Student Loan Debt and the PSLFP: A Workshop with Experts

Oct 26, 2021 / 12:00–2:00 pm
Zoom Webinar


Jay L. Austin, Executive Director, RISE Alliance Center, Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
Shawn Brick, Executive Director, Student Financial Support, UC Office of the President
Apri Medina, Associate Director, Student Financial Support, UC Office of the President
Jamal Collins, Financial Aid Outreach and Communications Liaison, Student Financial Support, UC Office of the President
Dolores Niccolai, Principal Loan & Contract Analyst, UCOP


Kelly Anne Brown, Associate Director, UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI)
Jeanne Scheper, Associate Professor and Chair, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department, UC Irvine

Have student loan debt? Employed in the public sector? Join us for a hands-on webinar to learn about the recent overhaul to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP) requirements. Hear from UC student loan experts about the program, recent changes, and how they might simplify your ability to qualify for the PSLFP. Speakers fielded questions from attendees as well as addressed some of the common barriers to the program. 

Have you successfully completed the PSLF program? Come and support others as they navigate the process!

Think DEBT is a topic that we need to address more frequently and loudly? Join this conversation and let’s start talking about the larger impacts of education debt on inclusive excellence and our communities.  


FedLoan Servicing has extended their contract for one year to ease the transition process: “PHEAA formalizes agreement with U.S. Department of Education to assist borrower transition to other servicers

In the background:

The American Association of University Women, Deeper in Debt: Women & Student Loans

American Federation of Teachers, On the Backs of Students and Families: Disinvestment in Higher Education and the Student Loan Debt Crisis

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, “What is the typical debt load for graduates of four-year public universities?

Charron-Chénier, Raphaël, et al. “A Pathway to Racial Equity: Student Debt Cancellation Policy Designs” 

The Education Trust, Jim Crow Debt: How Black Borrowers Experience Student Loans

The Ezra Klein Show, “The Life-Altering Differences between Black and White Debt” 

Humanists@Work, Stories from the Field: A University of California Data Project  

Cameron Joe, “Death of Public Education” (UCI Performance Art Protest)

Dongbin Kim and Cindy Otts, “The Effect of Loans on Time to Doctorate Degree: Differences by Race/Ethnicity, Field of Study, and Institutional Characteristics

Andre M. Perry, Marshall Steinbaum, and Carl Romer, “Student loans, the racial wealth divide, and why we need full student debt cancellation

Jeanne Scheper, “Mortgaged Minds: Faculty-in-Debt and Redlining Higher Education

Student Borrower Protection Center and American Federation of Teachers, Keeping the Promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Cory Turner, “Borrowers say they were wrongly denied loan forgiveness. Now, help is on the way” 

U.S. Department of Education, “Fact Sheet: Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program Overhaul


American Federation of Teachers

Debt Collective

Shared Harvest Fund

Student Debt Crisis

Student Loan Justice

Who’s My Student Loan Servicer?”: Federal Student Aid’s step-by-step on how to locate your servicer.

COMMON QUESTIONS (and our answers)

Do you have to submit two applications, one for PSLF and one for waiver, or does one application cover both?

The waiver is not an application but a plan that’s effective through October 31, 2022. The PSLF application is the application for review of your payments and for consideration for forgiveness under the PSLF/TEPSLF plan.

Must you be full-time for 10 years, or full-time status at time of application?

If you are working for a qualifying employer, have made eligible payments on an eligible repayment plan (or are pursuing the waiver exception for these two areas), then you should begin the process now to either begin certification of employment and/or to consolidate any FFEL loans you may have into direct loan. Once your consolidation is approved you can pursue applying for the PSLF. If you have made 120 qualifying payments, then you may also apply for the PSLF. Employment certification and the PSLF consideration both use the same form.

If you are a UC struggling employee who is considering going back to school, would the loan forgiveness program stop me from taking more loans?

The timing of your loan repayment, meaning when you start repayment on each loan governs the clock on those loans. Thus, you cannot get credit for payment periods made on older loans for newer loans which just entered repayment. They would be on different clocks. Also, years of qualifying employment work in tandem with months of repayment, thus you cannot count months you were employed with a qualifying employer but were not in loan repayment because you had no loans.

Do loans have to be consolidated if they are all federal loans? 


I received a rejection on 10/5/2021: the day before the recent announcement. I am confused now. I have made payments that were accepted, although not 120 total yet, but the letter suggested I’m kicked out of the program. That is not accurate, is it? And, are my recorded payments going to be reassessed now with the changes? Will formerly disqualified payments be re-examined?

For those who were denied PSLF, your loans should be automatically under review again according to the Department of Education. However, you will want to check with MyFed Loan Servicing to confirm.

If I work for an entity that manages multiple nonprofits but is technically a “for profit” under the IRS code, will my payments during this employment qualify for the PSLF program? 


We get a lot of calls from companies telling us we qualify to reduce debt or get debt forgiveness. Are these all scam calls?

You will not typically be contacted by your loan servicer by phone. You will typically be emailed. A good rule of thumb is to never share personal information over the phone if someone has called you as opposed to the reverse.