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Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness


There are two types of Federal Loan Forgiveness programs intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness is directed to teachers who have Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. You must be teaching full-time for five (5) complete consecutive years at an eligible school, and at least one of those years must have been after the 1997-98 school year. Certain highly qualified special education or secondary math or science teachers can qualify for up to 17,500 in forgiveness. Other eligible teachers can qualify for up to 5,000. Qualified teachers apply for teacher loan forgiveness after completing the five-year teaching requirement. 

For more information about the program, visit Teacher Loan Forgiveness at Student Aid. 

Teacher Cancellation is for Federal Perkins Loans.  A teacher may qualify for cancellation (discharge) up to 100% of a Federal Perkins Loan if they have taught for one (1) full academic year at full-time in a public or non-public elementary or secondary school. The loan is cancelled in the following increments:

  • 15% cancelled for the first and second year of service
  • 20% cancelled for the third and fourth year of service 
  • 30% cancelled for the fifth year of service 

For more information about the program, visit Teacher Cancellation at Student Aid. 

CDE's Role

The only role of CDE in this Federal Program is to maintain the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory (TCLI).  Teachers can search for their school in this directory to determine if the school qualifies as low income.  If the school is eligible, the teacher should contact their loan provider to identify the necessary steps to determine eligibility for Federal Program Loan Forgiveness. 

To search school eligibility, visit the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory (TLCI).

Process for Determining School Eligibility

A list of eligible schools is compiled once a year using Free and Reduced Lunch Program data collected at October Count.  Those schools that meet the criteria listed below will automatically be added to the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory (TCLI) each year. The directory is updated for the current School Year by June of each year. However, if a school is not on the directory but should be, CDE will accept School Eligibility Applications throughout the year and review each application prior to updating the directory. If CDE receives an overwhelming amount of applications, the directory will be updated during an unscheduled month in the current year.  

Criteria to be included in the TCLI Directory:

  • School must be a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school. "Elementary school" or "secondary school" means a public or nonprofit non-public school that provides elementary education or secondary education (PK-12 grade only) as determined by state law (or by the U.S. Department of Education if the school is not in a state).
  • The number of children enrolled in a school who are counted under Section 1124(c) of the ESEA (federal definition of poverty) must exceed 30.01 percent of the total enrollment of that school (PK-12 enrollment only).
  • The school must be in a Local Educational Agency that is eligible to receive Title I.
  • Preschools are included in the Directory if they are associated with an elementary. Stand alone preschools are not automatically added to the directory and schools will need to fill out the Eligibility Application.

Eligibility Application: 

School Eligibility Application Form (DOC) Updated February 2023

CDE sends updates regarding the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory twice a year to the US Department of Education. Typically, CDE sends the updates in June and December of each year. If CDE receives an influx of applications, CDE will then schedule an additional time to send the updates to the US Department of Education.

For Additional Information Contact:

Rachel Echsner
ESEA Title I and II Specialist