• Reminders

    Important Dates:

    Fall HCAFA Executive Committee Meeting:
    • Friday, Sept. 22, 2017,  12:00 – 2:30,  IEA Office,   553 N. North Court, Palatine

    Fall HCAFA Meetings at Harper, in L202, Light Meal Served

    • Friday, Nov. 17
    • Friday, Dec. 15

    Summer 2017
    • Friday, May 12, 2017
    • Friday, June 9,2017
    • Friday, July 14, 2017
    • Friday, Aug. 11, 2017

    For information or to check if the time or location has been changed, call Hasmig or Amy at the IEA office
    (847 359-0300).

Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act

NEA is excited to report that Senator Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act of 2015 yesterday.  NEA was instrumental in the development of this bill and has endorsed it.  The bill will enable faculty working less than full-time to participate in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.  Attached is information on the legislation. 

The Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act of 2015

The Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act of 2015 will enable faculty working less than full-time to participate in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The bill makes it easier for adjunct faculty to earn public loan forgiveness by tailoring the current requirement of the Higher Education Act that loan payments are made during full-time employment in a public service position to also include payments made while teaching one or more courses at an eligible institution.

The Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness bill would amend the definition of a public service job to include employment as a part-time faculty member or instructor who teaches at least one class at a qualifying institution of higher education.  Payments made during times they were actually teaching a class at an eligible institution would count towards the loan forgiveness program..

Nationally, over half of all higher education faculty work on a contingent basis, facing low pay with little or no benefits or job security.  Most have advanced degrees and, as almost 75 percent of graduate degree recipients have an average of $61,000 in student loans, they are among the 40 million Americans with student debt.

Adjunct faculty are paid on average $2,000 to 3,000 per class, making an average annual income that hovers around minimum wage.  Some rely on public assistance to supplement their income. Many times adjuncts piece together hours to get a full course load by teaching at more than one school in the same semester.  In most cases adjuncts are paid only for the time spent teaching, not the time spent preparing for class or meeting with students.  This means an adjunct may work 66 hours per week, teaching courses at multiple institutions, but only be compensated for 26 hours of teaching.

 The Public Service Loan Program is designed to encourage graduates to pursue a career in public service by offering loan forgiveness after ten years of full-time work in government or the non-profit sector.  Under the law, a public service job is defined as full-time work, or a minimum weekly average of 30 hours on an annual basis as verified by the public service employer.  For the many thousands of adjunct faculty who work at several schools on a contingent basis it may be difficult or impossible to meet the 30 hour minimum requirement.  As such, these instructors, while in public service, are excluded from participating in this program.

By expanding the definition of a “public service job” to include teaching at least one course at a qualifying institution at the time of loan payment, the Durbin bill would make it easier for academics who teach in an uncertain economic environment to qualify for the federal Public Loan Forgiveness Program.

Supporters include Service Employees International Union, National Education Association, United States Student Assocation

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