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Help with Student Loans Now Available for Qualifying Teachers



Online application now available

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

St. Paul, MN -- Teachers working in designated teacher shortage areas in Minnesota may now qualify for help with their student loan payments.

The Minnesota Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program, created in 2015 by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Dayton, is intended to encourage teachers to teach in Minnesota in designated shortage areas by providing assistance with their student loan repayments.

"Minnesota schools are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain teachers both in certain geographic areas and some subject areas, such as special education, math and science," said Commissioner Larry Pogemiller, Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE), which manages the program. "By helping with student loan payments, this program may encourage some teachers to consider working in one of the designated shortage areas."

Qualifying teachers who apply by June 30, 2016, may be eligible for repayment assistance of $1,000 per year, up to a total of $5,000. OHE estimates that 194 awards will be made for the 2015-2016 award year, with as many as 1,940 annual awards made through 2019.

In general, applicants must currently:

  • Hold a teaching license issued by the licensing division in the Minnesota Department of Education on behalf of the Board of Teaching
  • Be employed by a school district to provide classroom instruction
  • Teach in a designated teacher shortage area; and
  • Have outstanding qualified educational loan debt.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has identified qualifying shortage areas, including statewide teacher licensure fields in high demand, geographical regions within the state experiencing teacher shortages and teacher licensure fields in high demand within regions of the state. See the list of qualifying shortage areas.

More information about the program can be found here. The Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program application is online here.

The application deadline for the 2015-2016 award year is June 30, 2016.

For more information, contact Sandy Connolly at 651-259-3902 or by email at

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