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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Federal Student Aid > Public Service Loan Forgiveness

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Federal Student Aid

Public Service Loan Forgiveness



You may qualify for forgiveness of any remaining balance on your eligible federal student loans thanks to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Click on the banner above to learn more!

What are the Eligibility Requirements for PSLF?
You must…

1. Have Eligible Loan Type(s)

  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Direct Subsidized Loans)
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Direct Unsubsidized Loans)
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Direct PLUS Loans) for parents and graduate or professional students
  • Federal Direct Consolidation Loans (Direct Consolidation Loans)
  • Special Direct Consolidation Loans
NOTE: Although loan forgiveness under this program is available only for loans made and repaid under the Direct Loan Program, loans made under other federal student loan programs may qualify for forgiveness if they are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Only payments made on the Direct Consolidation Loan will count toward the required 120 monthly payments.

If you are interested in consolidating, please visit www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov for more information. If you do not know what type of loans you have, visit www.nslds.ed.gov.

2. Make 120 Qualifying Payments
  • Must have been made after October 1, 2007
  • Must be on-time (no later than 15 days after the scheduled due date)
  • Must be made each month, satisfying in full the installment amount due for that month
  • Must be made when the loan is not in a default status
3. Make Payments Under an Eligible Repayment Plan
  • Pay As You Earn Plan (not available on Parent Direct PLUS Loans or Loan Consolidation Loans that paid a Parent PLUS Loan)
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan (not available on parent Direct PLUS Loans or Direct Consolidation Loans that paid a parent PLUS Loan)
  • Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan (not available on parent Direct PLUS Loans or Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans)
  • Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period
  • Any other Direct Loan Program repayment plan with payments that are at least equal to the monthly payment amount that would have been required under the Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period
4. Maintain a Full-Time Employment Status

Working in one or more jobs for the greater of:
  • An annual average of at least 30 hours per week (or for a contractual or employment period of at least 8 months, an average of 30 hours per week); or
  • The number of hours the employer considers full-time, unless your employment is with two or more employers
NOTE: For purposes of the full-time requirement with a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit or other private non-profit public service organization, your qualifying employment does not include time spent on job duties that are related to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing.

5. Work for a Qualifying Public Service Organization
  • A Federal, State, local, or Tribal government organization, agency, or entity (includes most public schools, colleges and universities);
  • A public child or family service agency;
  • A non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (includes most not-for-profit private schools, colleges, and universities);
  • A Tribal college or university; or
  • A private non-profit organization (that is not a labor union or a partisan political organization) that provides at least one of the following public services:
    - Emergency management
    - Military service
    - Public safety
    - Law enforcement
    - Public interest law services
    - Early childhood education (including licensed or regulated child care, Head Start, and state-funded pre-kindergarten)
    - Public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly
    - Public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations)
    - Public education
    - Public library services
    - School library services
    - Other school-based services
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Fact Sheet
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Common Q&As
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Handout

You may also view additional details regarding the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program at the Federal Student Aid Website.