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Loans Repayment/Debt


Loan Cancellation

Student Debt Management

Cancellation Amounts for Years of Service

If the borrower is employed in one of the areas listed in the following categories up to 100% of the loan may be cancelled. Most loans are canceled incrementally:

  • 15 percent cancelled per year for the first and second years of service
  • 20 percent cancelled per year for the third and fourth years of service
  • 30 percent cancelled for the fifth year.

If you have questions, contact the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Student Debt Management at 303-315-1830.

In order to be eligible for Family Service Cancellation for Perkins Loans, the borrower must be a full-time employee of an eligible public or private nonprofit child or family service agency who is providing or supervising the provision of services to high risk children who are from low income communities and families of such children.

High Risk Children are Defined as:

Individuals under the age of 21 who are low-income at risk of abuse or neglect, have been abused or neglected, have serious emotional, mental, or behavioral disturbances, reside in placements outside their homes, or are involved in the juvenile justice system.

Low Income Community is Defined As:

A community in which there is a high concentration of children eligible to be counted under Chapter 1 of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended.

In order for a borrower of the Perkins Loan Program to be eligible for Law Enforcement Cancellation, you must meet the following 2 provisions. 1) The employing agency must be eligible AND 2) The borrower’s position must also qualify.

  • An eligible, local, state or federal agency which are publicly-funded units, the principal activities of which pertain to crime prevention, control or reduction or the enforcement of the criminal law, including, but not limited to police efforts to prevent, control or reduce crime or to apprehend criminals; activities of courts having criminal jurisdiction and related agencies; activities of corrections, probation or parole authorities; and problems relating to the prevention, control or reduction of juvenile delinquency or narcotic addiction. Agencies are primarily responsible for enforcement of civil regulatory, or administrative laws are ineligible.
  • The borrower’s position must be essential to the agency’s primary mission. In order to be eligible for the cancellation, the employee must be full-time at an eligible agency. The employee must be a sworn officer or person whose principal responsibilities are unique to the criminal justice system and are essential in the performance of the agency’s primary mission. The agency must be able to document the employee’s functions.

NOTE: Persons whose official responsibilities are supportive, such as those that involve typing, filing, accounting, office procedures, purchasing, stock control, food service, or building equipment or grounds maintenance are not eligible for the law enforcement cancellation regardless of where these functions are performed.

Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation

You qualify for cancellation (discharge) of up to 100 percent of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have served full time in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school system as a

  • teacher in a school serving students from low-income families; or
  • special-education teacher, including teachers of infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities; or
  • teacher in the fields of mathematics, science, foreign languages, or bilingual education, or in any other field of expertise determined by a state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that state.

Eligibility for teacher cancellation is based on the duties presented in an official position description, not on the position title. To receive a cancellation, you must be directly employed by the school system. There is no provision for canceling Perkins Loans for teaching in postsecondary schools.

Note that you also qualify for deferment while you’re performing teaching service that qualifies for cancellation. Contact the school that holds your loan for information on applying for deferment.

Definition of Teacher

A teacher is a person who provides students direct classroom teaching, or classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting, or educational services directly related to classroom teaching (for example, school librarian or guidance counselor).

It’s not necessary for you to be certified or licensed to receive cancellation benefits. However, your employing school must consider you to be a full-time professional for the purposes of salary, tenure, retirement benefits, etc. If you are a supervisor, administrator, researcher, or curriculum specialist, you are not considered a teacher unless you primarily provide direct and personal educational services to students.

Definition of Full Time for a Full Academic Year

You must teach full time for a full academic year or its equivalent. There is no requirement that you must teach a given number of hours a day to qualify as a full-time teacher; the employing school is responsible for making that decision.

An “academic year or its equivalent” for teacher cancellation purposes is defined as one complete school year or two half years that are (1) from different school years, excluding summer sessions; (2) complete, and (3) consecutive. The two half years also must generally fall within a 12-month period.

Teaching Part Time at Multiple Schools

You can receive cancellation if you are simultaneously teaching part time in two or more schools if an official at one of the schools where you taught certifies that you taught full time for a full academic year.

Teaching in a Private School

You may receive teacher cancellation for services performed in a private academy if the private academy has established its nonprofit status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and if the academy is providing elementary and/or secondary education according to state law.

