Two students borrow to earn nursing degrees. The one who works at a public hospital can pay an “affordable” percentage of his income for 10 years, then erase the rest of the debt under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF). The other works as a nurse at a private hospital. That’s not considered public service, so the debt has to be repaid in full.
Every job is a public service, argues Alexander Holt on EdCentral.
Under PSLF, anyone who works for a government agency or non-profit — payroll supervisor, computer tech, accountant — is a public service worker. About a quarter of the workforce qualifies.
Nobody who works for a for-profit company — no matter what they do — can get the same debt forgiveness deal.
Young farmers believe growing the nation’s food is a public service, reports MarketWatch.
Emily Best, 32, works on a Pennsylvania farm for $1,600 a month plus room and board. She “has tens of thousands of dollars in loans, mostly from graduate school, where she studied environmental policy with a focus on farming and agriculture,” reports MarketWatch.
Under the income-based repayment open to all borrowers, she’s able to defer paying her loans without defaulting. But the debt won’t go away.
“Best thinks she deserves to have her loans forgiven” after 10 years like others who serve the public interest, writes Holt.
. . . Best certainly is performing a public service. And so is the truck driver delivering his food to the grocery store, and the grocery store clerk, selling me my food. So too is the parent without any paid job, taking care of a child at home. Children, after all, are the future. The question for Best, and the government, is who isn’t working in the service of the public?
Student debt is worse than you think, writes Kevin Carey. Schools may have low default rates but high non-repayment rates. Students can defer or delay making loan payments “based on economic hardship, continuing education and other factors.” The interest keeps mounting up.