Student loans have been a constant source of stress for Eljin Gorman, a sports medicine professor at Clovis High School.
But when he applied for his loans back from the state last year – he was among a record number of teachers to take advantage of the scheme – that stress began to dissipate.
Financially, Gorman said, the debt relief was a big help — reducing the roughly $55,000 he originally had in loans by about $6,000 in a short time.
But the relief also gives him more peace of mind and has freed up some of his money to spend on his family, or sometimes even his student athletes.
“Obviously a nickel here and there will definitely have a big impact,” he said. “The best part about it is…you have the reassurance that it’s not just you paying your student loans — it’s your state, and you have additional support.”
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In 2022, nearly 1,000 new nominees like Gorman received awards and nearly 450 others had their existing awards renewed. The debt for the entire class of teachers in the program averages about $51,000.
In 2021, 600 teachers received debt relief grants, which was a program record at the time.
“The New Mexico Department of Higher Education continued to set records with the number of teachers receiving debt forgiveness…allowing these dedicated professionals to stay in the classroom and focus on what they do best — shaping the future of New Mexico,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez said in a news release.
Teachers receive up to $6,000 per year for two years for current federal student loans. It is aimed at teachers in “high-needs” positions, including bilingual, special or early childhood education, those teaching STEM courses, and those in “low-performing” schools that serve large populations of children. economically disadvantaged students.
Anyone who wins the award must commit to staying in the profession for two years.
For the upcoming fiscal year, the Department of Higher Education has requested $10 million for the program, which they say could help reach more than 1,600 teachers. The previous year, $5 million had been set aside for the program.
The application window for the next round of awards opens June 1.
. record number of teachers NewMexico have received last year relief loan student supported by state