A plea went out on a list-serve of clergy because the Dept. of Education recently amended its criteria for its Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Basically, if you work in one of a number of public service areas — the military among them — you can apply for this program. If accepted, you make “120 on-time, full, scheduled, monthly payments on your Direct Loans” (basically your pay off your loan for 10 years) and the balance is then forgiven.
What this clergyman flagged was a new criterion which specifiies that “if you work for a non-profit organization, your employment will not qualify for PSLF if your job duties are related to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing.”
It raises interesting questions. The criterion seems to be written with churches in mind, i.e.non-profits serving the community of a particular faith. But if chaplains are serving in the military and their duties include ensuring the freedom of religion of all troops, does that violate this criterion?
We just sent a request to Federal Student Aid and hope to learn more…. if anyone has any information in the meantime, please let us know.