florida department of education student loans

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Welcome to the Florida Department of Education’s website. Every day we work hand in hand with parents, teachers, educators and community members to improve Florida’s education system for students of all backgrounds and abilities. Our site reflects this cooperative relationship and the role that so many Floridians play in ensuring student success.

Welcome to the Florida Department of Education, where we’re here to help you get all the information you need to make sure you’re getting the financial aid and scholarships that you deserve.

We know that being a student can be tough on your budget. That’s why we work hard to make sure that every eligible student has access to affordable loans and grants that will help cover their college costs.

Here are some of the ways we can help:

-Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the first steps in obtaining federal financial aid. This application opens October 1st each year and must be completed by March 1st. You can file on our website or through FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov/fotw/index.htm

-If you’re eligible for a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, check out our guide on how to apply!

Florida Department of Education

Loan Forgiveness Program

If you’re struggling to pay your student loans, the Loan Forgiveness Program can help. By signing up for this program, you may be eligible to have a percentage of your debt forgiven. How much you can get forgiven will depend on how much money you make every year and what kinds of loans you have.

If you’re interested in signing up for this program, there are two things you need to do:

First, fill out a form on [website] that tells us about your financial situation and current income so we can determine whether or not your loan qualifies for forgiveness. You’ll need to include things like your Social Security Number, contact information, and financial information (including the balance of each loan).

Second, if we determine that one or more of your loans qualify for forgiveness through our program, then we’ll send those loans over to our partner lender who will begin processing them right away!

Public Service Loan Forgiveness gets major overhaul

School Certification for the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

Certification of a school will result in the school being placed on the annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits, a federal list of schools which will then allow certain teachers currently repaying a Perkins Loan or a Stafford/FFEL Loan to contact their loan providers and possibly have a portion of their loan forgiven through the Federal Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers.

The criteria for determining school eligibility for certification are:

  • Applicants for certification must be registered as a nonprofit private school with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). FLDOE will check the Private School Eligibility Application form against FLDOE’s records and;
  • Private schools must be nonprofit. A copy of IRS correspondence determining the school’s Nonprofit Status is needed with the Private School Eligibility Application form and;
  • School grades must be Elementary and/or Secondary (K-12). Schools with Pre-K only programs or classes are not currently eligible for certification and;
  • Schools must determine that 35% or more of their students are considered low income in relation to the total membership (K-12) of the school* and;

Once you have determined school eligibility and believe the school meets all the above criteria, complete the Nonprofit Private School Eligibility Application form to request certification. A separate form is needed for each school. You can submit qualifying information for past years by changing the school year on the form and providing appropriate data for that year following the same process as for the current application school year. New forms must be completed each school year.

Nonprofit Private School Eligibility Application (PDF)

A letter will be sent to the requestor verifying school certification or denial once the Department of Education determines the outcome of the application.

Submit All Required Documentation To:
Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice OR FAX 850-245-0875
Turlington Building – Florida Department of Education
325 W. Gaines Street, Room 1044
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Questions regarding this form may be directed to Joy Mathis, Program Specialist, at 850-245-0502 or schoolchoice@fldoe.org.

Note: The Florida Department of Education does NOT make determinations as to teacher loan forgiveness. All questions about loan reductions need to be made by the teachers to the teacher’s loan company and not to the FLDOE. Information concerning the cancellation or reduction of loans can be found at the following Federal site:

* Low income determination can be verified through a current NSLP Claim Summary, Florida Tax Credit (FTC) verification of scholarship student membership, Confidential Family Income Surveys or a combination of two or more methods.

Financial Aid

Paying for College/Financial Aid

All students seeking financial aid should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). This form is used to determine eligibility for most forms of federal, state, and local aid. Students should contact their college’s financial aid office to determine that the FAFSA form has been received and what other aid they may be eligible to obtain. The Florida Department of Education Office of Student Financial Assistance can also assist students in attaining information and applying for state financial aid. Students should visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/ to learn about federal financial aid programs. Students may also be eligible for fee waivers and fee exemptions per Florida statute.

Florida Statutes

  • 1009.25 – Fee exemptions
  • 1009.26 – Fee waivers
  • 1009.40 – General requirements for student eligibility for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants
  • 1009.41 – State financial aid; students with a disability
  • 1009.50 – Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants
  • 1009.505 – Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program
  • 1009.53 – Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
  • 1009.531 – Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for initial awards
  • 1009.532 – Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for renewal awards
  • 1009.77 – Florida Work Experience Program

State Board of Education Rule

  • 6A-20.003 – Florida Residency as a Requirement for the Receipt of State Student Aid

Types of Aid Available



Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Student Loan Forgiveness Definition

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