APA continues to prioritize federal financial assistance for doctoral psychology students and early career psychologists by advocating for and endorsing bipartisan legislation, which would ensure that student loan borrowers enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program are not penalized if their employment is disrupted due to COVID-19. The bill aligns with APA’s higher education priorities related to COVID-19 (PDF, 140KB), which the association has been advocating for since the start of the pandemic. APA also continues to engage members in these efforts. In July, advocacy staff participated in a session on student loans for the Pennsylvania Psychological Association’s Annual Convention 2020.
The coronavirus relief package Congress enacted in March suspended federal student loan payments through Sept. 30. During this time, all suspended payments must count as qualifying payments for borrowers in the PSLF program, provided they remain in full-time public service. However, many workers in the public sector, including psychologists, are experiencing disruptions in their employment, making them ineligible for these benefits. The Protecting Access to Loan Forgiveness for Public Servants During the COVID-19 Pandemic Act (H.R. 7761) would help mitigate these unintended consequences, by ensuring that borrowers who lose their public service job or are furloughed as a result of COVID are still able to receive emergency benefits related to PLSF.
For more information, contact Kenneth Polishchuk.