American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Federal Recruitment Initiatives

On August 14, 2008 President Bush signed the Higher Education Opportunity Act (P.L. 110-315) into law that would reauthorize and revise programs under the Higher Education Act (HEA). The bill identifies school-based audiologists and speech-language pathologists in a new "loan forgiveness for service in areas of national need" program, along with several other professions. Up to $2,000 in a year for no more than five years and $10,000 in the aggregate of outstanding loans would be forgiven.

The precedent of recognizing school-based audiologists as a high-need professional under HEA should also be helpful in including educational audiologists in state loan forgiveness and other recruitment/retention programs. Funding for this new federal loan forgiveness program will need to come from the annual appropriations process done separately by Congress. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the cost of fully funding this new program would be $10.9 billion over the next five years. See the Frequently Asked Questions for further information about this program or contact Neil Snyder, Director of Federal Advocacy at 800-498-2071 ext. 5614 or nsnyder@asha.org.

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