Education Department rejects nearly all applicants for a student loan forgiveness program | Los Angeles Times

Tens of thousands of public servants have applied to have their federal student loans forgiven through a temporary relief program run by the U.S. Education Department. Fewer than 300 have had success.

Now, one of the lawmakers who championed the initiative wants to know what happened.

“We authorized $700 million dollars to help ensure public servants — including firefighters, teachers and nurses — receive the loan forgiveness they have earned, and it’s maddening that the Trump administration is letting it go to waste,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said in an email.

Kaine and other Senate Democrats have said the Education Department created eligibility criteria that are far more rigid than Congress envisioned. The measure in the fiscal 2018 budget that set up the onetime expansion, based on legislation introduced by Kaine and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), directed the agency to develop a simple way for borrowers to apply for forgiveness. Instead, lawmakers say, the Education Department has restricted access with a litany of rules.