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ERIC Number: ED507056
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: An Evolving Workforce Development Tool. Policy Matters: A Higher Education Policy Brief
Harnisch, Thomas L.
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Since the 1940s, public officials at the local, state and federal levels have used student loan forgiveness programs to attract individuals to critically needed occupations and underserved communities. In exchange for a work commitment, the loan program forgives (or repays) an amount of the employee's student loan. Traditionally, these programs have been directed at teachers, nurses, physicians, public-service attorneys and military personnel. Loan forgiveness programs also help students pay for a college education and contribute to the development of intellectual capital. Until recently, most loan forgiveness money was directed at in-school programs that pay for students to attend college in exchange for a work commitment in an approved occupation after graduation. The trend has shifted to on-the-job programs that do not pay for college costs but allow students to apply for forgiveness programs after obtaining employment. While anecdotal evidence may validate notions that these programs address the workforce shortages in a number of communities and help professionals with college costs, broad-based longitudinal analysis examining loan forgiveness resource allocation has not been conducted and many fundamental policy questions remain unanswered. This paper provides an overview of student loan forgiveness programs and raises issues for policymakers pertaining to whether these programs are an efficient and effective use of taxpayer funds. A list of 13 resources is included.
American Association of State Colleges and Universities. 1307 New York Avenue NW Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-7070; Fax: 202-296-5819; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of State Colleges and Universities