Furthering your education with post-secondary schooling offers benefits which cannot be overlooked; you can increase your knowledge and earn a degree to help you attain a secure, financially rewarding career. As the average four-year college course costs upwards of $30,000, most students cannot afford to attend a college or university out of their own pocket, and as such require financial assistance. By applying for a student loan, greater educational opportunities will open up to you, and you can even get a student loan partially or fully forgiven if you are eligible. Here are a few options.

Volunteer for AmeriCorps. As an AmeriCorps member who completes a full term of service and who is enrolled in the National Service Trust, you are eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which can pay up to $5,500 for a full year of service for terms supported with 2011 funds. You have the option of making partial or full payments, and the award remains valid for up to seven years after your term of service.

Join the Peace Corps. During service as a Peace Corps volunteer, you have options for deferring several types of student loans, including Stafford, Perkins, direct and consolidation loans, and some commercial loans. Volunteers with Perkins student loans are eligible for a partial cancellation benefit of 15 percent upon completion of each of the first and second year of service, and 20 percent upon completion of each of the third and fourth years.

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Enlist in the army. For soldiers with existing student loans and a six- or eight-year enlistment, the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) can pay up $50,000 for certain jobs. Applicants entering Officer Candidate School who have at least 90 college credit hours and agree to an eight-year commitment are also eligible for this incentive.

Work as a teacher or in the field of medical studies. The American Federation of Teachers offers a variety of loan forgiveness programs, such as the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program, which allows eligible borrowers to receive up to $17,500. The US Department of Health and Human Services also offers a variety of programs, such as The Nursing Student Loan Program, The Health Professions Student Loan Program, and The Health Education Assistance Loan Program.

Tip

Speak to someone on the human resources staff at your school or workplace to find out more information about student loan forgiveness and find out whether you are eligible.

About the Author

In 2000 Diana Prince began writing as a journalist for the school newspaper. Later, she took on a lead writing job at a locally published newspaper. Her work has appeared in various magazines and online publications. She has a degree in cosmetology, a certification in personal training and nutrition and holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and journalism from McMaster University.