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  • Writer's pictureNathan Zarcaro

11 Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Borrowers in Vermont

Mass student loan forgiveness has yet to happen on a federal level, but it is not for lack of effort on the part of Vermont’s Congressional delegation.

In fact, Vermont has been at the forefront of many of the proposed changes nationally.

It is easy to understand why.  With the average Vermonter owing $37,516 in student loans, this debt is a huge drag on both local and national economies alike.

Here are 11 student loan forgiveness programs that can be used by student loan borrowers all over Vermont.

Vermont's student loan forgiveness programs

Here are an incredible 9 state-operated forgiveness programs available to borrowers living in Vermont.

1. Green Mountain Job and Retention Program

Vermonters that attended the following colleges/universities may earn $5,000 in forgiveness over a period of two years through the Green Mountain Job and Retention Program:

  • Bennington College

  • Castleton University

  • Champlain College

  • Goddard College

  • Landmark College

  • Middlebury College

  • Northern Vermont University

  • Norwich University

  • Saint Michael’s College

  • Sterling College

  • University of Vermont

  • Vermont Technical College

As part of a program to retain college graduates after graduation, borrowers may earn this aid if:

  • they graduated in the Spring 2023 or later

  • Agree to work and live in Vermont for at least two years following graduation

Vermont Educational Loan Repayment Program

Vermont's Educational Loan Repayment Program offers student loan forgiveness to those in multiple different career paths.

2. Nurses

Offering up to $60,000 in aid over four years, Vermont’s Educational Loan Repayment Program for Nurses is a program designed to encourage RNs and LPNs to work in underserved facilities and roles working in:

  • Nursing homes

  • Long-term care

  • Substance abuse

  • Home-based healthcare

  • Mental/Behavioral health services

  • Hospital operating rooms

  • State public health

It is also worth noting that K-12 nurses in schools qualify, though those nurses working in underserved communities may receive priority.

Forgiveness is granted on an annual basis, at $15,000 per year of service.  Program participants may renew their service up to four times.

3. Nurse Educators/Faculty

Vermont nurse educators also have a student loan forgiveness program available to them.  VT’s Educational Loan Repayment for Nurses is an option for those that teach in nursing programs in the following schools:

  • Castleton University

  • Norwich University

  • Vermont Technical College

  • University of Vermont

Qualifying educators can get rewarded in a big way too, to the tune of between $10,000-$50,000 per year, dependent upon a number of factors.

The maximum amount of forgiveness offered by the program is $300,000, which is spread out over a period of 6 years.

4. Dentists

Offering up to $300,000 in forgiveness over 6 years, Vermont's Dental Education LRAP program is available to licensed dentists that agree to:

  • Average at least 20 clinical hours per week

  • See a certain amount of Medicaid patients

Service commitments last either 1 year or 2 years, though extension contracts are available until you hit 6 years of participation.

Also worth mentioning is, that earning the full $300,000 of forgiveness is dependent upon receiving a substantial award amount and an employer match, which is voluntary.

5. Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

You’d be wrong if you thought that Vermont was going to exclude physicians, PAs, and NPs from earning any state student loan forgiveness.

VTs Educational Loan Repayment for medical professionals offers the same maximum $300,000 opportunity over 6 years and is open to:

  • Physicians (MD, DO or ND)

  • Geriatricians

  • Psychiatrists

  • Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN)

  • Certified nurse midwives

  • Physician assistant (PA)

The service requirements to earn the award are a little more involved, however.

In addition to practicing in a designated health professional shortage area, the above providers must complete their 1–2-year service contracts at qualifying sites within qualifying disciplines.

Qualifying sites include:

  • Primary care practice

  • Inpatient/outpatient mental health/substance abuse settings

  • Urgent care facility

Meanwhile, the qualifying and acceptable disciplines include:

  • Primary care

  • Internal medicine

  • Pediatrics

  • Geriatrics

  • Psychiatry

  • Obstetrics

  • Gynecology

6. Vermont Food Animal Veterinary Education Loan Program

Administered by the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association, the VT Food Animal Veterinary Education Loan Program may provide food animal vets up to $30,000 in annual loan repayment assistance.

