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Coalition Letter Urges Congress to Preserve Public Service Loan Forgiveness

November 17, 2017—The AAMC Nov. 13 joined over 40 organizations on a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to preserve the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The letter includes signatories from groups representing health, academic, and legal professionals and institutions.

The letter states that since its enactment by former President George W. Bush, PSLF “has given Americans from every region of the country the ability to take and remain in critically needed public service jobs, including those in underserved communities.” The organizations also point out “By forgiving the remaining student loan debt of persons who have served ten years in qualifying public service employment and made consistent payments on their eligible student loans, PSLF creates incentives for motivated and committed individuals to pursue careers in public service.”

As alluded to in the letter, PSLF provides an opportunity for student loan forgiveness after a borrower has made 120 qualifying, on-time payments to an eligible loan while on an eligible repayment plan, while also working in a qualifying public service position. Borrowers can verify their eligibility by filing an employment certification form through the DOE.

The Trump Administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal to Congress suggests replacing PSLF with a single income-driven student loan repayment plan.

In response to the president’s request, select lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working to raise awareness of the program’s benefits. Reps. Brenden Boyle (D-Pa.) and Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) Aug. 8 formed the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Caucus to “focus congressional efforts on protecting the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.” In a press release launching the caucus, Rep. Boyle called the current threats to end or limit the program “shortsighted” while Rep. Costello recognized that “many teachers, first responders, and public health specialists are working hard to make a difference in their local communities while relying on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.”


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806