Teachers, firefighters, police officers, government employees, military—day in and day out these public servants work tirelessly for citizens across the country. To celebrate Public Service Recognition Week (May 6th-12th) and the positive impact these individuals’ work has on our lives, we are dedicating this month’s #AskFAFSA Office Hours to our nation’s public servants.
Were you aware of these government-sponsored programs that help current and future public servants fund their higher education?
- Income Based Repayment: Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a repayment plan for the major types of federal student loans that caps your required monthly payment at an amount intended to be affordable based on your income and family size.
Note: Income-based repayment is not just for public servants. Have federal student loans? Find out if you qualify: http://1.usa.gov/GR2V2X
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program encourages individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible federal student loans after they have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full-time by certain public service employers.
- TEACH Grant: The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.
- Post 9/11 GI Bill: The Post-9/11 GI Bill is an education benefit program paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs to those who served in the military on or after September 10, 2001. You can receive tuition and fee payments, a monthly housing allowance, and a books and supplies stipend of up to $1000 per year. Visit www.gibill.va.gov to learn more.
- The Federal Student Loan Repayment Program: The Federal student loan repayment program authorizes agencies to set up their own student loan repayment programs to attract or retain highly qualified employees.
In an effort to help you better understand how to take advantage of these programs, on Friday, May 11th at 1pm ET, the U.S. Department of Education and our special guests, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Partnership for Public Service, will answering your questions live from the @FAFSA Twitter account.
Here’s how it works:
- Have questions about the above programs? You can start submitting your questions on Twitter today. Be sure to include the #AskFAFSA hashtag in your tweets. We’ll continue to take questions throughout the week and during the live event.
- On May 11th at 1pm ET, follow @FAFSA or the #AskFAFSA hashtag on Twitter to join the conversation. The Department of Veterans Affairs, The Partnership for Public Service and the @FAFSA team will be answering your questions live.
Public servants – Thank you for working diligently on our behalf. We hope you will join us on May 11th to learn about some of the programs that are available to help you fund your education.
Dominique Ramirez is a New Media Analyst for the Department of Educaiton, Federal Student Aid and a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve