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New Federal Loan Forgiveness For Education Audiologists

Congress Passes Bill That Would Encourage Acceptance Of School-Based Positions

(Rockville, MD - August 1, 2008) School-based audiologists are among the professionals targeted by a new "loan forgiveness for service in areas of national need" program, that is part of legislation that was passed by Congress recently. The bill, the Higher Education Amendments and College Opportunity Act of 2008 (H.R. 4137), would reauthorize and revise programs under the Higher Education Act (HEA). President Bush is expected to sign the measure into law soon.

This bill reflects the need for increasing the number of audiologists working in schools.

The new loan forgiveness program under the HEA would encourage audiology graduates to accept positions in school-based settings. Up to $2,000 per year, not to exceed five years, and $10,000 in additional outstanding loans, could be forgiven.

"The precedent of recognizing education audiologists as high-need professionals under the HEA also should be helpful when including them in state loan forgiveness and other recruitment/retention programs," according to Catherine Gottfred, President of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

ASHA, along with other related professional organizations, plans to work closely with Congress to seek funding for this new program.

For further information about the Higher Education Amendments and College Opportunity Act of 2008, contact Neil Snyder, ASHA's Director of Federal Advocacy, at or 800-498-2071, ext. 5614.