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Loan Forgiveness

There are several opportunities for teachers to receive loan forgiveness or cancellation. Kentucky Department of Education’s role in teacher lo​​an repayment is to answer questions and provide information regarding the programs. For more information about any of the programs listed on this page, please consult the Loan Repayment Frequently Asked Questions or visit the KDE Teacher Loan Forgiveness website. The corresponding regulatory provisions for each program can be found on the right-hand side of the page, under Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

It is important to note that a student loan borrower’s forgiveness program may not be binding in some circumstances and could be rescinded.

New! US Dept of Ed Press Release Regarding Federal Student Loan Payments, Interest During National Emergency

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Teacher Loan Forgiveness was designed as an incentive to enter and continue in the teaching profession and provides loan reimbursement once a teacher has completed five consecutive, full-time years of service at a qualifying low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program pays a $5,000 – $17,500, one-time only reward towards Federal Stafford loans. For more details on the requirements and eligibility visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Schools serving over 30% low-income families qualify as low-income. For a list of low-income schools, please visit the Teacher Cancellation Low-Income School Directory (TCLI). Search the state and the year the teaching service began. The list for the current school year will be entered into the federal database in April; the most up-to-date list may be from the previous school year.

If the school is not included in the TCLI for the specified year, the school administrator can complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Survey for KDE approval. This form will not be accepted unless it is completed/verified by a school or district administrator. After the form has been reviewed, the administrator will receive an email notification that the school has been added to TCLI.

Individuals wishing to receive Teacher Loan Forgiveness should complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application after completing the minimum of five years at a qualifying low income school. The application should be sent directly to the lender.  

Teacher Loan Cancellation

A teacher with a loan from the Federal Perkins Loan Program, teaching at a qualifying low-income school or in certain subject areas can qualify for loan cancellation. Up to 100% of the loan may be cancelled for teaching service. 15% is canceled for the first and second years of service, 20% is canceled for the third and fourth years of service, and 30% is canceled for the fifth year of service.


The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 per year to students if they agree to teach in a “high need field” for four complete academic years at qualifying low-income schools. A “high need field” includes academic disciplines/subject areas identified as teacher shortage areas (TSA) at the time the grant recipient begins teaching in that field. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) releases a Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing annually. TSA data can also be searched on the Teacher Shortage Area Data website. A list of designated teacher shortage areas in Kentucky can be found in the Commissioner’s Monday Message, July 22, 2019. Unlike loan forgiveness and cancellation, the TEACH Grant is handled by participating colleges and universities. For a list of participating Kentucky colleges and contact information, please consult the TEACH Grant Contact Sheet. Questions about the TEACH Grant should be directed to the individual listed on the contact sheet.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) began in October 2007 and is available for individuals who work full-time for the government or nonprofit organizations for at least ten years and have made 120 on-time payments under an eligible repayment plan after October 2007. After making the 120th qualifying monthly payment, borrowers must submit the PSLF application to receive loan forgiveness. For more information on PSLF, please review Federal Student Aid’s PSLF Questions and Answers Page.

Any loan received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program qualifies for forgiveness. Although other federal student loan programs, such as the Perkins Loan Program, do not qualify, they can be consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan in order to become eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. To determine if your employment is eligible for PSLF, it is recommended that you complete the Employment Certification for Public Service Forgiveness Loan Forgiveness form annually or whenever you change jobs. The form should be submitted to FedLoan Servicing.

KHEAA Teacher Scholarship Program

The KHEAA Teacher Scholarship Program provides financial aid to recruit qualified Kentucky residents pursuing initial teacher certification at participating Kentucky institutions (KRS 164.769).

All applicants must be Kentucky residents enrolled full time (unless enrolled for the final term of a teacher certification program and less than full time enrollment is required to complete the program). Applicants must demonstrate financial need to qualify for a KHEAA Teacher Scholarship.

For more information visit KHEAA’s website.

Traineeship Program

Funds are available to help defray part of the tuition costs at any state institution offering IECE certification. Traineeships are available for teachers and administrators pursuing an initial IECE certificate while working with children with disabilities in the state-funded preschool or Head Start program. For more information visit the KY Traineeship website.