NYS Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program FAQ

Do I need to be currently employed as a teacher to be eligible for loan forgiveness payments?

Yes, recipients must:

  • be certified as a teacher in NYS;
  • be employed full-time in an elementary or secondary school in NYS; and
  • teach in a subject shortage area OR a hard to staff district in both the previous and current school years.
What is a subject shortage area?
A subject shortage area is a curriculum subject matter or academic discipline in which there was a shortage of teachers in NYS as designated by the NYS Education Department (SED). SED updates this list annually. To establish initial eligibility, you must teach in a subject shortage area in both the previous and current school years. Check the 2017-18 and 2018-19 subject shortage area lists.
What is a hard to staff district?
A hard to staff district is a school district that has a shortage of teachers as designated by SED. SED updates this list annually. To establish initial eligibility, you must teach in a hard to staff district in both the previous and current school years. Check the 2017-18 and 2018-19 hard to staff district lists.
What does it mean to be a “NYS resident” for purposes of receiving this award?
To be considered a NYS resident for purposes of receiving this award, you must have resided in the State for 12 continuous months prior to applying for the loan forgiveness award.
How much can I receive from the loan forgiveness program?
The maximum lifetime award under this Program is $20,000, or your actual eligible student loan indebtedness, whichever is less. Awards will be paid in four annual disbursements up to $5,000. Any additional payments made to reduce the outstanding balance may cause a reduction in the total amount of the award.
Which of my student loans are eligible for loan forgiveness payments?
Eligible student loans include New York State loans, federal government loans or private student loans made by commercial entities that are subject to governmental examination. Awards can be used to repay both undergraduate and graduate loans. 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.