Loan Forgiveness and Cancellation Programs for Educators

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education announces the low-income schools and teacher shortage areas approved as eligible for loan forgiveness and cancellation for the current school year. This could be important to teachers who have Federal Stafford or Federal Supplemental loans, or Federal Perkins Loans.

Loan Forgiveness

Loan Cancellation

  • Teacher Loan Cancellation is available for teachers who have Federal Perkins Loans.
  • Information on the federal loan cancellation program is available at Federal Student Aid Information from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The Wisconsin low-income schools identified by the U.S. Department of Education are listed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low Income-Schools.
  • The nationwide listing of teacher shortage areas is posted in the: U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education.
  • The teacher shortage areas designated by Wisconsin for the 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 school years are listed below:
         o    Standard Areas: English as a Second Language (ESL)/Bilingual, Sciences, Library Media, Mathematics, Music, Reading, Foreign Languages
         o    Special Education: Cognitive Disabilities, Cross Categorical, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Childhood-Special Education, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Learning Disabilities, School Speech and Language Disabilities, Visual Disabilities
         o    Career and Technical Education: Business Education, Family and Consumer Education, Technology Education

Note: Federal Stafford/Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) borrowers who have questions concerning their loans, including the teacher shortage area deferment should contact the Federal Student Aid Hotline at 1-800-4FED-AID.

Applying for Loan Forgiveness or Cancellation

To apply for the loan forgiveness or cancellation option, an educator must:

  1. Contact your loan agency and request that they send you an "Education Related Deferment Request Form." Fill out the form and then have your employing administrator sign Section 4 - Authorized Official's Certification to verify your employment.
  2. Call the DPI Educator Licensing office to request a verification letter stating that you:
    a. Hold a license in a subject shortage area for the current school year; OR
    b. Hold a license and are teaching in a low-income school building for the present school term.

How soon may I request the verification letter for the next school year?

The U.S. Office of Education generally approves and provides the teacher subject shortage categories and the list of low-income school buildings toward the end of April for that particular school year (e.g. in April 2010 for the 2009-10 school year). Request the verification letter after the shortage areas and low income schools are announced. If you have applied for a teaching license, you must wait until you have actually received your license before requesting a verification letter.