‘Road to Success’ tour touts benefits of federal loan forgiveness program

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff at the Back to School Bus Tour stop in Philadelphia. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff at the Back to School Bus Tour stop in Philadelphia. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Representatives from the Biden administration and the American Federation of Teachers continued their Road To Success Back To School Bus Tour in Pennsylvania on Thursday.

The daylong tour of the Keystone State at Philadelphia’s United Steelworkers Union Hall 286 with representatives encouraging public service workers to apply for student loan forgiveness.

PFT President Jerry Jordan (standing at podium) introduces (from left to right) AFT President Randi Weingarten, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff during a stop on the Back to School Bus Tour in Philadelphia on Sep. 15, 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

It was one of several stops made on the ‘Road to Success’ tour with other stops planned in New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia. Along the way, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, and AFT President Randi Weingarten have been encouraging public workers to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

While speaking with reporters, Weingarten said she wants people to apply for the program as soon as possible because it’s unclear if the deadline will be extended.

“This is really a miracle program that does help tell educators and nurses and firefighters and the armed forces that the promise that was made by the Bush administration and by the then Congress is going to be kept,” Weingarten said.

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AFT President Randi Weingarten discussed the financial hardships many Americans face with student-loan debt at the Local 286 Union Hall on Sep. 15, 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Cardona addressed the need for access to a quality education, especially for those who want to work in public service.

“Money shouldn’t be an obstacle for someone who has potential and a dream and drive to go to college,” Cardona said. “We have to change that.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona spoke on the Biden Administration’s goals for those dealing with student-loan debt. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Qualifications for the program include making 120 qualifying student-loan payments, working full time for the government, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, or another not-for-profit organization.

Applications for the limited PSLF waiver end on Oct. 31. You can apply or check your eligibility by clicking here.

In August, President Joe Biden announced a sweeping effort to forgive up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients, and up to $10,000 for other qualifying borrowers. The White House also extended the federal student loan payment pause through Dec. 31.

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Representatives from the Biden Administration and the American Federation of Teachers make a stop on the Back to School Bus Tour stop at the Local 286 Union Hall on Sep. 15, 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

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