Teachers can catch a break with state’s loan repayment program


Deadline to apply is Aug. 1

 

 

SANTA FE— Teachers with outstanding student loans can apply for debt forgiveness through the state’s Teacher Loan Repayment Program, which is now accepting applications until August 1.

New Mexico licensed teachers working in high-need fields and schools statewide may be eligible for up to $6,000 per year for two years toward principal debt and interest on federal student loans related to teacher education, according to a press release from the New Mexico Higher Education Department.
 

Eligible teachers must be U.S. citizens, New Mexico residents for 12 or more consecutive months, hold a New Mexico teaching license, and have taught at least three years in New Mexico. Priority is given to teachers in a high-need position, including those with endorsements and actively teaching in the following areas:  

  • Bilingual education
  • Early childhood education
  • Special education
  • Science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM)
  • Career technical education (CTE)
  • Teaching in a low-performing school serving economically disadvantaged populations (40% or more of students receiving free and reduced lunch)

The average amount of debt held by teachers participating in the program this year is over $48,000. 

The award can be renewed for additional two-year cycles if the recipient continues to fulfill the teaching commitment. Preference is also given to teachers who graduated from a New Mexico college or university and teachers from underrepresented backgrounds. Teachers benefitting from the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness program can simultaneously benefit from New Mexico’s program.  

Program applications are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 1 and can be completed electronically via the New Mexico Higher Education Department’s website at hed.state.nm.us. Teachers who are interested can also contact the agency via email at Fin.Aid@state.nm.us or through a toll-free helpline at 1-800-279-9777.

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