Loan forgiveness programs have been helping encourage students to enter careers in fields like education and nursing for years. Such programs are typically offered by state student loan agencies or non-profit organizations, and are often well-publicized to prospective college students. In many cases, students have borrowed liberally, banking on having a substantial portion of their student loans forgiven after five or ten years of work in their field. But budget cuts and stock market woes have been forcing agencies to make cuts to their loan forgiveness programs, in some cases almost entirely eliminating them.
Kentucky, Iowa, California, and New Hampshire are some of the states that have made changes to loan forgiveness programs, according to The New York Times. Even if you don't live in one of these states, if you're banking on having your student loan debt forgiven after you graduate college, you may want to see what guarantees there are that your state's program will still exist in its present form. Make sure you know how much of what you borrow you can expect to repay, even in a worst case scenario.
Regardless of repayment and forgiveness options, it's still a good idea to minimize your borrowing by finding scholarships and practicing good money management. Nursing scholarships and education scholarships are out there, as are numerous other scholarship opportunities. There are also several federal loan forgiveness programs for teachers, nurses, and other public service employees.