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“This Is, Without A Doubt, An Historic Occasion” - Student Loan Forgiveness Bill Pushed By United University Professions Becomes Law

Published Sunday, September 18, 2022
by UUP News
“This Is, Without A Doubt, An Historic Occasion” - Student Loan Forgiveness Bill Pushed By United University Professions Becomes Law

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) - Thousands more New York State Workers now qualify for student loan forgiveness under the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) - thanks to a new law championed by United University Professions (UUP) and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul.

UUP was one of the strongest, most vocal proponents of the Bill, which gives full-time employment status to Public Employees who work at least 30 hours per week, qualifying them for the PSLF Program.

The employment status change only applies to the PSLF Program access.

Hochul signed the law during a ceremony that was held late last week at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City.

UUP President Fred Kowal was one of five speakers at the event, joining Hochul, Professional Staff Congress-City University of New York (PSC/CUNY) President James Davis and the Bill’s sponsors, State Senator Kevin Thomas and State Assembly Member Harvey Epstein.

Said Kowal (pictured above): “This is, without a doubt, an historic occasion.  We are taking an important step forward because this legislation reaches out to those who have been burdened by student debt through no fault of their own.  Believing in the promise of higher education, those who will benefit from the expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program undertook the education that they did because they believed it would improve their lives, the lives of their families and their communities.  Due to the skyrocketing cost of higher education, far too many have been left with unjust burdens on their financial situations.  The law that Governor Hochul signs means the process of loan forgiveness is simplified, it is streamlined and expanded to those who need this help the most - the thousands of Part-Time Faculty who teach our students in the most difficult of circumstances and are compensated with barely livable salaries.”

Said Hochul: “This legislation acknowledges the significant contributions of Our Public Servants, First Responders, Educators and more, by helping unlock Federal Loan forgiveness for countless members of New York's workforce.”

PSLF is a Federal Program for Federal, State and Local Government Employees, as well as tribal government and non-profit organization.

Under the PSLF, Employees who’ve made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer can get the remainder of their Federal Loans forgiven.

UUP has done much to help its Members get student debt reduced or forgiven through PSLF.

The Union’s twice-monthly student debt clinics - created and led by UUP Statewide Secretary-Treasurer Jeri O’Bryan-Losee - has helped UUP Members get more than $2 million in student loans forgiven.

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