October 19, 2017 –– The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is an important option that provides value to both students and to society. In a new issue brief, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) urges lawmakers to look for ways to improve and preserve the program before seeking to eliminate it.
PSLF was created 10 years ago to provide an incentive for talented individuals to enter and remain in public service positions by forgiving their federal student loans after a certain period of time. But some lawmakers claim the program would be too costly to taxpayers, and are pressing for its removal – all before knowing what the actual costs will be.
In fact, the Department of Education has indicated that only 139 borrowers are on track to be approved to have their loans forgiven in the next year and a half. In total, nearly 670,000 borrowers have submitted at least one certification form to verify their employment. NASFAA, nearly a year ago, sent a letter to the Education Department requesting more information, and has yet to receive a response.
Lawmakers should not act hastily on important policy decisions before having all of the essential information. Rather than jumping to conclusions and wiping out the program, lawmakers can improve it for both borrowers and taxpayers by making adjustments to preserve the program in the long-run.
"Public Service Loan Forgiveness is an essential tool that attracts talented individuals to serve in occupations that are vital to our country," said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. "Teachers, police officers, firefighters, social workers, public defenders and medical personnel are just some of the people that often forgo wages in order to help underserved communities. Drastically slashing the program—or eliminating outright—would be irresponsible and reckless. We call on policymakers to maintain their commitment to all those who choose to work in these public-interest jobs."
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 20,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit www.nasfaa.org.
Publication Date: 10/19/2017