Teachers in arrears on student loans can receive up to $ 6,000 a year to help pay them off through the New Mexico Department of Higher Education Teacher Loans Repayment Program.
“My loans were taken before 1998, when many scholarship and forgiveness programs were put in place, so all these years I have been paying on them. When the opportunity presented itself, it really helped me, ”said Heather Nevarez, a State University of New Mexico graduate who teaches mathematics at Las Cruces public schools.
“Now I can retire with no student loan debt,” Nevarez said.
To receive the award, recipients must make a two-year training commitment, which can be extended for additional two-year cycles. Preference will be given to teachers who graduated from a college or university in New Mexico. It is especially recommended to apply for teachers from minority backgrounds.
“In recent years, a variety of government scholarship and financial aid programs have become available to educators, but there are also those who entered the profession before these opportunities were available,” said Stephanie Rodriguez, secretary for the New Mexico Department of Higher Education. … “The Teacher Loan Repayment Program can help reduce or even write off these teachers’ debt.”
Eligible teachers must be US citizens, have resided in New Mexico for 12 consecutive months or more, be licensed to teach in New Mexico, and have taught in the state for at least three years.
They should also teach in the most sought-after position, including: bilingual education; preschool education; special education; science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM); vocational education (CTE); learning in a low-performing school serving the poor.
“This administration has done so much to improve the teacher ecosystem and give class teachers the respect and support they deserve,” said Ryan Stewart, secretary for the New Mexico Department of Public Education. “This loan repayment program is another way we encourage the best and brightest teachers to work in the areas most in demand while paying off their student loans.”
NMHED also oversees Affordable Teacher Scholarships and Teacher Training, and a Teacher Services Program, which also provides financial assistance to current and emerging teachers.
The Teacher Loan Repayment Program, which was established by the Legislature in 2013, supports about 300 teachers a year and is currently accepting new applications and renewals for the next year. The application closes on August 1 at 17:00.