Oregon Department of Education
Working Gears

School Certification: Loan Forgiveness Low-Income Program


This program is designed to certify eligible schools which will allow possible teacher loan forgiveness based on the poverty rate of schools where teachers are employed and have loans under the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins)/National Direct Student Loan (NDSL), Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) programs.

Please click HERE to view Federal Student Loan forgiveness, cancelation and dishcharge options.


There are two types of loan forgiveness programs for teachers:

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness is directed to teachers who have Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. This program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. You must be teaching full-time for five (5) complete consecutive years at a public low-income school.
  • Teacher Cancellation is for Federal Perkins Loans. One may qualify for cancellation (discharge) up to 100% of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have taught for one (1) full academic year at full-time in a public or non-profit elementary or secondary school.


School Eligibility Criteria to be included on the Federal "Qualified Schools Directory":
  • School must be a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school. "Elementary school" or "secondary school" means a public or nonprofit private school that provides elementary education or secondary education (K-12 grade only) as determined by state law (or by the U.S. Department of Education if the school is not in a state).
  • Senate Bill 670 defines school types in Oregon.
  • School must be in a public Local Educational Agency (LEA) that is eligible each year for assistance under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).
  • The number of children enrolled in a school who are counted under Section 1124© of the ESEA (federal definition of poverty) must exceed 30.02 percent of the total enrollment of that school (K-12 enrollment only).
  • Pre-Kindergarten Programs are not eligible to be in the "Qualified Schools Directory" even if in an eligible school.

Process for Determining School Eligibility:

Public and Private Schools that participate in the National School Food Lunch Program:
The ODE Nutrition Office compiles a list of eligible schools once a year based on Free and Reduced Lunch Program Survey data collected, and the Oregon Department of Education - Office of Learning compiles a list of Title I eligible school districts each year. Schools on the Nutrition list in districts on the Title 1 list for grades K-12 are eligible to be in the directory. ODE will automatically add eligible schools to the federal "Qualified Schools Directory" once school administrators submit paperwork each year. The directory is updated for the current School Year by June.

Other Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools:
  • Public Schools not participating in National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and who are on the ODE Institution Database public schools list, may also be eligible by completing the School Eligibility Application PDF. After the application has been submitted, reviewed and deemed eligible the school will be added to the "Qualified Schools Directory".
  • Private Schools (only eligible for Teacher Cancellation) not participating in National School Lunch Program (NSLP) may also be eligible by completing the School Eligibility Application PDF. In addition to the School Eligibility application a non-profit Private School must also submit documentation from the IRS demonstrating non-profit status. After the application materials have been submitted, reviewed and deemed eligible the school will be added to the "Qualified Schools Directory".

Once a school is certified program eligible, teachers in the schools can contact their loan provider to understand the necessary steps to determine eligibility for Federal Program Loan Forgiveness. Teachers should NOT contact ODE regarding the forgiveness of their loan. ODE's role is only in identifying school eligibility.

See links below for additional information.

LINKS


Contacts
  • Emily Swope Email    (503) 947-5642
    Federal Systems - Administrative Specialist
  • Theresa Richards Email    (503) 947-5922
    Federal Systems - Director
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (ODE) DOES NOT QUALIFY THE TEACHER FOR THE TEACHER LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM. TEACHERS MUST CONTACT THEIR LENDER(S) IN REGARDS TO FURTHER QUESTIONS DETERMINING THEIR QUALIFICATIONS FOR LOAN FORGIVENESSS.