Colorado educators could get up to $5,000 toward student loans

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado educators could get up to $5,000 toward their student loans through a state program designed to attract teachers to rural and hard-to-fill positions.

Applications opened this week for the Educator Loan Forgiveness Program, which is available for teachers, administrators and special service providers with a valid Colorado license, according to the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

“As we deal with educator shortages across the state, this loan forgiveness program is particularly timely,” Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, sponsor of the 2019 bill that created the program, said in a news release. “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.”

Interested applicants must first fill out an interest survey, which grants access to the online application portal. Completed applications must be submitted by April 15. More information is available in the program booklet.

Colorado educator shortage areas

The 2021 Colorado Educator Shortage Survey found shortages in the following areas.

Teachers:

  • English as a Second Language/Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Mathematics Education
  • Special Education Generalist
  • Special Education Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Special Education Visually Impaired
  • World Languages

Special service providers:

  • School Nurse
  • School Occupational Therapist
  • School Physical Therapist
  • School Psychologist
  • School Social Worker
  • School Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Rural-Only Educator Shortage Areas
  • All teacher content/endorsement areas
  • All SSP areas

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