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Student Loan Repayment Program

Student Loan Repayment Graphic

Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is excited to announce the Student Loan Repayment Program grant for districts and intermediate districts. This program serves as an effort to increase the retention of teachers, including those in critical shortage areas, aligning with goal 7 of Michigan's Top 10 Strategic Education Plan. A district or intermediate district that applies for funding under this section shall use the funding only to implement a student loan repayment program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Full Statutory Language

Program Administration Information

We’re introducing a separate page to present information about making payments to participants, as well as provide answers to many program administration questions that districts may have. Use the button below to access our new 27k Program Administration page. Keep this bookmarked since we will be making frequent updates here!

27k Program Administration

 

Application Timeline

Applications for Cohort 1 of the Student Loan Repayment Program closed Thursday April 11, 2024. MDE thanks all of the districts who sent in applications on behalf of their eligible participants. 

Cohort 1 Updates

  • OEE has completed final data verification and Grant Award Notifications (GANs) are expected to be distributed over the first part of July 2024.
  • After distribution of GANs has concluded, the first payments for eligible participants will be sent to districts in the July 22 State School Aid payment. We ask for district cooperation in making timely payments to their participants.
  • A separate web page will be linked here with more information about payments and procedures for auditing and monitoring of funds. OEE anticipates this page to be available in mid-June 2024.

Cohort 2 Updates

  • Many districts have requested information about a second cohort of applications for the Student Loan Repayment Program. Given current projections and awards, MDE expects a second cohort application period.
  • Districts and their participants are strongly encouraged to continue the process of approval for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and, where applicable, income-driven loans or payment programs. MDE recommends that districts and their potential participants also review the new developments in PSLF related to the transition of PSLF application delays starting May 1, 2024, which is expected to be completed by sometime in July 2024, and plan accordingly for PSLF application delays.
  • To accommodate this timeline, MDE expects the application for the second cohort to open in the fall of 2024. More information about Cohort 2 will be posted on this website in the coming weeks and months.
  • In expectation of this, the current Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, as well as the resources below relating to candidate eligibility, loan types and payment programs, and other important program details, will remain accessible.
 

Applicant Eligibility

IMPORTANT: Individual district staff members interested in this opportunity are not eligible to apply for this grant.

Only Intermediate school districts (ISDs) and local education agencies (LEAs), both traditional public school districts and public school academies (PSAs), are eligible to complete the application on behalf of their district staff members.

ISDs may apply on behalf of the districts in their service area pursuant to their agreements with those districts.

NEW RESOURCE: 27k Eligibility Checklist

Click on the image to the left to access a checklist that will help you determine participant eligibility. Use this resource in addition to the information included below to guide you in identifying participants for the Student Loan Repayment Program at the time of application.
27k Eligibility Checklist
  • IMPORTANT: Please do NOT send any participant loan documentation to the Michigan Department of Education. As a state agency, we do not review information about a participant’s federal loans; that is the responsibility of the district. In addition, sending participant loan documentation introduces a potential security risk, especially if there is personally identifiable information (PII) included.

    Applicants must maintain documentation demonstrating the following eligibility criteria for each participating district staff member:

    • The district staff member must owe federal student loans.
    • The district staff member must be enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, pursuant to federal law, and is in a payment plan that makes eligible payments toward federal public service loan forgiveness.
    • The district staff member must be enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan. The district staff member may be exempt from this requirement if their loan is not eligible for income-driven repayment.
    • The district staff member must currently work 32 hours or more per week at a district or intermediate district in a role in which the individual works directly with pre-K to 12 students, including but not limited to educators, counselors, social workers, psychologists, reading specialists, librarians, and school administrators who work directly with students.

    For more information about PSLF, qualifying loans, and repayment plans, visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness webpage.

    Qualifying Loans and Repayment Plans
    Loans received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program that qualify for PSLF
     Payment plans that make eligible payments toward PSLF
    • Direct Subsidized Loans
    • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
    • Direct PLUS Loans
    • Direct Consolidation Loans
    • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan
    • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan
    • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plan
    • Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan—formerly the REPAYE Plan
    • 10 Standard Repayment Plan

     

    Applicants must implement the following as part of the program:

    • Each eligible district staff member shall receive up to $200.00 per month, or if the eligible district staff member is employed in a district or intermediate district that is assigned to band 6* in the opportunity index, up to $400.00 per month, for the duration of the program or the total amount of the eligible district staff member’s monthly federal student loan payment or whichever is less. *Band 6 in the opportunity index means at least 85% of pupils in the district are economically disadvantaged. See below for more information.
    • Payments to eligible district staff members must be made in equal amounts monthly.
    • Payments to an eligible district staff member by districts or intermediate districts must be made for no more than 10 years or until the eligible participant's federal student loan is paid off, or whichever occurs earlier.
    • Eligible district staff members must only receive funding through the program if the eligible participant continues to meet the criteria of an eligible district staff member.
    • Develop a procedure to require eligible district staff members to:
      • report annually, and certify to the district or intermediate district that they made payments toward their eligible federal student loan with the funding received through this program
      • if the district staff member leaves the program, they need to certify to the district or intermediate district, on the date they leave the program that they made payments toward their eligible federal student loan with the funding received through this program
      • certify to the district or intermediate district any increases or decreases in their monthly payment toward the eligible federal student loan

     

  • District Staff Member Eligibility

    The district staff member must currently work 32 hours or more per week at a district or intermediate district in a role in which the individual works directly with pre-K to 12 students.

    • Examples of these eligible participants include but are not limited to the following:
      • educators
      • counselors
      • social workers
      • psychologists
      • reading specialists
      • librarians
      • school administrators who work directly with students in a district or intermediate district 
      The district staff member must be currently enrolled in the federal public service loan forgiveness program and are under, pursuant to federal law, a payment plan that makes eligible payments toward federal public service loan forgiveness.

    For more information about PSLF, qualifying loans, and repayment plans, visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness webpage.

    Qualifying Loans and Repayment Plans
    Loans received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program that qualify for PSLF
    Payment plans that make eligible payments toward PSLF
    • Direct Subsidized Loans
    • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
    • Direct PLUS Loans
    • Direct Consolidation Loans
    • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan
    • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan
    • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plan
    • Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan—formerly the REPAYE Plan
    • 10 Standard Repayment Plan

    District Staff Member Requirements

    • Report annually, and certify to the district or intermediate district that payments toward eligible federal student loan(s) were made with the funding received through the Student Loan Repayment Program
    • District staff members who leave the program, must certify to the district or intermediate district, on the date they leave the program that they made payments toward their eligible federal student loan with the funding received through this program
    • The district staff member must certify to the district or intermediate district any increase or decrease in their monthly payment toward their eligible federal student loan

    Information on Band 6 of the Opportunity Index

    • Information related to districts’ Opportunity Index Score is publicly available on the Department’s State Aid Payment Information page
    • Downloading the spreadsheet with the “2023-24 At Risk Estimates” link. 
    • Opportunity Index (OI) Scores are determined based on districts’ prior year fall ED count. 
    • The spreadsheet includes the calculation process used to establish each district’s OIS in Column F. 
    • Districts with OI Scores of 85 or higher are in Band 6. 
    • The second tab of the spreadsheet includes sample calculations to provide additional information regarding the OI Scores calculation. 

Contact Information

For more information or support, please contact MDE-EdWorkforceGrants@Michigan.gov.