Grads Find Loan Forgiveness Program Not Living Up To Promise
Thousands of graduates, including many in nonprofits, may be in peril
A long-running federal student loan program that was intended to encourage college graduates isn’t working as it should be—and that’s putting thousands of graduates, including many who work at nonprofits, in peril.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a plan introduced by George W. Bush in 2007, was intended to help college graduates pay off their student loans if they worked in government or public service and made 120 loan payments, the equivalent of 10 years’ worth. But mismanagement of the program and confusing requirements for those taking part—only certain kinds of loans are allowed—have only led to a relative handful of graduates being able to take advantage of the program in the year since the first borrowers were supposed to be eligible for debt forgiveness, according to a recent analysis by the Government Accountability Office reported by The Washington Post.
Nearly 1.2 million borrowers asked for debt assistance, and nearly 900,000 have had their requests certified in the decade since the program began. But while 20,000 people asked for their loans to be forgiven, just 55 people had actually received such forgiveness as of last April, according to the Post. And more recent data released last month by the U.S. Department of Education revealed that only 96 people have been able to take advantage of the debt forgiveness program.
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