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NEA members urge Congress to strengthen and improve PSLF

EA members Shaniqua Williams and Maggie Gannon went to Capitol Hill last week to advocate for strengthening and improving the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. “I want to buy a house, but my student loans are the size of a mortgage,” said Gannon, a second-grade teacher in Culpeper, Va. “The current administration has threatened to take PSLF away. If it does, I’m going to be paying this debt in retirement,” said Williams, a school counselor in Frederick County, Va. Both Gannon and Williams tell their stories in videos that will be released soon, part of a broader campaign sponsored by NEA and the Coalition to Preserve PSLF.

The College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674), a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), has cleared the House Education and Labor Committee and is headed to the floor. NEA supports the bill and successfully advocated for expanding eligibility for PSLF to include adjunct and contingent faculty—a huge victory. Tell your representative to support H.R. 4674 and your senators that students and educators need a comprehensive HEA reauthorization.


Take Action: Support improving higher education programs and student aid

26 responses to “NEA members urge Congress to strengthen and improve PSLF

  1. Public service loans and Teacher Loan Forgiveness is the only way we are going to persuade young people to become teachers! The starting pay is low and they will need support to pay for an education. I am a retired teacher who continues to be a guest teacher because the demand is so great. What is the future of education going to look like? Soon we will see student incentives or we we will have teacher-less classrooms.
    Aside from that, these people were promised this support! It seems they were tricked into making minor errors on forms, and the support is being ripped away. Support PLF! and TLF!!!

  2. I feel that education should be government subsidized from A to Z. A democracy is as strong as its citizens are literate.

  3. The challenge is saving up for college when you don’t have a good paying job because…you haven’t yet gone to college.

    It’s not impossible. But many jobs that don’t require a degree will only pay enough for you to (barely) make ends meet (rent, food, transportation). There is not a lot left over to save thousands of dollars for one year of college. Let alone for four years of college.

    I agree that “save, then spend” is a solid philosophy in life. But it’s not always that simple. The system definitely needs an overhaul!

  4. I was fortunate with my undergraduate degree to have scholarships. For my masters I had a $1,000 scholarship but that was it. There is a problem with the cost of advancing your career as a teacher with the lower salaries received. Either lower the interest rate or provide more scholarships to help subsidize the cost of the loan. When you are making a mere $38,500 as a beginning teacher (if you are lucky), and then do not receive even a 2.5% annually, the only way to move along is laterally – another degree. The cost of the degree takes an enormous amount of time to reduce. This is not corporate America – I know. I left that wonderfully high paying career to teach. My example is only relative to teachers; however, there are many other career fields that require 5, 6, or more years of college/university. The starting pay is not relative to the debt.

  5. Many years ago, when I was attending college (1970’s and 1980’s) it was expensive to me then. Luckily, I had some financial aid, and later a job to offset the cost. The cost now is astronomical for these students, to whom we say college is the way for a better life. Yet, they are saddled with debt equal to that of a high-end house mortgage, and many still have a hard time getting jobs in their fields.

  6. do not vote for this scheister of an excuse for a public servant – HUMBUG!!!
    No qualifications here. No abilities; hates investing in our kids’ futures; has no use for school admin, teachers or parents. Send this charlatan packing! (back to the depths he emerged from) Just another Trumpian puppet!

  7. Student loan debt continues to sky rocket for many college grads due to predatory lending practices. The guidelines currently in place do not allow student loan borrowers to refinance at lower interest rates when rates fluctuate nor do student loan borrowers have bankruptcy protection. They are the only class of consumers to not have access to this constitutional right! We should be demanding that BK protection be reinstated for this class of borrowers instead of holding them hostage in a system that is fundamentally broken! While PSLF should continue to be an option, restoring BK protection would level the playing field and rid the system of predatory lenders. I urge you to contact your MoC’s to cosponsor the following bills: HR770, HR2648 and S1414. Our government needs to be held accountable and reinstate BK protection among ALL borrowers!

