PSLF Qualifying Employers List

#1 Student loan lawyer

Updated on September 6, 2023

You heard about loan forgiveness for public service employees, but you’re wondering if your employer qualifies for the program.

This is a common question student loan borrowers ask me.

In this post, I’ll share with you everything you need to know to check if your job is considered qualified employment for the PSLF program.

Let’s get started.

What Employment Qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

To be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you must be employed with a qualified organization. Specifically, this includes:

  • U.S. government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal)

  • U.S. military service

  • Qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations

What is full-time employment for PSLF

The PSLF program defines full-time as either:

  1. working 30 hours per week on average; or

  2. the number of hours your employer considers full-time.

Screenshot of PSLF instructions for full-time employment.

Definition of full-time employee

Who is a Qualifying Employer for PSLF

There is no complete list of PSLF employers. If there was, it would be really, really long. It’s estimated that 25% of Americans (~83 million people) qualify for the program.

Your employer is a qualified employer for PSLF purposes if you work for:

  • The government (city, state, federal, military, public schools, community colleges, public universities, etc.

  • A 501(c)(3) non-profit (religious organizations, certain hospitals, charter schools, private colleges and universities, and other tax-exempt entities)

  • AmeriCorps and Peace Corps

  • A non-profit that isn’t a 501(c)(3) but offers public service benefits as its primary benefit

Although members of Congress work for the government, their employment is not considered qualifying employment. 34 CFR 685.219(b).

What are Qualifying Jobs for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

As I said earlier, your specific job with a public service employer doesn’t matter for the PSLF program.

What matters is that your employer is a qualified employer.

That said, here’s a list of roles that are considered public service jobs:

  • Police officer

  • Firefighter

  • Military personnel

  • University employees

  • Community college employees

  • Teachers

  • Teacher assistants

  • School employees

  • Library employees

  • Federal agency employee (IRS, DOJ, DOE, HUD, BOP, courts, etc.)

  • Medical professionals at nonprofit hospitals (CNAs, nurse, doctor, pharmacist, etc.)

Click here to learn Do Police Officers Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness?

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