Florida, like many others states, is experiencing a crucial teacher shortage in a variety of areas. As teacher saloons have decreed, so have the number of people deciding to pursue teaching as their career choice. The Florida Office of Student Financial Assistance and the government of the state of Florida have created a program where Florida will repay teacher student loans. This program is designed to encourage teachers to get their college education degrees in subjects that are experiencing critical shortages in the state of Florida.
According to the 2004-05 statutes, the program applies to both undergraduate and graduate students loans. The teacher must not be in default for any of their loans. The teacher must hold a Florida teaching certificate and be teaching full-time in a Florida public school. They must have taught at least ninety days to be eligible for the program in an academic year. The teacher also may not have received other specific school scholarships or loans for their education.
The paperwork for the repayment of college loans is obtained from the Office of Student Financial Assistance in Florida. A teacher may file the paperwork at the completion of their first year. Their district superintendent must certify their employment, and the teacher must also submit their academic transcripts of all the colleges they attended. The lender or loan holder of their student loan must also provide certification of the loan balances for the teacher.
The good news is that a teacher can receive up to $ 2500 a year for undergraduate loans, and up to $ 5000 a year for graduate loans. Each teacher may receive up to $ 10,000 from the program in total. The teacher receives a check payable to the teacher and lender, and must endorse it before sending it to the lender.
There are a variety of subject matter areas that have critical shortages. The subject matter areas that are eligible for the program are:
English for Speaking other Languages (ESOL degree)
Exceptional Student Education
Industrial Arts-Technical Education
Middle and High School Mathematics
Middle and High School Science
Specific Learning Disabilities
Speech / Language Disabilities
This is an excellent program designed to alleviate the critical shortcomings of teachers by giving them an incentive to become a teacher of one of the subjects listed above. For anyone interested in becoming a teacher in Florida, it makes sense to consider becoming a teacher in one of these subjects so that they can receive some help in repaying their student loans. Why not have Florida repay your teacher student loans? And who knows? If this works in Florida, other states may follow suit, as many states have similar educational shortcomings.