For the past three years, I have participated in the ND Technology Occupations Student Loan Forgiveness program. The rules were pretty simple. You had to have a College Degree in a technology related field, and have a job in North Dakota in a technology related field. If you met the rules and got your application in before they ran out of money for the year, you got a $1000 student loan forgiveness payment on your student loans. Yippee! In those three years, I got the payment every time. They pay it directly to my loan and I now have $3000 less in student loans to pay for. Considering that I got away from college with a degree and only about $30,000 in loans, I’ll take a 10% reduction in principle. I’ve also got my interest locked in at a nice low 3.75%, so I can’t complain about my student loan situation.
The one dim spot was that you could only claim the student loan forgiveness payment for three years and then you were done. Today, however, I got a letter in the mail from the North Dakota University System (the administrators of the program) telling me that the ND Legislature extended the program in the 2009 session. Yippee! But wait! There’s More! Not only did they extend it so you could claim it for four years, but they upped it from $1000 to $1500! WoooHooo! Oh, and they changed the name of it as well. Now it’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Loan forgiveness program (S.T.E.M). All I’ve got to do is fill out some paperwork and send it in on time (May to June) and, if approved, they’ll pay $1500 of my student loan off for me. That’s another 5% of my original principle. For a total of 15% of the principle overall.
I knew there was a reason I stayed in North Dakota!
P.S. if you live here too (tell me) and you think you might meet the requirements, you can get information on the program at www.ndus.edu ; (Or you can click the STEM link in the next sentence.) click on Student & Parent Information and then Financial Aid. There’s a link there for the STEM program.