High-Needs School

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High-Needs School

Postby Holly406 » Fri May 14, 2021 6:17 pm

On select vacancies at ATP, "High-Needs School" is listed beneath the location in red.

What does this mean, please?
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Re: High-Needs School

Postby Johncn » Sat May 15, 2021 3:54 pm

Hello,

This term is related to Low SES student levels in schools, which tie into the various Student Loan Forgiveness programs. If a school meets the criteria for "high needs", that means a significant number of students are disadvantaged / have the challenges associated with Low Socio-economic Status (SES).

For each year a teacher with certain types of loans teaches in one of these schools, a certain percentage of their student loans is erased (forgiven). The type of loan is important, and determines which type of program qualifies you. Other variables include the subject area / certification / grade level of the job you hold / held in each year of employment.

The rules vary by loan type, certification area, school, and number of years you teach at a qualify school, but range from $5,000 to 100% of your teacher loans forgiven or cancelled. Seriously. In descending order of how awesome this (best at the top)...remember that you can qualify for more than one.

1) Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation Program - https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/for ... on/perkins

This one ROCKS. Almost all teachers in TCLI schools benefit, even during first two years, and you can have up to 100% "cancelled". Seriously.

2) The federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP) - https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/for ... on/teacher

Between $5,000 (everyone) and $17,500 (Special Ed, HS Math & Science) of loans total can be forgiven if in TCLI qualified school with 30% or more poverty level, and you have a Direct loan or FFEL loan. Most rural Alaska schools will qualify. Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.

3) Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program - https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/for ... employment

Aimed at public service employees of many types, not just educators, but school teachers do count. This program started in 2007, but criteria say that you have to have 120 on-time, full amount, monthly payments before any benefit can be had...which is ten years. ;-) That means, however, that NOBODY got a penny until 2017. Then, it started. So, worth this is worth tracking if you qualify, or feel you might down the road. Every year, more will qualify. Also, there is a "Temporary Expanded" version (TEPSLF) if you you may have missed a few qualifying payments, but meet the other criteria.

I am not sure why districts don't stress the eligibility for these various loan forgiveness programs when doing recruiting. Many (most) of the schools in Alaska DO qualify for these programs, and it's not the little "High Needs" indicator on Applitrack job listings that matter. That is just an informational thing, but many districts don't use it, or don't use it correctly.

What DOES matter is the LIST that the US Department of Education maintains and updates yearly. This list, and the stats of schools does change each year.

The main ATP site explains some of this information here:

http://www.alaskateacher.org/frequently ... stions.php

It's the teacher in every case who has the responsibility to work with his or her lender (bank that services the student loans), and their current or past school district official to get the correct forms signed. This can be done retroactively for prior years. So, even though a teacher does not work in a Low SES, list-approved "high needs" school now, he or she can still get that retroactive loan forgiveness by chasing down the paperwork for prior years. This is definitely worth checking on if you have student loans! If you get the forms, districts can / will sign the forms verifying service for the specified years, and you can save lots of money if you qualify.

I have pulled the latest data from the live search engine at the US Student Aid website for Alaska:

https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/for ... ncellation

Here are the results for 2021 school year as an Excel spreadsheet I compiled....404 schools in Alaska qualify. :shock:

https://www.alaskateacher.org/downloads ... _2021.xlsx

Hope this helps,

John
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