Three financial aid resources for people in public service

By Amy Potthast.

If you are in a public service career and carrying—or considering—student debt, your life just got a little easier.


You'll make it through these piles! (Photo from troismarteaux on Flickr/Creative Commons

Here are three resources to help you navigate your repayment options:


Heather Jarvis is a national expert on public service loan forgiveness who contributed to student debt relief policy for the House Education Committee and others in Congress. Her new site is a clearinghouse of information about managing your debt while working in a mission-based career.



IBRinfo is an independent information hub about income-based student loan repayment and public service loan forgiveness – two relatively new federal programs that help student borrowers afford an education.



For former AmeriCorps, VISTA, and NCCC members out there, check out the official CNCS website on the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. The Education Award—around $5,000—can be used to pay back student loans and/or to pay tuition at qualifying schools.


If you’re thinking ahead about financial aid for grad school, consider these additional resources from Idealist:

Amy Potthast served as Idealist’s Director of Service and Graduate Education Programs until 2011. Read more of her work at

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Comments (5)

  1. Candace Riddle writes:
    May 17, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Thank YOU! for posting. Can I recruit someone to speak via webinar to Young Government Leaders and others in Public Service?

  2. Amy Potthast writes:
    May 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Heather Jarvis would make a great speaker. Her contact page is here:

    To contact Richard Melo for, the contact page is here:

    And, finally, here is the contact page for the folks behind – the Institute for College Access and Success:

  3. […] manage, reduce, and pay off student loans while still working for a nonprofit.  Check out these three financial aid resources for people in public service by  The resources […]

  4. Eric Brown writes:
    May 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    It may not be public service, but I do work for private psychiatric hospital that works with the city to hospitalize uninsured clients. I assess clients without insurance and help place them in treatment if it is needed. I think of it as a public service, but not sure if it would qualify me for debt forgiveness. I could sure use it as I have found that this field does not pay enough to handle the bills plus the payback schedule. Unfortunately, it does pay enough to not qualify for reduced loans.

  5. Try writes:
    August 20, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Try National Service Corporation for health care positions which reduce/pay off student loans.

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