As many of you may already know I have decided to return to school and earn my Master's degree. Next Tuesday is my first class. It will be an English class on writing. I'm actually very excited about it. I love to learn and the fact that my first class is going to be on writing makes it even more exciting. It will just be the one class over the summer and then come October I will start full time with classes on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. Right now I can't wait to begin - check with me again around the holidays and it might be a different story.
One of the more challenging things I'm up against is finding a way to pay for college. Unfortunately the company I work for does not participate in any type of educational reimbursement or cost matching program. I have applied for financial aid and placed applications in for numerous scholarships. While researching options for payments I did come across the "student loan forgiveness" program that is being offered to many students by the government. AOTA recently succeeded in getting occupational therapists who work with children, teens, and the elderly eligible to receive loan forgiveness. The National Education website has a list of loan forgiveness programs offered to a variety of occupations. Another information website with a list of loan forgiveness programs is the FinAid! Website.
The overlying theme for the loan forgiveness is that one is pursuing a career working in a non-profit field, working with children/teens/elderly/veterans, or in a field that provides specific public services or is in a low income area. Most also require you to have made 120 on-time payments before you will even be considered for the program.
Has anyone taken advantage of any of these programs? I would love to hear how the process went and if you were able to receive a partial or full refund on any of your student loans. If you were not aware of these programs, do you think you will try and apply for one now that you do?