Update: Student loan forgiveness for Engineers

Don’t despair! We are getting close to a loan program that will help all engineers. Hold on to your hats kids.

I went online to pay my student loan bill and observed that my loan service provider recently added the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to its loan forgiveness list. What does this mean? This means slowly but surely, Congress, whom has enacted bills to help reduce loan repayments, have turned these bills into laws. These laws are now coming down the pipeline to our student loan providers.

ACEC Position has been staying abreast with the STEP Act. ACEC said, “Engineers are in demand now more than ever, but our nation’s universities are not keeping up with the need for new engineering graduates. Bachelor’s degrees in engineering have declined by nearly 20% since 1985. The engineering workforce is also getting older — nearly 30 percent of all engineering and science degree holders in the labor force are 50 or over and are expected to retire in the next 15 years. A growing economy depends on engineering talent, and therefore reversing the declining trend in engineering graduates is critical to the nation’s future economic security.”

“On July 31, 2008, Congress approved the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) to reauthorize and expand federal student aid programs. Signed into law by President Bush on August 14, 2008, the Act includes a new program that seeks to address labor shortages in engineering and other “high need” professions. Under the law, an individual will be eligible for up to $2,000 in student loan forgiveness for each of five years of work in engineering or other designated fields. The maximum amount of loan forgiveness available to an individual will be $10,000. Only years of work completed after August 14, 2008 will count toward the student loan forgiveness requirements.”

“The new program is modeled after legislation introduced in 2007 by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), the Strategic Technology/Engineering Program Act of 2007 (STEP Act). The STEP Act sought to create new student loan forgiveness and scholarship programs with the goal of encouraging more young people to pursue engineering careers. The Department of Education (DOE) has begun the process of writing regulations to implement the new law, which will include the establishment of a negotiated rulemaking committee that will review input from ACEC and other stakeholders. ACEC has submitted initial comments to DOE, and will work with the agency and Congress to ensure that the new program is properly funded.”

Mapping Your Future’s website gives detailed explanations for loan cancellation/forgiveness conditions. If you look under the “Loan Forgiveness for Service in Areas of National Need” section, you will notice that STEM Employees are eligible for $2000/yr forgiveness for up to five years of service or $10,000.

If you need forms to apply for loan forgiveness with your employer, this link will provide you with the documents that you need or check with your loan provider.

http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/public-service

Keep on, keeping on!

Natasha