Qualified educators are eligible for an annual payment of up to $5,000 toward their outstanding educational loans
DENVER – Dec. 15, 2021: The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) is now accepting applications for its Educator Loan Forgiveness Program, which will grant up to $5,000 annually to educators currently serving rural districts or teaching in hard-to-fill positions. This program is funded for five years. To qualify, teachers, administrators, and special service providers must have a license valid in the state of Colorado.
The program prioritizes applicants who serve in rural school districts or teach in content shortage areas—subjects that historically attract fewer educators. Prospective applicants can check eligibility on the CDHE website. Additional information and FAQ can be found in the program's informational booklet.
To apply, prospective participants first fill out the interest survey. Doing so will grant them access to the online application portal where they can complete their application. Completed applications must be submitted by April 15, 2022. CDHE will notify all applicants of their program status within 60 days from the close of the application.
"As we deal with educator shortages across the state, this loan forgiveness program is particularly timely," said Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, sponsor of the original loan-forgiveness bill in the state legislature. "Colorado teachers have demonstrated their worthiness in the face of the disheartening challenges brought on by COVID-19. This program rewards the educators who have shown their willingness to invest in our children and our communities."
The loan forgiveness program is among several strategies CDHE and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) are pursuing to help curb the state's educator shortage, which has hit rural districts especially hard. According to CDE's Education Shortage Survey 2020-21, small rural districts had the highest percentage of teaching positions that remained unfilled.
For more information, visit the Educator Loan Forgiveness webpage.