Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers

Every year TEA submits a list of teacher shortage areas by subject matter and a list of designated low-income schools to the U.S. Department of Education. Teachers with certain types of student loans may qualify for partial loan forgiveness, deferment, or cancellation benefits.

Eligibility for these benefits depends on the type of loan the teacher has, the date of his or her first loan, and whether the teacher serves in a designated low-income school or subject matter teacher shortage area. 

TEA does not determine an educator’s eligibility for teacher loan forgiveness. You will need to contact your loan holder directly regarding the amount of loan forgiveness you will be eligible to receive. The loan holder, not TEA, has authority regarding the provision of that allowance.

You can also contact your loan servicer for additional information. A loan servicer is a company that handles the billing and other services on your federal student loan.

Teacher Shortage Areas

The 2024-2025 teacher shortage areas have been approved by the US Department of Education. The approved shortage areas for 2024-2025 are as follows:

Declared Areas – All levels unless noted

  • Bilingual/English as a Second Language
  • Career and Technical Education (secondary level only)
  • Computer Science/Technology Applications
  • English Language Arts and Reading (secondary level only)
  • Mathematics (secondary level only)
  • Special Education

The following are critical shortage areas allowing individuals to apply for TEACH Grants and/or Public Service Loan Forgiveness:

  • Bilingual/English as a Second Language
  • Career and Technical Education (secondary level only)
  • Computer Science/Technology Applications
  • Special Education

U.S. Department of Education - Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide 1990-present. 

Teacher Shortage Areas in Previous Years

Loan Forgiveness Options

This section explains loan forgiveness options for teachers and all other school staff. Teachers may apply for any of the programs listed below if the balance of their unpaid federal student loans exceeds the forgiveness amount and if they meet the requirements of the program. Private loans are not eligible. If you are not sure what type of loan you have, contact your lender.

Loan forgiveness options for teachers only are as follows:

You must have a federal Perkins loan to be eligible for loan forgiveness. You can start the loan forgiveness process at the beginning of your first eligible year of teaching service. You must contact the university that provided the loan. 

Loan forgiveness options for all education staff including non-teachers are the following:

If you are a special education teacher, you must have an official at the public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school certify that you are teaching handicapped or learning disabled students. Do this either on the federal Perkins loan postponement and cancellation form or on an official letter from the school bearing the school's seal or letterhead. For loans made by the Perkins loan program on or after July 23, 1992, this cancellation includes special education teachers.

If you provide one of the following services, you qualify as a teacher only if:

  1. you are licensed, certified, or registered by the appropriate state education agency for the area you provide related special educational services for, 
  2. and the services you provide are part of the educational curriculum for handicapped children:
  •  speech and language pathology and audiology;
  •  physical therapy;
  •  occupational therapy
  •  psychological and counseling services
  •  recreational therapy

Other Grant and Loan Resources

The programs below are not affiliated with TEA: