Faculty & Research Waivers for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: Who Would Benefit from Takeup? Jul 01, 2022 By Sarah TurnerDiego A. BrionesNathaniel Ruby Waivers for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: Who Would Benefit from Takeup? For workers employed in the public and non-profit sectors, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program offers the potential for full forgiveness of federal student loans for those with 10-years of full-time work experience. In practice, the benefits of the PSLF program have been illusory for many. In the first year of eligibility for forgiveness (2017), only 96 borrowers claimed benefits and even by the end of April of 2022 only 130,730 had received benefits. Administrative problems related to the certification of public service employment and the determination of qualifying loans led the Department of Education to issue temporary waivers (which expire in October of 2022) which essentially provide a path to forgiveness retroactively. In this paper, we explore the overall impact and distributional implications of potential full participation in loan forgiveness enabled by the PSLF waiver program using the 2018 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Our estimates identify more than $100 billion in loan forgiveness available to as many as 3.5 million borrowers through the PSLF waiver program. Potential beneficiaries of this initiative are disproportionately employed in occupations like teaching and health care. Full take-up of the PSLF waiver would lead to a narrowing of the racial gap in student debt burden. However, the distribution of potential benefits of the PSLF waiver depends critically on the extent to which those with high income or advanced degrees are differentially likely to take-up benefits conditional on eligibility. Link to Working Paper Areas of focus Education Sarah Turner Sarah Turner is a University Professor of economics, education and public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Souder Family Endowed Professor. Much of her research focuses on post-secondary education, where she explores the intersection of education and economics policies. Read full bio Diego A. Briones Nathaniel Ruby Related Content Sarah Turner Progressivity of Pricing at US Public Universities Research New research describes recent shifts in net tuition by family income and institution type and assesses the role of changes in state funding in generating these shifts. Limited Supply and Lagging Enrollment: Production Technologies and Enrollment Changes at Community Colleges during the Pandemic Research Weak labor markets typically lead young workers to invest in skills. High unemployment during COVID diverged from prior downturns: enrollment at community colleges dropped by 9.5 percent between 2019 and 2020, with the drop larger among men. Jefferson Scholars Foundation Honors Six Outstanding UVA Faculty Members News Batten Professor of economics, education and public policy Sarah Turner was selected as this year's recipient of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Faculty Prize. Student Loan Payment Pause Benefits High-Income Households the Most News Batten School Professor Sarah Turner, Batten student Eileen Powell and UVA economics doctoral candidate Diego Briones researched who benefits the most from the pause on student loan payments in a piece for Education Next.