- Four Democrats have submitted a bill that would make associate professors eligible for student loan forgiveness.
- The current government service loan forgiveness program only applies to full-time government employees, not additional employees.
- And he rejects 98% of applicants, demanding reform.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) forgives government student debt after 120 matching payments. But while full-time teachers are entitled to this relief, associate professors are not.
Four Democrats want to change that.
On Thursday, Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, as well as Hawaii Senator Maisie Hirono and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, introduced the Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act, which would make adjunct professors eligible to participate in PSLF.
Under current law, civil service work is defined as full-time work or at least 30 hours per week on average, but associate professors, who often work in multiple schools and have multiple jobs, have difficulty meeting these requirements.
“Student loan debt is a heavy burden on millions of Americans, and for additional faculty members, this reality, coupled with meager wages, limited job security and limited access to health care and other benefits, means that just doing your job is not easy. “Hirono said in a statement. “This law is a simple change to allow additional faculty members to access a public service loan forgiveness program that will provide them with real financial assistance.”
According to the press release, adjuncts earn an average of $ 3,894 per class taught, while the lowest paid adjuncts earn an annual income close to the minimum wage, and given that most of them have advanced degrees, they also carry the burden of $ 1.7. the trillion student debt crisis.
While the introduction of this bill may be an encouraging sign for additional faculty members with student debt, PSLF itself has been unable to forgive borrowers who are currently eligible for the program. Insider reported Last month, when President Joe Biden took office, the program still rejects 98% of applicants.
Biden campaigned on program reform as a result of its high failure rate under President Donald Trump and the Department of Education regulatory agenda including reforming the program, but in reality the changes can take at least a year.
That’s why 56 Democrats sent a letter Biden in May, urging him to quickly reform the program to give government employees the student debt relief they deserve.
Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland, who signed the letter, wrote TwitterWe must ensure that American teachers, social workers, community defenders, military personnel, and community health workers – along with many other government officials – receive the forgiveness of the student loan they have earned.