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Laurel Road: How Some States Are Taking Action on Student Loan Forgiveness

Laurel Road: How Some States Are Taking Action on Student Loan Forgiveness

Laurel Road: Student loan debt is a major issue for Americans, with tens of millions of borrowers owing a staggering $1.76 trillion in federal and private student loan debt as of December 2022. Many struggle to pay off their debt, including recent graduates who might still be searching for steady employment.

Federal student loan borrowers may be able to pursue loan forgiveness through income-driven repayment plans or the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, if they're eligible. In addition, some individual states offer their own loan forgiveness programs that may prove helpful to qualified borrowers. In fact, the only state without any student loan forgiveness option is North Dakota, which removed its program in 2019. Here are four of the state governments that are taking action on student loan forgiveness, and some examples of the programs available:


Minnesota is one of the leading states in terms of student loan forgiveness programs, with six programs available to its residents. One such plan is the Minnesota Rural Physician Loan Forgiveness Program for healthcare professionals, which offers up to $33,000/year for four years if they work in underserved areas and facilities in the state. There are also loans for other medical professionals, such as nurses, pharmacists, and dentists, and a program for lawyers who work in the public interest and who graduated law from a qualifying school.

New York 

New York offers varying amounts of student loan forgiveness to professionals in different fields, including healthcare workers, lawyers, and teachers. For example, the Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program encourages recent graduates to pursue farming careers in the state. This program provides up to $50,000 in forgiveness to borrowers who obtain a degree from an approved college or university and agree to operate a full-time farm in New York for five years. 

Another potential option is the NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program, which offers an incentive to increase the number of licensed social workers working in critical human service areas, such as home care, mental health, substance abuse, and more. The program provides up to $26,000 for those who qualify. 


Iowa offers its residents six student loan forgiveness programs, including Teach Iowa Scholars, which provides up to $4,000/year of loan forgiveness for qualified teachers who work in schools in designated shortage areas for a maximum of five years.

The state also offers the Iowa Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness Program, which provides loan forgiveness for registered nurses employed in Iowa and nurse educators teaching at eligible Iowa colleges and universities. And the Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program, created to address critical doctor shortages in rural communities, provides up to $200,000 in loan repayment to those that practice in approved locations for up to five years.


Arizona's three programs include the Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program and Rural Private Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program. These offer forgiveness amounts between $4,000 and $65,000/year, depending on the area and how many years served. The program is meant to promote the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals by repaying qualifying loans in exchange for providing primary care services in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas or Arizona Medically Underserved Areas for two years.

Arizona also offers the Joyce Holsey's ALL (Arizona's Legal Legacy) Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which provides varying amounts to Arizona legal aid attorneys employed by an approved nonprofit organization. 

State Programs for Forgiveness 

Student loan debt is a significant issue for millions of Americans, but some states are taking action to help residents tackle their debt. From offering loan forgiveness programs for healthcare professionals who work in underserved areas to providing repayment assistance to teachers in qualifying public schools after graduation, these states are making a difference in the lives of their residents. State programs constantly change on a state by state basis. For the most up to date information please visit your home state website to see what programs are currently available. 


Individual state government websites

Contact Information:
Carolina d'Arbelles-Valle
Senior Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
(201) 633-2125

Original Source: Laurel Road: How Some States Are Taking Action on Student Loan Forgiveness Laurel Road: How Some States Are Taking Action on Student Loan Forgiveness

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