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College Affordability and Debt Services

College Affordability and Debt Services

NEA's Degrees Not Debt Campaign

NEA's Degrees Not Debt Campaign

Brittany Jones testifying

"Student loan debt has been the driving force of my decisions for the last eight years of my life, and according to my current repayment plan, it is projected to be for the next 25 years of my life, well into the years when I should be planning a retirement. It should not be that way."

- Future educator Brittany Jones before the U.S. Senate Budget Committee

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Want to take action on this issue?  Speak up for college affordability! 

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Income Driven Repayment Options

There are at least five different plans that may help to lower monthly student loan payments. Learn more about these options.

Income Based Repayment: lower your loan amount. Learn more.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you’re in education, you may qualify for public service loan forgiveness after 120 qualifying payments.  Read the FAQs.

Then learn more about how to apply for public service loan forgiveness.

College Affordability Solutions

There are solutions to this crisis of college affordability. Congress could make college more affordable by:

  • Increasing grant aid to minimize the need for loans. Helping students get their degrees faster by reinstating year-round Pell Grants
  • Decreasing the cost of student loans, allowing federal student loans to be refinanced when interest rates decline instead of balancing the budget on the backs of our students.
    • Streamlining federal loan repayment plans to create a single, income-based option with affordable monthly payments for struggling borrowers.
    • Restoring federally subsidized loans for graduate students.
  • Enhancing federal loan forgiveness programs for those who choose careers in public service—including teachers—and expand them to include ALL faculty at colleges and universities – contingent and tenured/tenure-track.
  • Increasing federal aid and providing incentives to increase state aid to institutions, including minority-serving institutions


Degrees Not Debt's Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program Guide (PDF).  This guide can help you identify whether your federal student loans are eligible for forgiveness plans and/or programs.



Allow student loans to be refinanced when interest rates drop


Want to take action on this issue?

Take Action

Speak up for college affordability. Take Action.


Testimony of NEA board member Jim Grimes, House Education and the Workforce Committee Democrats, March 2, 2016

Download the PDF version of 5 Steps to Kick Student Debt.

Did you know…

...average student debt is $30,000?
…more than 33 million Americans qualify for Income Driven Repayment plans (IDR)?
…1/4th of the workforce qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?
NEA can help?