High Performing Students May Get Loans Reduced For Teaching

The government might shave $9,000 from student loans in exchange for 3 years of teaching specialized subjects.

IU students

Photo: Indiana Public Media News

Currently, college students suffer enormous college loans. The proposed legislation could ease the financial burden of high achieving students.

Indiana’s highest-performing high school and college students could get some of their student loans paid back by the government if they teach in some of the state’s neediest subjects and areas.  Those are the terms of legislation headed to the floor of the Indiana House.

Under legislation proposed by Indianapolis Democratic Representative Justin Moed, the state would pay back $9000 in student loans after a graduate of an Indiana college teaches three years in a Hoosier school. To be eligible, participants have to graduate in the top 20 percent of their high school class or achieve an SAT or ACT score in the top 20th percentile and earn at least a 3.5 GPA in college.

Moed says his bill is a way to incentivize Indiana’s top students to join the teaching profession.

“It gets them to stay here in Indiana and teach at a school in an area of need, whether it’s STEM – science, technology, engineering or math – special needs or a geographic shortage area,” Moed says.

The program would apply to students who are high school seniors or younger, beginning next year. As a result, Moed says the program would not start paying out money until eight years from now which means this year’s bill doesn’t have an appropriation tied to it.

“We’ve got, then, the next eight years to figure out the details,” he says. “Is this going to be how wide of a net are we catching of students that are actually looking at doing this? And then we can base the appropriation based on that,” Moed says.

He says there are other details that also need to be worked out in the coming years, such as how the state will advertise the program to students and connect them with the jobs they will need to fill. But he says by passing the initial legislation this year, it essentially starts the clock for students who could take advantage down the line.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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