Teaching in a Preschool or Prekindergarten Program

You may receive teacher cancellation only if the state considers such a program to be a part of its elementary education program. A low-income-school-directory designation that includes prekindergarten or kindergarten does not suffice for a state determination of program eligibility.

Teaching in Low-Income Schools

A cancellation based on teaching in a school serving students from low-income families may be granted only if you taught in an eligible school as determined by the state education agency. To be considered a “low-income school,” the school must be in a school district that qualified for federal funds in the year for which the cancellation is sought. Also, more than 30 percent of the school’s enrollment must be made up of children from low-income families.

To find out if the school that employs you is classified as a low-income school, you can check our online database for the year(s) that you have been employed as a teacher. Questions about the inclusion or omission of a particular school should be directed to the state education agency contact in the state where the school is located, not to the U.S. Department of Education.

The Secretary considers all elementary and secondary schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)--or operated on Indian reservations by Indian tribal groups under contract with BIA--to qualify as schools serving low-income students.

NOTE: If you have had a portion of your loan cancelled for teaching at a low-income elementary or secondary school in one year, you can continue to have portions of your loan cancelled for teaching at that school even if it is not listed as a low-income school in later years. Under certain circumstances, the institution that holds your Perkins Loan may permit retroactive cancellation if you can demonstrate that you qualified for cancellation in a prior year. However, the institution may not refund payments made during such a retroactive period.

Teaching in Special Education

You must have an official at the public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school certify that you are teaching handicapped or learning disabled students, either on the Federal Perkins Loan postponement/cancellation form or on an official letter from the school bearing the school's seal or letterhead. For Perkins Loans made on or after July 23, 1992, this cancellation includes special education teachers.

If you provide one of the following services, you qualify as a teacher only if 1) you are licensed, certified, or registered by the appropriate state education agency for that area in which you are providing related special educational services, and 2) the services you provide are part of the educational curriculum for handicapped children:

  • speech and language pathology and audiology;  
  • physical therapy;
  • occupational therapy;
  • psychological and counseling services; or
  • recreational therapy.
Teaching in a Designated Subject Shortage Area

This cancellation is based on full-time teaching if there is a shortage of teachers in your subject area. Each year the state education agency determines any subject shortage areas in the elementary and secondary schools within the state. Check with your local school system or state education agency to find out if your subject matter area has been so designated. If you teach full time in science, mathematics, foreign language, or bilingual education, you qualify for cancellation even if the state has not designated one of these subject areas as a shortage area.

For a borrower to be considered as teaching in a field of expertise, the majority of classes taught must be in that field of expertise.

In order to qualify for the Allied Health Cancellation for Perkins Loans, you must be employed in one of the areas listed on the back of this page.

Contact the University of Colorado Denver at 303-315-1828 if you have questions.

Qualifying Occupations

  • Anesthesiologist Assistant
  • Art Therapist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Blood Bank Technology
  • Cardiovascular Technologist
  • Clinical Assistant
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist
  • Clinical Laboratory Technician
  • Clinical Laboratory Technician
  • Cytogenetic Technologist
  • Cytotechnologist
  • Dance Therapist
  • Dental Assistant
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Laboratory Technician
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  • Diagnostic Molecular Scientist
  • Dietetic Technician of the American Dietetic Association Dietitian/Nutritionist
  • Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist
  • Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic
  • Genetic Counselor
  • Health Information Administrator
  • Health Information Technician
  • Histologic Technician/Technologist
  • Kinesiotherapist
  • Low Vision Therapist
  • Marriage and Family Counselor/Therapist
  • Massage Therapist
  • Med Lab Tech-Associate Degree
  • Med Lab Tech-Certificate
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Illustrator
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Medical Technologist
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Music Therapist
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician
  • Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician
  • Ophthalmic Medical Technician/Technologist
  • Orientation and Mobility Specialist
  • Orthotist/Prosthetist
  • Pathologists’ Assistant
  • Perfusionist
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Phlebotomist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Physician Assistant
  • Qualified professional early intervention services
  • Radiographer
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Teacher
  • Respiratory Therapist (Advanced)
  • Respiratory Therapist (Entry-Level)
  • School Counselor
  • Specialist in Blood Bank Technology
  • Speech-language Pathologist
  • Student Affairs Practitioner
  • Surgical Assistant
  • Surgical Technologist
  • Teacher of the Visually Impaired
  • Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

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