Student Loan Forgiveness & Repayment Programs

College Cost Reduction Act of 2007: This act established a new Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that discharges any remaining educational debt after 10 years of full-time employment in public service, including government and nonprofit agencies. Although this law is a step in eradicating student loan debt, the 10-year service requirement, during which loan repayment must be made, may be difficult for social workers.

Income Driven Plans:  If your outstanding federal student loan debt is higher than your annual income or if it represents a significant portion of your annual income, you may want to repay your federal student loans under an income-driven repayment plan.  Most federal student loans are eligible for at least one income-driven repayment plan.

Indian Health Services Loan Repayment:  The IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP) can help dedicated health professionals like you chart a course for a long-lasting and successful health care career. The LRP funds IHS clinicians to repay their eligible health profession education loans — up to $40,000 — in exchange for an initial two-year service commitment to practice in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Opportunities are based on Indian health program facilities with the greatest staffing needs in specific health profession disciplines. As an LRP participant, you are eligible to extend your contract annually until your qualified student debt is paid. Many health professionals enter this program because of the financial benefits but find the cultural and professional rewards to be so great that they spend their entire careers working in Indian health.  Master’s of Social Work required.

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program: For graduates of BSU’s Social Work Program that wish to pursue a master’s degree in social work, one additional year of education is required.  However, once a clinical licensure is secured, the NHSC program allows licensed clinical social workers $50,000 to repay student loans in exchange for two years of serving in a community-based site in a high-need Health Professional Shortage Area.

MN Loan Forgiveness Programs:  Students who go on to get a graduate degree and a clinical social work license (LICSW) can apply for loan forgiveness through the MN Department of Health.  Note:  BSU social work students may qualify for advanced standing in most accredited MSW programs, allowing them to complete their graduate degree in just one year!