Iowa Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

The State of Iowa offers student loan repayment assistance to Iowa educators who are teaching in a shortage subject area, as designated by the Iowa Department of Education.

Eligibility Criteria

An applicant must:

  • Be a fully licensed teacher* whose first teaching position in Iowa began after July 1, 2007.
  • Be teaching in a shortage subject area, as designated by the Iowa Department of Education. (See designated shortage areas below).
  • Owe a balance on an eligible federal student loan (Stafford or Consolidation). If outstanding loan balance is less than the maximum forgiveness award, the amount awarded will not exceed the applicant's outstanding principal and interest.
  • Be in good standing with all federal student loan accounts. Borrowers interested in postponing repayment on federal student loans should contact their current loan holder.

*For the purposes of this program, a "teacher" is defined as an individual holding a practitioner's license, issued by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, who is employed in an instructional, non-administrative position by a school district or area education agency.

Award Amount

  • The maximum annual award is 20% of the recipient's total eligible federal student loan balance, including principal and interest
  • The maximum award cannot exceed the average resident tuition rate established for students attending Iowa's Regent Universities for the first year following the recipient's graduation
  • For 2015 graduates, the maximum award is $6,658

Shortage Areas

The following areas have been designated by the Iowa Department of Education as 2015- 16 shortage areas in Iowa. Only teachers who teach in these areas can qualify for Iowa Teacher Loan Forgiveness:

Visually Impaired (Birth – Age 21)

Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Birth – Age 21)

Industrial Technology (Grades 5-12)

Family and Consumer Science (Grades 5-12)

Agriculture (Grades 5-12)

Speech Communications/Theater (Grades K-12)

Foreign Language (Grades K-12)

School Teacher Librarian (Grades K-12)

All Science (Grades 5-12)

Talented and Gifted (Grades K-12)

Special Education (Pre-K only)

Instructional Strategist II: MD (Grades K-12)

English as a Second Language (Grades K-12)

Instructional Strategist II: BD/LD (Grades K-12)

Mathematics (Grades 5-12)

Physics (Grades 5-12)

Chemistry (Grades 5-12)

Instructional Strategist I: Mild and Moderate (Grades K -8)

Earth Science (Grades 5-12)

Instructional Strategist I: Mild and Moderate (Grades 5-12)

Professional School Counselor (Grades K-12)

Biology (Grades 5-12)


Awarding Priority

If funding does not permit all eligible applicants to receive an award, applicants will be prioritized as follows:

  • Renewal status;
  • Instructional shortage area being served, with the highest need areas as ranked by the Iowa Department of Education being served first;
  • Geographic shortage area being served, with the highest need areas as ranked by the Iowa Department of Education being served first;
  • Iowa residency status;
  • Full-time employment status;
  • Total indebtedness; and
  • Date of application

How to Apply

  • Complete the Iowa Financial Aid Application  between January 1 – March 31, 2016

  • Be a qualified teacher.  (Iowa College Aid will verify an applicant's qualified teaching service by contacting their school's administrator. An administrator must certify the applicant's teaching service in order for the applicant to receive an award.)

Recipients must reapply annually** by completing the Loan Forgiveness portion of the Iowa Financial Aid Application. The application will be available online beginning January 1 and applications must be submitted by March 31 to guarantee consideration.

** Applicants may receive forgiveness for no more than five consecutive years. Those who have previously received funding through the Iowa Teacher Shortage Forgivable Loan Program will be eligible for a combined total of five years between the two programs. Recipients who fail to complete five consecutive years of teaching in a designated shortage subject area in Iowa, or who fail to submit a completed program application before the established deadline annually, will not be considered for any future awards.

Additionally, practice by an eligible teacher in a teacher shortage area must be completed within 10 years following graduation from the approved practitioner preparation program.

Printed from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission website on October 09, 2015 at 10:54am.