Wednesday, July 1, 2009
What Did I Learn Today?
In 2003 I got a student loan and went back to school to get my master's degree and become a teacher. I discovered the Department of Education had a program where if you worked at a Title I school ("schools where at least 40 percent of the children in the school attendance area are from low-income families") for 5 years you could get $5,000 forgiven from your student loan. However, today I learned there is no monetary thank you for working in a Title I school for 5 years. I applied for Teacher Loan Forgiveness and found out I do not qualify because I, "...had an outstanding balance on a loan that was disbursed prior to October 1, 1998." To me "outstanding balance" means that I have not or had not been paying on the student loan I got for my bachelor's degree. I have worked hard to pay it off in full, but as with everything that seems too good to be true, "outstanding balance" is actually a cleverly worded loophole meaning, "If you ever had another student loan at all we don't want to help you." I looked on the internet and found hundreds of other teachers who were fooled by this little secret as well.
What does that tell me? America does not value higher education, and America does not value people who work to help lower class society. America does not value people who work to put themselves through college instead of having parents to pay for it.
I will continue to work at a Title I school because it is my passion. Department of Education: Thanks for nothing, and you're welcome.