Public Service as a Way to Finance Your MBA

Earlier this year the federal government made an announcement that might be of interest to many MBA applicants. Under the government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your eligible federal student loans after you have made 120 payments on certain loans while employed full time by certain public service employers. This is great news for anyone who has considered an MBA a JD as a path to a public service career, but who has been intimidated by the levels of student loans that it takes to finance graduates degrees these days.

Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of fine print that you must read to make sure if you qualify. Only loans made under the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program are eligible for loan forgiveness, including:

  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Direct Subsidized Loans)
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Direct Unsubsidized Loans)
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Direct PLUS Loans)- for parents and graduate or professional students
  • Federal Direct Consolidation Loans (Direct Consolidation Loans)

Only payments made on the Direct Consolidation Loan will count toward the required 120 monthly payments. And, you need to have been making your loan payments on time for the past 120 months — deadbeats need not apply. But, the savings can be significant, resulting in more than $100,000 in loans being forgiven, depending on the exact program for which you qualify.

There’s a lot of fine print to read, but this is a terrific option for anyone who’s thought about going into public service. You can learn more at the U.S. Department of Education’s web site.

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