Applies to Federal Perkins Loans and National Direct Student Loans.

There are several situations which qualify a borrower for partial cancellation for teaching services. In all situations, however, there are some basic qualifications a borrower must meet. Following will be presented the basic qualifications and then specific situations which qualify. Please read the Basic Information and Qualifications first. If you qualify under the Basic Information and Qualifications, proceed to the specific situations to see if your position and your loan qualify.

Basic Information and Qualifications

  • Teacher cancellation is based on the duties presented in an official position description, not on the position title.

  • The borrower must be teaching in a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school system in a state, as recognized by State statute. Elementary education may include educational programs below grade 1 if State law includes these programs as part of the State's elementary education system. There are no cancellation provisions for teaching in postsecondary schools.

  • The borrower must be directly employed by the school system.

  • A teacher is defined as a full-time professional who provides direct and personal services to students for their educational development through
    • direct classroom teaching
    • classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting; or
    • educational services to students directly related to classroom teaching such as school librarians or school guidance counselors.
    There is no requirement that a teacher must teach a given number of hours a day in order to qualify as a full-time teacher. The essential criterion for a full-time teacher is whether the employing institution considers the individual as full-time for the purposes of salary, tenure, academic rank, etc.

  • A supervisor, administrator, researcher, or curriculum specialist is not a teacher unless he or she primarily provides direct and personal educational services to students.

  • To receive partial cancellation, the borrower must teach for a complete academic year or two semesters which are complete and consecutive and that generally fall within a 12-month period.

Specific Teaching Situations

Situations Which DO Qualify:

Situations Which MIGHT Qualify:
(If you decide that you may qualify based on one of the following situations, next go to one of the qualifying situations listed above for more eligibility details.)

  •  Teacher who is not certified or licensed: It is not necessary for a teacher to be certified or licensed to receive cancellation benefits. However, the employing institution must consider the individual to be a full-time professional for the purposes of salary, tenure, retirement benefits, etc.
  •  Teacher's aide: In order to be eligible, a teacher's aide must meet the definition of a "full-time teacher", must have a baccalaureate degree, and be a professional recognized by the State as a full-time employee rendering direct and personal services in carrying out the instructional program of an elementary or secondary school.
  •  Social worker: A social worker, working full-time in a school setting, providing direct and personal services to students could be eligible for teacher cancellation if the services performed relate to the student's interaction with his/her school environment.
  •  School psychologist: A psychologist working full-time in a school setting is eligible for "handicapped" or "special education" cancellation if a majority of the students counseled meet the statutory definition.
  •  Illness or pregnancy: If a borrower is prevented, due to illness or pregnancy, from fulfilling his/her obligation to complete the academic year, cancellation may be allowed if the borrower has completed the first half of the academic year and begun teaching the second half and the hiring authority considers the borrower, for purposes of salary increment, tenure, and retirement, to have fulfilled his/her contract for the academic year.

Situations Which DO NOT Qualify:

  • Volunteer teacher.
  • Member of a Cooperative Education Service.
  • Teaching services overseas, including schools operated by the Armed Forces of the United States, schools operated overseas by the State Department, and overseas mission schools.