Banking on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program? It has been considered one of best chances for a college graduate to get their debt cancelled. But newly released data suggests it's far from a shoe-in. Apparently, 99% of applicants to this government program have been rejected.
So if you're hoping to get your loan discharged, you may want to keep your options open to other possibilities. That's where state programs come in.
Here are the loan forgiveness programs in the state of Texas that are currently funded and accepting applications.
1. Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Are you a nurse struggling with student loan debt? You qualify for up to $7,000 in loan repayment for a period of up to five years under this state-funded program. The goal of this effort is to improve access to nursing education programs by encouraging qualified nurses to serve as faculty at eligible institutions of higher education. Applicants must hold a post-graduate degree and be employed as faculty at an eligible institution.
Applications are generally due in late October.
2. Physician Education Loan Repayment Program
- A federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA)
- A Texas Juvenile Justice Department correctional facility, or
- A Texas Department of Criminal Justice correctional facility.
Deadlines for application are typically in late November.
3. Texas Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Currently funded by the State Bar of Texas and administered by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, this program offers up to $4,800 annually to assist attorneys pursuing careers in legal aid in the state.
Applicants must work full-time for any Texas legal aid program that is:
- A recipient of Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF) funds
- A recipient of Legal Services Corporation funds, or
- A Texas non-profit that provides civil legal services, if at least 50% of the services provided are free to low-income Texans.
4. Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals
This program encourages mental health professionals to provide services in designated shortage areas at least five years. In exchange, qualified applicants may receive between $10,000 and $160,000 over the five-year period, depending on their practice specialty.
Eligible practice specialties include:
- Advanced practice nurses who are board certified in psychiatric or mental health nursing
- Licensed professional counselors
- Licensed clinical social workers
- Licensed marriage and family therapists
- Licensed chemical dependency counselors who have received a related associate's degree
The application period has closed, but keep an eye out for the next cycle.
5. Rural Communities Health Care Investment Program
To improve the number of health care providers in rural communities, certain health care professionals can earn up to $10,000 in student loan reimbursements.
Eligible health professionals include but are not limited to:
- physician assistants
- physical and occupational therapists
- emergency medical technicians
- speech pathologists
- and licensed non-physician mental health practitioners.
Check the Texas Department of Agriculture website for the next application cycle.
6. Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program
For Texas public schools teachers who have secured employment teaching mathematics or science in a Title I school at the time of application, this program offers up to $5,000. Applicants may not have received or be receiving aid from any other state or federal loan repayment assistance.
The application period for the 2018-2019 school year is now closed, but information about upcoming deadlines can be found here.
If you are seeking student loan forgiveness and think you qualify for some of the programs listed above, always go through through the official channels and offices when applying. Companies promising college loan relief or forgiveness may be scams, so be sure to do your due diligence.