief administrative officer sign your application. The chief administrative officer is the current superintendent, principal, assistant principal, human resources personnel or director, or other equivalent at the district you are or were employed by.
  4. Print your school name exactly as it appears in the directory in TCLI directory.

Mail your application to the entity repaying your loan, or guarantor. Print photocopies for yourself. Keep the date and address of when and where you mailed your application.

2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

Qualifying for PSLF

To qualify for PSLF, you must

  • be employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization;
  • work full-time for that agency or organization;
  • have Direct Loans (or consolidate other federal student loans into a Direct Loan);
  • repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan; and
  • make 120 qualifying payments.

To ensure you’re on the right track, you should submit a Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Employment Certification Form annually or when you change employers. We’ll use the information you provide on the form to let you know if you are making qualifying PSLF payments.

Qualifying Employment

Qualifying employment for the PSLF Program isn’t about the specific job that you do for your employer. Instead, it’s about who your employer is. Employment with the following types of organizations qualifies for PSLF:

  • Government organizations at any level (U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal)
  • Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

Serving as a full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer also counts as qualifying employment for the PSLF Program.

The following types of employers do not qualify for PSLF:

  • Labor unions
  • Partisan political organizations
  • For-profit organizations, including for-profit government contractors

Contractors: You must be directly employed by a qualifying employer for your employment to count toward PSLF. If you’re employed by an organization that is doing work under a contract with a qualifying employer, it is your employer’s status—not the status of the organization that your employer has a contract with—that determines whether your employment qualifies for PSLF. For example, if you’re employed by a for-profit contractor that is doing work for a qualifying employer, your employment does not count toward PSLF.

Other types of not-for-profit organizations: If you work for a not-for-profit organization that is not tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, it can still be considered a qualifying employer if its primary purpose is to provide certain types of qualifying public services. However, in our experience, few organizations meet these criteria.

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3. Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program

The primary purpose of the Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program is to encourage teachers who demonstrated high academic achievement as math or science majors to teach math or science for at least four years in Title I* public schools in Texas.

Program Requirements

Applicants must have graduated with a 3.0 or higher GPA and must agree to teach at least four consecutive years at Texas public schools that receive federal Title I funding.  They have the option of qualifying for additional awards for 75% of maximum award amounts by teaching math or science at any Texas public school for up to four additional years.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for conditional approval a teacher must:

  • Have completed an undergraduate or graduate program in mathematics or science;
  • Have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale or the equivalent, at the institution from which the teacher graduated;
  • Be certified under the Texas Education Code, Subchapter B, Chapter 21, or under a probationary teaching certificate, to teach mathematics or science in a Texas public school; (a generalist certification is not an eligible certificate type)
  • Have secured an employment contract as a full-time classroom teacher to teach mathematics or science in a Title I school at the time of application for enrollment in the program;
  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Submit a completed application, including an official transcript from the institution from which the applicant graduated, to THECB by the application deadline; and
  • Not have received or be receiving any other state or federal loan repayment assistance, including a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant or teacher loan forgiveness.

4. Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation

The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

Qualifying for PSLF

To qualify for PSLF, you must

  • be employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization;
  • work full-time for that agency or organization;
  • have Direct Loans (or consolidate other federal student loans into a Direct Loan);
  • repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan; and
  • make 120 qualifying payments.

Qualifying Employment

Qualifying employment for the PSLF Program isn’t about the specific job that you do for your employer. Instead, it’s about who your employer is. Employment with the following types of organizations qualifies for PSLF:

  • Government organizations at any level (U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal)
  • Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

Serving as a full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer also counts as qualifying employment for the PSLF Program.

The following types of employers do not qualify for PSLF:

  • Labor unions
  • Partisan political organizations
  • For-profit organizations, including for-profit government contractors

Contractors: You must be directly employed by a qualifying employer for your employment to count toward PSLF. If you’re employed by an organization that is doing work under a contract with a qualifying employer, it is your employer’s status—not the status of the organization that your employer has a contract with—that determines whether your employment qualifies for PSLF. For example, if you’re employed by a for-profit contractor that is doing work for a qualifying employer, your employment does not count toward PSLF.

Other types of not-for-profit organizations: If you work for a not-for-profit organization that is not tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, it can still be considered a qualifying employer if its primary purpose is to provide certain types of qualifying public services. However, in our experience, few organizations meet these criteria.

For more information, See LINK

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to commit to eight years of service?

If you applied before September 1, 2019, you agreed to provide eight consecutive years of service.  The first four consecutive years of service must be in a Texas public school that receives federal funding under Title I, while the other four consecutive years may be in any public school in Texas.

If you applied on or after September 1, 2019, the agreement calls for at least four consecutive years of service in a Texas public school that receives federal funding under Title I, and you may provide up to an additional four consecutive years at any public school in Texas.

You will be released from the agreement if funding for the program is discontinued.

What happens if I leave the program?  Do I have to pay back any money I received?

No, you will not be required to pay back any funds received if you leave the eligible school, move to another state, or fail to meet any of the program requirements. You will be removed from the program and will not be allowed to apply for any loan repayment programs offered by the State of Texas.

What is considered a full-time classroom teacher?

Teaching a minimum of four hours a day.

When will I receive my award?

The award will not be disbursed to your loan holder until you have completed one service period and all program requirements have been verified.  Approximately 30 days before the end of the service period, an Application for Payment will be emailed to you.

ConclusionTeacher Loan Forgiveness Programs 2020: conclusion

You may qualify for more than one of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs listed above. In some instances though, your decision to take advantage of one program may impact your ability to take advantage of another. For example:

You must have Direct Loans in order to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you have any Perkins Loans, you may be tempted to consolidate them into the Direct Loan Program in order to make them eligible for PSLF. However, if you do that, you’ll no longer qualify for Perkins Cancellation. You may be better off leaving your Perkins Loans out of the consolidation loan so you can take advantage of both programs.

You may not receive a benefit under both the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program for the same period of teaching service. For example, if you make payments on your loans during your five years of qualifying employment for Teacher Loan Forgiveness and then receive loan forgiveness for that service, the payments you made during that five year period will not count toward PSLF.

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