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Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program

(last updated October 16, 2017)

The number of awards made through this program, as well as the individual dollar amount awarded, are subject to sufficient annual appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor.

Program News
Program Overview
Eligibility Requirements
Application Procedures
Award Determination

Program News

Following the recent approval of state operating budgets for fiscal years 2017 and 2018, ISAC staff is reviewing and analyzing the impact to each of our programs to determine the next steps in delivering student awards.

Fiscal Year 2018

The 2018 fiscal year (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018) appropriation for the Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program is $439,900.

ISAC is currently accepting Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program applications for the 2018 fiscal year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018).

Because the Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program application must be submitted within six months of the date of the Notice of Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness eligibility, students are encouraged to complete and submit this application as soon as possible to ensure the deadline is not missed.

Program Overview

{ISAC Rules, Part 2767}

The Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program encourages academically talented Illinois students to enter into and continue teaching in Illinois schools in low-income areas.

To be eligible for this program, teachers must first qualify for the federal government’s teacher loan cancellation program. The federal government’s program, known as the Federal Stafford Loan Cancellation for Teachers Program, will cancel up to $5,000 of a borrower’s Federal Stafford student loans, borrowed after October 1, 1998 if the borrower teaches on a full-time basis for five consecutive years in an elementary or secondary school that has been designated a "low-income" school by the U.S. Department of Education.

If a teacher qualifies for the Federal Stafford Loan Cancellation for Teachers Program and completes the required five years of teaching in an Illinois school designated as a "low-income" school, the borrower may also apply for the Illinois Teacher Loan Repayment Program. Illinois will provide an additional matching grant of up to $5000 to the qualifying teacher to repay their student loan debt.

Note: Although the Illinois program was initially available also to child care providers, the federal Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program received no funding beyond the demonstration program, and does not accept applications.  Consequently, there is no application for the Illinois Child Care Providers Program.

Eligibility Requirements

{ISAC Rules, Section 2767.20}

In order to qualify for the Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program, applicants shall be:

  • a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; (FSA Handbook Volume 1, chapter 2)
  • a resident of Illinois;
  • a borrower who has had an amount of his or her educational loans forgiven pursuant to Section 428J or 428K of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965; and
  • a borrower who has fulfilled, in Illinois, the obligations set forth in Section 428J or 428K of the HEA.

Application Procedures

{ISAC Rules, Section 2767.30}

All applicants must submit a complete Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment application to ISAC each year. Documentation must also be included that s/he has had an educational loan forgiven under Section 428J or 428K of the Higher Education Act (HEA), and qualified for that loan forgiveness by virtue of service performed in Illinois.

An applicant must apply within six months after receiving notification of loan forgiveness pursuant to Section 428J or 428K of the HEA.

The borrower must reapply each year that he or she receives a portion of his or her loans forgiven under Section 428K of the HEA, but no more than a total of $5,000 may be awarded to an individual borrower.

Award Determination

Loan repayment will be made to the borrower based upon the lesser of:

  1. The amount forgiven under Section 428J or 428K of the HEA; or
  2. $5,000.

The total amount of awards each year is contingent on the final approved appropriation. If funding is insufficient to pay all eligible applicants, awarding is based on the date the complete application, with required documentation, is received in ISAC’s Deerfield office.