  8. Please note that the costs of education are exponentially higher while wages for non-degreed individuals have been stagnant for years. Perhaps you lucked out and got your degree before predatory lending took hold in education.
    Most students work, many full time, but many can barely afford the increasingly expensive books, through no fault of their own. Testing companies, publishers, and banks are all profiting while working people watch their hopes dwindle under the weight of debt.
    Education should not be restricted to the wealthy, and parasitic lenders and schools should be fined.

  9. Don’t pay any attention to the template language above. If people do not want debt, they should not borrow money. What ever happened to saving first then making your purchase? Why should I have to pay for their debts by forgiving them? Leave the program alone or tighten up the restrictions and lower the amount available to avoid these issues.

    1. Agreed. However, one simple act of fairness could make the process less onerous. Only allow simple interest loans for student loans. The current process uses compounded interest which, in many cases, doubles the debt incurred.

    2. Don’t be so gibberish
      Be kind
      Not all were as fortunate as you
      Why don’t you teach? Pay and rewards not good enough for you?

    3. If young people were expected to save up enough money to pay off their college tuition without the help of loans, nearly nobody would be able to pursue higher education. It’s not how it used to be where it was possible to save enough money by working over the summer to pay the tuition for the next year. It is completely unfair that the cost of higher education has risen to such an unreachable price. Students today should be able to afford the same luxuries that graduates only a few decades ago were able to afford, debt-free.

    4. The challenge is saving up for college when you don’t have a good paying job because…you haven’t yet gone to college.

      It’s not impossible. But many jobs that don’t require agree will only pay enough for you to (barely) make ends meet (rent, food, transportation). There is not a lot left over to save thousands of dollars for one year of college. Let alone for four years of college.

      I agree that “save, then spend” is a solid philosophy in life. But it’s not always that simple. The system definitely needs an overhaul!

    5. One would think that someone who takes on a legally agreed upon loan, the loanee ought to have done due diligence to insure the degree earned would provide for employment that would allow for repayment. Seems that if you are not smart enough to figure out the financial implications and moral responsibility of loan repayment, you ought not to be admitted to college with a loan. Of course socialists will argue free everything so even dead beats can lounge in college as the already decayed standards erode even more, if that is possible.

  10. Our country has fallen from the most highly educated in the world to Number 13. The United States occupies the 13th position in the number of 25- to 34-year-olds who have some kind of college or university credential, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development says.

    This is a deplorable condition for the richest country in the history of the world. It is a threat to our democracy. Betsy Devos’s leadership is weakening our ability to compete in the international economy. Democracy requires an educated populace. We must have people at the helm who understand this.

  11. My son, although having a very good paying job now, was unable to make that kind of money until he was out of college for several years. In that length of time his student loan payments ballooned to overwhelming! It has significantly impacted his ability to get housing, credit to buy a car, anything. This has got to stop!

  12. It is extremely important to have a better way for student loans to be paid back. Not every student goes into public service and those people need a sign of that everything will be all right also (that their debt WILL end).

  13. The federal student loan interest rate for undergraduates is 4.53% for the 2019-20 school year. The federal student loan interest rate for undergraduates is 4.53% for the 2019-20 school year. Federal rates for unsubsidized graduate student loans and parent loans are higher — 6.08% and 7.08%, respectively.

    This is killing our educational gene pool. Only if you start out wealthy can you aquire wealth in our current system.

  14. Far too many young adults are drowning in student loans that have to be paid back with interests rates that are out of control. We need to help our fellow citizens be able to contribute to our economy by reducing student debt and lowering interest rates for student loans.

    1. My son, although having a very good paying job now, was unable to make that kind of money until he was out of college for several years. In that length of time his student loan payments ballooned to overwhelming! It has significantly impacted his ability to get housing, credit to buy a car, anything. This has got to stop!

    2. With education for all everyone has the ability to make choices for themselves.
      We are drowning in education debt. At least reduce the loan rates to allow students to pay back their loans sooner. Also please support the PSLF program. This is a great way to pay back without hardship. I think more school loans could be paid off this way. I know I would have done a lot of community service to pay off my school loans after I graduated.

  15. It’s time the administration stepped up and honored all of us who have fulfilled the requirements for the PSLF but were denied.

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