New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program
The NYS Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program is offered to encourage recent college graduates to pursue careers in farming in NYS. This Program provides loan forgiveness awards to individuals who obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved NYS college or university and agree to operate a farm in NYS, on a full-time basis, for five years.
An applicant must:
- be a NYS resident and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to applying for this Program;
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved NYS college or university;
- have an outstanding balance on an eligible student loan debt(s) from obtaining such degree;
- apply for this Program within two years after college graduation;
- operate a farm in NYS on a full time basis;
- execute a Service Contract agreeing to operate a farm in NYS on a full time basis for at least five years;
- be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or repayment of any NYS award; and
- be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award.
Eligible Student Loans
A successful applicant must have an outstanding balance on eligible student loan debt used to fund an undergraduate degree from an approved NYS college or university.
Eligible student loans include NYS or federal government loans, or private student loans made by commercial entities subject to governmental examination.
Parent PLUS loans are not eligible.
Ineligible loans also include non-educational student loan consolidations and home equity loans used to pay off student loans.
The maximum lifetime award under this Program is $50,000, or the applicant’s actual eligible student loan indebtedness at the time eligibility is established, whichever is less. Awards will be paid in annual disbursements up to $10,000, or the remaining loan indebtedness. Any additional payments made to reduce the outstanding balance may cause a reduction in the total amount of the award.
Note: Any loan forgiveness award payment received may have tax implications. A 1099 form will be issued by the NYS Office of the State Comptroller reflecting the total loan forgiveness payments received by the recipient for the year. Any questions regarding potential tax implications should be directed to a tax professional, the Internal Revenue Service, or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.
Payments are available for up to five years.
How to ApplyThe New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program application is now available.
Note: A previously designated recipient does not have to submit another NYS Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program Application but must request payment each year; see Payment below.
The number of awards paid under this Program is limited to available funding; however, no more than ten awards will be granted each year.
Priority is given to prior recipients seeking payment. Second priority is given to applicants who are economically disadvantaged with a priority given to those applicants completing the second, third, fourth or fifth year of full-time farm operation.
Payments are made directly to the recipient.
The NYS Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program Application will be used to establish an applicant’s eligibility as well as to process the first award payment.
In subsequent years, a recipient must submit a Payment Application and verification of farm operation for which payment is sought under this Program by the deadlines set by HESC. Payment Applications are provided annually to recipients in October.