College education is expensive. For many Americans, the only way to get a college education is to take on student loans - and LOTS of them. But that also means having to shoulder years or even decades of debt. Many people can’t afford to work in public service jobs where they don't make enough to pay back their student loans.
That’s why President George W. Bush created the public service loan forgiveness program 10 years ago to encourage young Americans of all backgrounds to take public service jobs that are important to our society but don’t necessarily pay well. It's an investment in better education and services that is already paying off in spades for the public. About 552,000 people currently participate in the program.
But that’s about to change if the Trump administration gets its way. The administration has proposed eliminating the entire program starting in 2018. According to administration officials, loans originating on or after July 1, 2018 would no longer be eligible for the program.
“The administration is telling young Americans that public service is neither valued nor rewarded, that they should take their talents elsewhere,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “At a time when agencies like the Department of the Veterans Affairs needs to fill up to 49,000 vacancies, this is the exact opposite of what the administration should be doing.”
Eliminating the public service loan forgiveness program is just another example of the disdain that this administration has for public servants. Under his budget blueprint, Trump has proposed to drastically cut their retirements to the tune of $149 billion on top of the $182 billion that has been taken away from the employees since the start of the decade.
The administration’s proposed elimination of thousands of federal jobs and massive cuts to agency budgets have posed a major threat to our country’s education, public health, housing, environmental protection, and other areas that touch everyone’s life.
Don't sit on the sidelines – fight back!
Call (844) 669-5146 and tell your lawmaker to oppose the elimination of the student loan forgiveness program and other reckless budget cuts. Visit www.afge.org/win to see what else you can do.