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Reducing Student Debt for Teachers

Debt relief programs are available for teachers

Teaching is one of the noblest professions in the world, and among its many perks is student loan forgiveness, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education. If you are pursuing an advanced degree, such as the online Master of Education in Special Education, you can take advantage of the debt relief program for teachers and accomplish your goals without breaking the bank.

How to Reduce Student Loan Debt

There are several ways to lessen the burden of a student loan on your teacher’s salary. For example, the USDE offers two types of student loan forgiveness for teachers:

    • Teacher loan forgiveness offers up to $17,500 combined in debt forgiveness on direct loans and federal Stafford loans.
    • Teacher cancellation provides up to 100-percent debt cancellation, based on eligibility, for federal Perkins loans.

Check the American Federation of Teachers’ list for other loan forgiveness programs for teachers. You can also reduce your federal student loan debt by signing up for income-driven repayment plans.

Funding an Advanced Teaching Degree

There are several funding options for teachers interested in pursuing an advanced degree online. For instance, the federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant provides up to $4,000 per academic year for graduate students enrolled at schools that participate in the TEACH grant program. [UPDATE: For any 2020-21 TEACH Grant first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020, and before Oct. 1, 2021, qualified applicants in certain programs may qualify for the TEACH Grant of up to $3,772 for the 2020-21 award year]Teach For America offers education awards of up to $11,375 for eligible participants who complete two years as a TFA AmeriCorps member. You also can check your state’s Department of Education website for state-based grant programs for teachers. And there are private-sector grants available for teachers as well.

Your Master’s Degree in Special Education

With an online M.Ed. in Special Education, you can boost your knowledge of curriculum modification for exceptional learners, behavior management and learning processes. Plus, you can discover how to instruct students with diverse learning needs, apply research-based teaching strategies, and use assessments for learning. Coursework in the online program also includes lessons in school law and current issues in education. Classes are 100 percent virtual, start times are flexible and you get 24-7 access to homework and class discussions–and, you can earn your master’s degree in roughly 18 months.

Student loan forgiveness for teachers and distance learning make it easy to pursue an advanced degree.

Learn more about Lamar University’s online M.Ed. in Special Education to further your career goals as an educator.



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