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The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program may soon lose funding. Should it?




A student walks near Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA on April 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
A student walks near Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA on April 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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If you’re a student who’s racked up debt, since 2007 you’ve had the option of working in the public sector or for a non-profit for ten years to have your debt erased under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

If you’re in the program already, you’ll still be on track for loan forgiveness, but under Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, the program would be nixed for new borrowers.  

Proponents of PSLF say the program incentivize college graduates with hefty loans to take low-paying public service jobs. These students, often with law, medical or business degrees, often over 100k in debt, would otherwise turn to the private sector to pay off loans, rather than serving their communities.

Opponents of the program say it’s an unnecessary government subsidy that actually incentivizes students to borrow beyond their needs and that some schools actually game the system. Another critique is that the range of income provided by public sector jobs varies drastically, and that this program subsidizes high-earners along with those who truly need the help.

If you’re in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, has it been a benefit to you? Have you seen people taking advantage of the system? If you’re a graduate or prospective student, have you considered the program? If the funding is cut, will that affect your schooling and career choices?  

To find out more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, click here.

Guests:

Ben Miller, senior director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning research think tank

Jason Delisle, resident fellow at American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a think tank in Washington D.C.; he specializes in higher education financing with an emphasis on student loan programs