Policy Updates

NASW continues to advocate for student loan debt relief for social workers

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) continues to work in coalition to advocate for student loan debt relief for social workers, including loan forgiveness, cancellation, and other measures.


We are pleased to share the following updates:


  • On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Senator Sherrod Brown, Chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, held a listening session on how student loan debt impacts the dignity of work. Two of the four witnesses were social workers identified by NASW, Megan Bailey and Deborah Harburger. You can access the recording of the listening session. More information about the listening session can be found here.


  • The PSLF Temporary Waiver period is still open. Through October 31, 2022, student loan borrowers can apply for PSLF student loan forgiveness retroactively and payments that were previously declined may now count. Our advocacy work in coalition helped to secure the temporary waiver to the PSLF program that was announced on October 6, 2021 by the Department of Education. Borrowers can use this form to certify their employment. They will need to have this completed by each qualifying public service employer. The PSLF Coalition developed a fact sheet on the PSLF Temporary Waiver.


  • The PSLF Coalition is hosting monthly webinars to educate borrowers about the temporary waiver and answer questions about the PSLF program. Prior webinars are available for viewing or you can register for an upcoming webinar, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 12:00-1:00pm Eastern Time. They are planning a webinar focused on mental health providers for July.


  • As background, on October 7, 2021, NASW disseminated a press release applauding the Administration for overhauling the troubled PSLF Program. NASW submitted a memo and comments to the Department of Education in response to a Request for Information on the PSLF program that helped to encourage the PSLF program overhaul.


  • Have you or a friend received student loan forgiveness through the PSLF waiver? If so, please complete a survey! The PSLF Coalition, of which NASW is an active member, is collecting stories about your success earning PSLF to further inform our advocacy and inspire legislators.


  • On April 7, 2022, Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06) and Jim Baird (R-IN-04) introduced the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Payment Completion Fairness Act (H.R. 7465) to remove barriers to loan forgiveness for some public service borrowers, including social workers. This bill will help social workers who completed their PSLF requirements and are now employed by a non-qualifying PSLF employer, such as a for profit business or 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization to access forgiveness. NASW issued an action alert on this bill and we ask that you please email your U.S. Representatives and ask them to cosponsor.

You can keep up to date about student loan debt relief advocacy on the NASW website.