Iowa Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
The State of Iowa offers loan repayment assistance to Iowa educators who are teaching in a shortage subject area, as designated by the Iowa Department of Education.
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.
- 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 2014 graduates, the maximum award is $6,658
The following areas have been designated by the Iowa Department of Education as 2014- 15 shortage areas in Iowa. Only teachers who teach in these areas can qualify for Iowa Teacher Loan Forgiveness:
English as a Second Language (Kindergarten - Grade 12)
Family and Consumer Sciences
Guidance Counselor (Kindergarten – Grade 8 and Grades 5 - 12)
Health (Grades 5 - 12)
Industrial Technology (Grades 5 - 12)
Mathematics (Grades 5 – 12)
Science - All Areas (Grades 5 - 12)
Talented and Gifted (Kindergarten – Grade 12)
Teacher Librarian (Kindergarten – Grade 8 and Grades 5 - 12)
Agriculture (Grades 5-12)
Instructional Strategist I Mild/Moderate
Instructional Strategist II Behavior Disorders/Learning Disabilities
Instructional Strategist II Mental Disabilities
Instructional Strategist II Physical Disabilities
Itinerant Hearing Impaired (Birth to Age 21)
Itinerant Visually Impaired (Birth to Age 21)
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, 2015
- 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.