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Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs-college forgiveness program

Student Loan Forgiveness and
Repayment Programs
By: Jessica Callahan, Legislative Analyst II
December 28, 2021 | 2021-R-0044
Issue
Describe (1) student loan forgiveness and repayment programs in current state law, along with their
current funding status and (2) examples of programs offered by other states and the federal
government. This report updates OLR Report 2019-R-0053.
Summary
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), at least 35 states, including
Connecticut, have at least one education loan forgiveness or repayment program. Connecticut has
several such programs in statute. Only one (the Minority Teacher Incentive Program) is currently
being funded; however, there is pending legislation concerning another program for certain health
care providers. The state has also established a tax credit to encourage employers to make eligible
education loan payments on a qualified employee's behalf. The eligible loans must be issued by the
Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA). Additionally, the federal
government offers programs that provide borrowers with student loan debt relief.
Typically, these programs require borrowers to (1) live and work in a certain region or (2) work in a
specific field or industry in order to receive loan forgiveness or payments on qualifying loans. States
often use these programs to offer incentives to graduates to work in underserved areas or to fight
population losses. These programs provide assistance in various forms, including (1) grants to
borrowers to help pay their qualifying loans, (2) direct payments to loan servicers on the borrowers'
behalf, or (3) tax credits the borrowers can apply to their state income tax, such as the "Opportunity
Maine" program.
www.cga.ct.gov/olr Connecticut General Assembly (860) 240-8400
OLRequest@cga.ct.gov Office of Legislative Research Room 5300
Stephanie A. D'Ambrose, Director Legislative Office Building
Connecticut Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment
Programs
Connecticut has several student loan forgiveness and reimbursement incentive programs in
statute. These programs generally offer certain borrowers with reimbursement grants or loan
forgiveness as an incentive to work and live in Connecticut. According to the Office of Fiscal
Analysis, only the Minority Teacher Incentive Program is currently funded. Table 1 below describes
each program.
Table 1: Student Loan Forgiveness Programs in Current Law
Program Name Brief Description
Connecticut Green Technology, Reimburses federal and state loans of (1) up to $2,500 per year or
Life Science, and Health 5% of the amount of such loans, whichever is less, for up to four
Information Technology Loan years for individuals with a bachelor's degree in these fields and (2)
Reimbursement Program (CGS ? up to $2,500 per year or 5% of the amount of such loans, whichever
10a-19i) is less, for up to two years for individuals with an associate degree in
these fields. To qualify, individuals must have graduated on or after
May 1, 2010, and have been employed in Connecticut for at least
two years after graduation. Additionally, an adjusted gross income
limit of $150,000 also applies for the year prior to the first year of
reimbursement.
"Engineering Connecticut" Loan Provides student loan reimbursement grants to individuals who
Reimbursement Grant Program graduated from higher education institutions with undergraduate or
(CGS ? 10a-19e) graduate degrees in engineering, are employed in Connecticut as
engineers, and satisfy certain other eligibility requirements.
Qualifying individuals receive annual reimbursement grants for
qualifying student loan payments in an amount determined by the
Office of Higher Education (OHE) executive director.
English Language Learner Provides eligible program participants pursuing an endorsement in
Educator Incentive Program (CGS bilingual education or the teaching of English to speakers of other
? 10a-19j) languages with grants of up to $5,000 per year in their junior and
senior years. If the student goes on to teach in a Connecticut public
school after graduation in a position that requires one of these
endorsements, then he or she may also receive $2,500 per year for
four years in loan reimbursements.
Information Technology Loan Provides a student loan reimbursement grant for those who attended
Reimbursement Pilot Program a Connecticut college or university; majored in an information
(CGS ? 10a-169b) technology related field; are newly employed by a Connecticut
company in an information technology related position on or after
January 1, 2001; and meet the eligibility requirements for the state's
information technology scholarship program (CGS ? 10a-169a).
2021-R-0044 December 28, 2021 Page 2 of 6
Table 1 (continued)
Program Name Brief Description
Eligible students are reimbursed for up to $2,500 annually for a total
of two years for qualifying student loans. The student must be
employed by a qualifying company when he or she applies for the
reimbursement.
Minority Teacher Incentive Awards grants of up to $5,000 per year, for up to two years, for
Program and Educator Loan minority students in (1) their junior and senior years in Connecticut
Reimbursement Grant Program undergraduate teacher preparation programs, (2) graduate teacher
(CGS ?? 10a-168a and 10a- education programs (if they received a grant for one year as an
168b) undergraduate), or (3) alternative route to certification programs.
Also provides up to 10 years of student loan reimbursement grants to
minority administrators or teachers, for up to 10% of their student
loans, not to exceed $5,000 a year.
Primary Care Direct Services Provide grants to community providers to expand access to health
Program (CGS ? 19a-7d) care coverage to the uninsured. The money can be used for, among
other things, recruiting and retaining primary care clinicians and
registered nurses through a loan repayment program. Primary care
clinicians include family practice physicians, obstetricians-
gynecologists, dentists, pediatricians, advanced practice registered
nurses, and physician assistants, among others. Individuals receiving
loan repayment must meet certain requirements.
Nursing Education Loan Provides loan forgiveness for Connecticut residents enrolled in
Forgiveness Program (CGS ? 10a- nursing education in the state. "Nursing education" includes any
162a) program of study and courses taken to enter or advance in the
profession or upgrade knowledge and skills. If a resident remains in
the nursing field in Connecticut for five years, his or her loans are
forgiven.
"You Belong" Loan Provides student loan reimbursements to doctoral program
Reimbursement Grant Program graduates employed in Connecticut in economically valuable fields,
(CGS ? 10a-19f) as determined by the Department of Economic and Community
Development. Eligible individuals receive annual reimbursement
grants for qualifying student loan payments in an amount determined
by the OHE executive director. The person must be employed in
Connecticut by a qualifying company or in research at a higher
education institution in an economically valuable field.
2021-R-0044 December 28, 2021 Page 3 of 6

What states have student loan forgiveness? These states include: Alaska Florida Nevada New Hampshire South Dakota Tennessee Texas Washington Wyoming