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Student loan forgiveness programs in Minnesota

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How healthcare professionals, teachers and more can reduce their debt.

Minnesota has several repayment programs for a relatively wide range of professions — especially if you’re in medicine or agriculture. It’s also one of the few states with aviation and veterinarian forgiveness programs.

Minnesota Agricultural Education Loan Forgiveness Program

  • Amount: $3,000 per year — for up to five years
  • Qualifying loans: All federal and private student loans for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Parent PLUS Loans are ineligible, as are Direct Consolidation Loans that include Parent PLUS Loans.

This program is designed to encourage agricultural professionals to go into primary and secondary school teaching. Recipients of this award must agree to work at an eligible teaching job full time for at least one year. You can apply for up to five years of forgiveness.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in agricultural education that’s eligible for a Minnesota state teaching license
  • Work at a Minnesota public, private or charter school — or at a tribal contract school that receives Minnesota aid
  • Teach agricultural education to grades five through 12

Minnesota Aviation Degree Loan Repayment Program

  • Amount: $3,000 to $5,000 per year — for up to five years
  • Qualifying loans: Any loan used to cover the cost of a professional aviation degree from a Minnesota school

The purpose of this program is to encourage aspiring pilots and aircraft technicians to attend school and work in Minnesota. Technicians can receive up to $3,000 per year, while pilots can get as much as $5,000 in annual repayment assistance. If you receive this award, you’re required to work in Minnesota full time for at least one year.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Associate or bachelor’s degree from a Minnesota school
  • Qualified pilot that holds or is in the process of obtaining an airline transport pilot certificate OR qualified aircraft technician that holds an aviation mechanic certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration
  • Minnesota resident
  • Student loans from a professional aviation degree at a Minnesota institution

Minnesota Health Care Loan Forgiveness Programs

  • Amount: $5,000 to $30,000 per year — depending on your practice
  • Qualifying loans: Student loans used to pay for the cost of attendance for an undergraduate or graduate program.

Minnesota has several forgiveness programs designed to encourage healthcare professionals to work in underserved rural and urban areas throughout the state. Ultimately, how much you receive is based on 15% of the average student loan debt of recent graduates in your particular area of practice.

Eligibility requirements

While it varies by program, you must work at an eligible healthcare facility. Eligible facilities depend on your area of practice.


Minnesota Rural Veterinarian Loan Repayment Program

  • Amount: $15,000 per year — for up to five years
  • Qualifying loans: Student loans used to pay for an undergraduate or veterinarian graduate degree from the University of Minnesota

This program for new and prospective veterinarians aims to bring animal healthcare services to rural areas in Minnesota. Applicants must attend school or have a degree from the University of Minnesota. If accepted, you must work at least five years in an eligible area and dedicate at least half of your services to livestock raised for food.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for this program, you must meet the following criteria:


Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program

  • Amount: $20,000 per year
  • Qualifying loans: Any student loan used to pay for your undergraduate or graduate degree related to health care

This program, which is funded by both the federal and Minnesota State government, is designed to bring healthcare providers to rural and urban areas with a shortage of medical professionals. It involves a two-year service commitment, and applicants must provide letters or reference, a personal essay about the area they’re about to serve and a resume when they apply.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for this program, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Eligible health professional .
  • Practice or have a contract to practice in Minnesota
  • Commit to two years of serving a designated rural area or underserved urban community
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • Not enrolled in any forgiveness programs for defaulted student loans

Minnesota Teacher Shortage Loan Repayment Program

  • Amount: $1,000 per year — for up to five years
  • Qualifying loans: All federal and private student loans for undergraduate and graduate degrees related to education. Parent PLUS Loans are ineligible, as are Direct Consolidation Loans that include Parent PLUS Loans.

This program is an incentive for teachers to work in underserved communities or subject areas. Awards are offered to those who apply first, so get in on the application early. In addition to your professional eligibility, the state also considers financial need when reviewing applications.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for this program, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Teach in a designated teacher shortage geographical or subject area
  • Hold a teaching license from the Minnesota Department of Education
  • Work for a school district
  • Provide classroom instruction

Federal John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

  • Amount: Varies by year
  • Qualifying loans: All federal loans used to pay for an undergraduate, graduate or law school education — excluding Parent PLUS Loans or Direct Consolidation Loans that include Parent PLUS Loans

Minnesota lawyers interested in working as full-time public prosecutors or defenders might want to consider this three-year repayment program. Every three years, 16 public prosecutors and 16 public defenders who commit to at least three years of service receive this award.

Applicants who can demonstrate financial need or are fluent in Spanish, Somali, Hmong or American Sign Language get preference. If you get accepted, you’re eligible for another two years of assistance after your three-year commitment is up.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for this program, you must be current on your student loan repayments and have worked full time for at least three years at one of the following positions:

  • Public prosecutor or defender for the state of Minnesota, local or tribal government working on criminal or juvenile delinquency cases
  • Nonprofit employee providing legal representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile cases under contract with the Minnesota State, local or tribal government
  • Federal defender attorney working in Minnesota at a defender organization that offers representation to indigent persons in criminal or juvenile delinquency cases

Eligible work includes supervision, education or training of other people working on these cases — you don’t necessarily have to be the lead prosecutor or defender. You must commit to three more years of this type of work to qualify.


What if I don’t qualify for any of Minnesota’s forgiveness programs?

There are a few other options to reduce your student debt, including:

I defaulted on my student loans. What’s the statute of limitations on debt in Minnesota?

The statute of limitations for debt in Minnesota is six years after making your last repayment. This means after those six years are up, your lender or collection agency can’t sue you for payment.

However, this statute of limitations only applies to private student loans. Federal and state student loan holders can still be sued even after six years have passed.

Compare student loan refinancing options

Updated June 18th, 2019
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Bottom line

Minnesota offers several loan repayment and forgiveness programs as an incentive to build up underserved rural and urban areas. Like with many states, there are more opportunities for healthcare providers than any other profession, though teachers, lawyers and even pilots could find help.

Can’t qualify for any of these? Check out your other options with our guide to student loan forgiveness programs.

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