CalNonprofits Articles

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Today, through next Friday 9/24, you can share your thoughts about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) with federal government officials!

Click here to share your comments.

As California nonprofit folks know, PSLF was created to alleviate the burden of student debt for dedicated public service workers, including nonprofit staff. The idea was simple: work in public service for 10 years and have your remaining student debt forgiven. Unfortunately, the program has been plagued by problems and abuse at every turn.

Now, for the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is asking for public comments about PSLF. This is a unique opportunity to share your experiences with PSLF and to tell President Biden and DOE Secretary Cardona that the program is broken:

  • 98% of PSLF applicants have been denied loan forgiveness
  • The backlog of PSLF applications is causing borrowers delays and uncertainty
  • Abuse by loan companies has left thousands of borrowers deeper in debt

We believe PSLF should live up to its promise and eliminate debt for all public service workers who have completed 10 years of service to their communities.

CalNonprofits supports policies that protect student loan borrowers because we know that student debt affects nonprofits; many nonprofit employees carry significant student debt. In fact, more than 160,000 nonprofit staff in California have student debt. Student debt makes it harder for nonprofits to recruit and retain top staff, especially women, people of color, and first-generation college graduates.

Through our Nonprofit Student Debt Project, we educate nonprofit employers, staff, and others about this issue, advocate for better policies at state and federal levels, and engage the nonprofit community in speaking up about this problem and ways to fix it.

You can speak up now about PSLF!

In addition to sharing this opportunity with you, CalNonprofits:

  • Signed onto a letter to DOE Secretary Cardona asking him to take administrative action to ensure that all public service workers with a decade of service receive the debt relief they were promised and to make any changes to PSLF retroactive so all public service workers can benefit.
  • Supported California Assembly Bill 424 (Stone), which will help protect student loan borrowers with private loans. This important bill is now on Governor Newsom’s desk; we urge him to sign it into law!
  • Supported California Assembly Bill 376 (Stone), the Student Borrower Bill of Rights, which became California law last year.

CalNonprofits will continue to advocate for improvements to student debt policies at both the state and federal levels. And we will also let you know of opportunities—like the current public comments for PSLF—for your voice to be heard on this issue.

If you have any questions about this work or any of our advocacy efforts on behalf of California nonprofits, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

P.S. If you have student debt, you should enroll in the PSLF program, despite its current problems. You can enroll here.

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