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NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program
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Information About Loan Forgiveness

The NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program is being offered to increase the number of licensed social workers working in critical human service areas in the following fields: health, mental health, substance abuse, aging, HIV/AIDS and child welfare or communities with multilingual needs.


Applicants must:

  • Be legal residents of New York State for at least one year.
  • Be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens.
  • Be a social worker professionally licensed to practice in New York State.
  • Have an outstanding balance on an eligible student loan.
  • Have at least one year of qualified service. Qualified service means full time employment as a licensed social worker in a critical human service area for at least 35 hours per week during the calendar year prior to their application.

Eligible Student Loans

Successful applicants must have outstanding balances for eligible student loan debt(s).

Eligible student loan debts include New York State or federal governmental loans, or loans made by commercial entities subject to governmental examination. It does not, however, include Parent PLUS loans, loans that may be canceled under any other program, private loans given, for example, by family or friends, or student loan debts paid by credit card.

Critical Human Service Areas

Applicants seeking Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program awards must work in critical human service areas for a minimum of 35 hours per week during the calendar year preceding their application or payment. Go to for a complete list of designated critical human services areas.

Award Amounts

The maximum award under this program will be $26,000.00 or the applicant’s eligible student loan indebtedness at the time they apply, whichever is less. Awards will be paid in annual disbursements for each period of qualified service. Annual disbursements will be equal to $6,500 or their remaining loan indebtedness.

The number of awards paid under this program is subject to available funding. First priority will be given to prior recipients seeking payment for qualified service. If there are more applicants than available funding, awards will be paid by lottery.


Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program payments are available for up to four years of qualified service. Recipients may apply for payment under this program until the total amount awarded has been disbursed or funding is discontinued.


The deadline for the Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program is listed on their website at:

Applying for Payment

The Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program Web Supplement will be used to establish an applicant’s eligibility as well as process their first payment. This form can be accessed at

In subsequent years, recipients must submit a payment application and verification of the qualified service for which they seek payment under this program by the deadlines set by HESC.


Please call the Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372 with any questions regarding this program.

The Higher Education Services Corporation administers the loan forgiveness program.  Visit their web site, from where this information is directly taken, at for more information as well as application forms.

For further information about loan forgiveness for social workers, including a complete list of requirements, visit the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation's website. Click the link below:

NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program

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