Qualifying applicants will work for a qualifying discipline in beef, dairy, poultry, swine, and bees.

Participants may join so for up to 4 years, with a potential maximum forgiveness of $120,000. You’re only required to average 20 hours of food animal activities each week, so you can continue equine or other private practice focus areas simultaneously, which is a big pro for many borrowers.

7. Law & Graduate School Loan Repayment Assistance Program

JD degree recipients working lower-income, public service law fields may earn up to $6,000 per year in loan repayment assistance. Funds are allocated based on debt-to-income ratio to ensure that borrowers in the greatest need are in fact those that receive assistance.

Eligible lawyers for the Law & Graduation School LRAP will work as/for:

  • Prosecutors

  • Government agencies

  • Service organizations

  • Advocacy groups

8. VBF Loan Repayment Assistance Program

A second forgiveness program for Vermont lawyers, those employed by nonprofit organizations supporting low-income clients may receive up to $5,000 annually directly from the Vermont Bar Foundation (VBF).

Successful applicants should earn less than $60,000 annually and must work for a qualifying nonprofit.

And while the program does allow for applications for former recipients, only a select number of awards are given in any given year.

9. CDD/Vermont Head Start LRAP for Early Childhood Educators

Early childhood educators across the state may earn up to $4,000 per year if they work for:

  1. A qualifying private early childhood education center

  2. A Vermont Head Start program

  3. CDD regulated program

In addition to the employment criteria, applicants should also earn $60,000 or less per year and work at least thirty hours per week.

Federal student loan forgiveness in Vermont

Borrowers in The Green Mountain State may also take advantage of the full litany of federal forgiveness programs available to borrowers all over the country.

1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Vermonters working for qualifying nonprofits or a federal/state/local government may be eligible to have 100% of their outstanding federal loans forgiven.

The PSLF program is actually a great fit for the state as a whole, since Vermont actually has over 6,000 registered 501(c)(3) organizations statewide that qualify as eligible employers.

PSLF-eligible applicants will also:

  1. Have outstanding Federal Direct or FFEL program loans (or have used a Direct Consolidation Loan)

  2. Make 120 qualifying monthly payments on an income-driven repayment plan

The federal government has been known lose track of the number of payments successfully made, so we always recommend borrowers to re-certify their employment and number of payments made on an annual basis (you’ll also need to renew your participation in your IDR plan of choice).

After you've made all 120 payments, the federal government will forgive the remainder of your outstanding federal debt.

2. Income-Driven Repayment

Borrowers without eligibility for the PSLF program may still participate in one of the four federal income-driven repayment plans:

All four of these programs require calculate reduced borrower payments as a percentage of the difference between adjusted gross income and 150%/225% of the federal poverty line (a metric known as your discretionary income).

Each of these programs requires you to pay a different percentage of your monthly discretionary income for a different number of years.

For most borrowers, the new SAVE plan is likely to be the most advantageous, since it requires payments of just 5% of one's discretionary income.

Get a student loan plan

For some borrowers, forgiveness isn't in the cards, for a number of reasons. These borrowers may find some relief through refinancing their student debt, though it is incredibly important to know what future rights you may be giving up.

If you're unsure where to turn next, booking a consult with Student Loan Planner is likely to be your best bet. They've consulted on over $2.5 billion in debt nationwide, their consultants all have CFP, CFA, or CSLP designations, and they've found hundreds of millions in savings for borrowers just like you!


Borrowers in The Green Mountain State have among the best (and most) options for student loan forgiveness of any state in the entire country. With programs available for educators, medical professionals, and other career types, there is something for (almost) everyone.

Which of these VT student loan forgiveness programs are you working towards? Tell us in the comments!

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About Nathan Zarcaro

Nathan Zarcaro is the founder of The Student Debt Destroyer and is passionate about personal finance related causes.  A 2018 graduate of Providence College's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Nathan studied Finance, and has worked for industry leaders in both finance and healthcare.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Brigid.

Student loans are hard

My friends over at Student Loan Planner have consulted with over 13,000 clients, saving them over $783 million off their student loan repayments.

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