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Help With Student Loans Available For Qualifying Teachers

5/18/2018


 

Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
(651) 259-3902

 

Online Applications Now Available

St. Paul, MN  For the third year in a row, teachers working in designated teacher-shortage areas in Minnesota may be eligible for help with their student loan payments. New this year, Agricultural Education teachers may also be eligible to apply for additional repayment through a new state loan repayment program.

The 2018 online application is now available for the Minnesota Teacher Shortage Loan Repayment Program, signed into law by Governor Dayton in 2015. Over $1.5 million in awards of up to $1,000 each has been awarded to teachers in the first two years of the program.

To be eligible, licensed teachers must:

  • Have student loan debt
  • Be employed by a Minnesota school district
  • Have provided classroom instruction during the 2017-2018 academic year
  • Meet at least one of the possible four shortage area requirements

Beginning in 2018, one of the four designated shortage areas includes belonging to a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in the Minnesota teacher workforce.

Less than 5% of Minnesotas teacher workforce is made up of teachers of color or American Indian teachers, while students of color and American Indian students make up around 30% of the Minnesotas K-12 student population, said Commissioner Larry Pogemiller, Office of Higher Education. The new designated shortage area, signed into law by Governor Dayton last year, aims to decrease this gap.

The list of qualifying shortage areas identified by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) as well as answers to other common questions can be found here: http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/pdf/tslr_faq.pdf.

Qualifying teachers who apply by June 30, 2018, may be selected for repayment assistance of up to $1,000 per year, up to a total of $5,000. More information about the Minnesota Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program can be found at: http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=2191.
The application form is online at: https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/ssl/tslr/app.cfm.

This year, Agricultural Education teachers may also apply for assistance through the new Minnesota Agricultural Education Loan Repayment Program.  To be eligible, teachers must:

  • Have student loan debt
  • Be licensed to teach Agricultural Education
  • Have completed an Agricultural Education teacher preparation program in Minnesota
  • Currently teach at a Minnesota school may be eligible.

The deadline for applying for this program is also June 30, 2018; the application is available here: https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/ssl/aelr/app.cfm

Please note that neither of these Minnesota programs are the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness program. However, a recipient of either Minnesota program may also be eligible for the federal program. You should contact your loan servicer with any questions about federal loan forgiveness programs.

For more information about either the Minnesota Teacher Shortage Loan Repayment Program or the Minnesota Agricultural Education Loan Repayment Program, contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education: 651-642-0567, 1-800-657-3866, or info.ohe@state.mn.us.  

 


Teacher shortage areas exist both in certain parts of the state and in certain subject areas such as math, science and special education, said Commissioner Larry Pogemiller, Minnesota Office of Higher Education. This program helps address those shortages providing teachers some assistance with their student debt.


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