The current administration has made it very clear that it wants to make serious budget cuts to educational programs, doing more with fewer taxpayer dollars. One of the programs that could be on the chopping block is the public service loan forgiveness program (PSLF). It was originally enacted under the Bush administration and allows people with qualifying employment to expunge the remainder of their federal debt after making 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan. Here is what has been proposed so far.
What the Budget Documents Say
According to The Washington Post who were able to obtain certain budget documents, the Trump administration plans to do these things:
- Cut funding for college work-study programs in half
- Bring an end to the Public service loan forgiveness program
- Cease the use of money given to public schools for mental health, advanced coursework, and other services
- In total, they want to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives
Last week, the future of the PSLF looked bleak. Even though everything was unofficial, many worried that this meant the end to the program. It would seem this is indeed the case. Yesterday, new information was released by the Education Department that sheds new light on the future of the PSLF.
Farewell to the PSLF
Following up on their report last week, The Washington Post covered the announcement made by the Education Department on Tuesday that provided more details on what the Trump Administration’s proposals would mean for the PSLF. They reassured those that are already on track with the program that they would not be affected. However, it will affect anyone who takes a loan out on or after July 1, 2018. This is still dependent upon the Trump administration’s proposal getting through Congress.
So, it seems that those that are currently on track to finish the program will be allowed to finish, but this does mean the end of the PSLF if the proposal does indeed pass. However, Congress will have the final say on the matter. According to The Chronicle, Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, said, “Thankfully, Congress has the ultimate responsibility for setting funding levels…Colleges and universities and their students will work with Congress to continue the historic, bipartisan support for federal student aid and research funding.” Until it all becomes official, all we can do is sit and watch intently.