Student Loan Repayment Looms for New Clinicians If you’re just entering the workforce, check out these tips for figuring out student loan repayment schedules and loan forgiveness requirements. Make It Work
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Make It Work  |   September 01, 2015
Student Loan Repayment Looms for New Clinicians
Author Notes
  • Neil Snyder is ASHA director of federal advocacy. nsnyder@asha.org
    Neil Snyder is ASHA director of federal advocacy. nsnyder@asha.org×
Article Information
Practice Management / Make It Work
Make It Work   |   September 01, 2015
Student Loan Repayment Looms for New Clinicians
The ASHA Leader, September 2015, Vol. 20, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.MIW.20092015.np
The ASHA Leader, September 2015, Vol. 20, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.MIW.20092015.np
Am I eligible for a federal student loan forgiveness program?
ASHA staff regularly receive this question, and others related to federal student loan policies, from members who want to reduce or even eliminate their student loans. As another academic year begins, here is some basic information that should help.
General requirements. To be eligible for any program, however, the applicant must have the required certification or licensure and work in a particular setting (such as a low-income school) for a specified period of time (typically five or 10 years). The loan must be a specific kind of federal loan (private loans are not eligible for forgiveness).
ASHA members are not eligible for all federal loan forgiveness programs. Unfortunately, schools districts, financial aid departments and loan servicers often incorrectly refer ASHA members to the federal Math, Science, and Special Education Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, believing that speech-language pathologists are eligible for special education loan forgiveness. This program, which offers up to $17,500 in loan cancellation after five years of service in a low-income school, is limited to those who hold teaching certificates, disqualifying ASHA members in most states. However, graduates of some master’s programs in speech-language pathology, such as the State University of New York Buffalo, hold dual certification, and would be eligible for this loan forgiveness program.
ASHA members may be eligible for other federal loan forgiveness programs. These include:
  • Perkins loan forgiveness of up to $5,000.

  • Teacher shortage area loan forgiveness of up to $5,000 (depends on each state’s declaration of shortages in any school-based profession).

  • Public Service loan forgiveness.

Repayment plans. ASHA members may be eligible for a variety of different loan repayment plans that adjust payments to the borrower’s income.
Interest rates. Lowered interest rates are in effect for the 2015–2016 academic year. The rate for undergraduate direct loans fell from 4.66 percent to 4.29 percent. Graduate and professional direct loan borrowers will pay 5.84 percent, down from 6.21 percent last year. Interest on direct PLUS loans fell from 7.21 percent to 6.84 percent.
4 Comments
September 3, 2015
Emily Mohr
Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
What about public service loan forgiveness for SLPs who work for public schools? They're the definition of not-for-profit. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service
September 4, 2015
Kaitlin Bugaile
State of PA - teacher forgiveness
In the article it says that SLPs are disqualified in most states for the Teacher Loan Forigveness; however, in the state of Pennsylvania we are required to have a teacher certification as well, so does that make as eligible?
September 5, 2015
Carol Polovoy
Make sure you meet all of the requirements
Kaitlin, Neil Snyder says that yes, if you meet ALL the eligibility requirements, you may apply!
September 13, 2015
Latisha Elliott-Gayle
Loan Forgiveness
I received my loan forgiveness but I am certified as a speech-language pathologist under teacher certification in CT.
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September 2015
Volume 20, Issue 9