Agriculture Loan Forgiveness Program
Signed into law in 1992, this program helps repay student loans if you are an agriculture or veterinary medicine graduate who returns to help operate a family farm or practice veterinary medicine that includes agricultural animals in Pennsylvania. A family farm or farm corporation must be a real property or a corporation owned by members of the immediate family and used for the production of agricultural products for commercial purposes. Such farms and corporations must devote 75 percent or more of their assets to the business of agriculture.
This law was amended November 30, 2004, to include those borrowers who have a current teaching certification in the field of agriculture from a postsecondary institution located within the Commonwealth and who begin teaching an agriculture curriculum on or after November 30, 2004. The amendment also extends the eligibility requirements to those borrowers who received their degrees in veterinary medicine or in a field related to agriculture from any accredited college or university.
The program repays up to $2,000 per year on outstanding AES-administered federally-insured student loans for each year that you practice veterinary medicine, are employed full-time in the operation of a family farm or a family farm corporation, or are teaching an agriculture curriculum. The law limits you to a lifetime maximum award of $10,000 in loan forgiveness payments.
Loans eligible for forgiveness (repayment) are those incurred by borrowers to finance higher education through PHEAA-guaranteed and/or AES-owned loans serviced by AES. Personal and commercial loans do not qualify.
Eligibility for agriculture graduates requires that you must:
Hold a degree in a field related to the production of agricultural products.
Be in your first year of full-time employment or work in the field on or after July 1, 1991.
The list of agricultural products includes:
Cattle and poultry
Timber and wood products
Aquatic plants and animals
Products derived from any of the above categories
Eligibility for veterinary medicine graduates requires that you must:
Hold a degree in veterinary medicine.
Be certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to:
Sign health certificates required for the interstate commerce of agricultural animals and animal products.
Certify regulatory testing such as tests for bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis.
Eligibility for agriculture teachers requires that you must:
Teach an agriculture curriculum.
Teach at a Pennsylvania public or private school.
Teach at an elementary or secondary level.
Have begun teaching on or after November 30, 2004.