NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness (LSWLF) Program

Loan Forgiveness for licensed social workers working in critical human service areas

  • Must be a social worker professionally licensed to practice in New York State

  • Worked full-time as a licensed social worker in a critical human service area for at least 35 hours per week during the calendar year prior to your application.

  • Must have an outstanding balance on an eligible student loan debt


For the 2024-2025 Academic Year


The maximum award under this Program is $26,000 or the applicant's actual eligible student loan indebtedness at the time eligibility is established, whichever is less.  

  • Awards will be paid in the amount of $6,500 for each annual period of qualified service completed or the remaining loan indebtedness.  If the qualified service for the first or last year of the Program is less than 12 months, those disbursements will be pro-rated based on the number of months worked. Any additional payments made to reduce the outstanding balance may cause a reduction in the total amount of the award.


Award is granted on an annual basis.


Up to 4 years of qualified service.

Any loan forgiveness award payments received may have tax implications. A 1099 form will be issued by the NYS Office of the State Comptroller reflecting the total loan forgiveness payment assistance received by the recipient for the year. Any questions regarding potential tax implications should be directed to a tax professional, the Internal Revenue Service, or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.

Undocumented and other immigrant students: before submitting your application material, apply for eligibility under the NYS DREAM Act.

You can receive award if you meet the following residency requirements: 

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • You must be a legal resident of New York State who has resided in New York State for 12 continuous months.

Not a citizen or eligible noncitizen? Learn more about the NYS DREAM Act application. 

Eligible Student Loans

An applicant must have an outstanding balance on eligible student loan debt.

Eligible student loans include NYS and federal government student loans, and private student loans made by commercial entities subject to governmental examination.

Parent PLUS loans are not eligible.
Ineligible loans also include non-educational student loan consolidations and home equity loans used to pay off student loans.

Loan payment duration requirements include:

  • Up to 4 years of qualified service.

  • Have worked full-time as a licensed social worker in a critical human service area for at least 35 hours per week during the calendar year prior to your application.

There is no income requirement or limit.

Financial Status

To receive the loan forgiveness, you must:

  • Be in good standing (a non-default status) on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award, and
  • Be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by any NYS award that you have previously received.

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