Durbin co-authors bill to add part-timers to Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Part-time university and college faculty may soon be eligible to participate in the federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program for public servants, with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Al Franken (D-MN) introducing legislation on Thursday that would allow part-time faculty to participate.
“As their budgets have tightened, colleges and universities have become increasingly reliant upon part-time adjunct faculty who face low pay, few if any benefits and minimal job security,” Durbin said. “The vast majority of these educators hold advanced degrees, and as a result, bear the heavy burden of student loan debt. It is only right that we expand their access to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, a benefit already available to many of their full-time colleagues.”
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program encourages graduates to seek careers in public service by offering student-loan forgiveness for eligible federal loans after making 120 qualifying payments while working in government service or the nonprofit sector. Graduates with jobs in fields such as nursing, military service and public health qualify for the program.
“Part-time faculty like adjunct professors, who typically receive fewer benefits and lower pay than other educators, often carry a large amount of burdensome student-loan debt,” Franken said. “By expanding a key loan-forgiveness program, our bill will help these professors cut down on their debt load.”