The post-college experience can be difficult for new graduates. The worry of finding a career, maintaining friendships, gaining experience, and paying back their student loans can push volunteerism from top of mind … but should it? Volunteering can provide all of these — yes, all of them — including assistance with paying back student loans.
There are several service groups across the United States that offer student loan repayment assistance to those willing to exchange their time in order to provide service work. Listed below are a few that have grown in popularity in the past few years.
- Peace Corps – Peace Corps provides service opportunities for those interested in sustainable change. Volunteers may be eligible for income-driven repayment, the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Act, and may qualify for forgiveness of Perkins Loans. Anyone over the age of 18 can join!
- Teach for America – Teach for America provides the opportunity to give time in underserved areas and with economically disadvantaged populations. These volunteer positions pay salary, benefits, and can count toward Public Student Loan Forgiveness. Volunteers must have prerequisites, which can be found here.
- SponsorChange - SponsorChange matches volunteers with service opportunities best fit for them, based off of the volunteer’s unique skill set. After a service project is finished, an independent sponsor rewards the volunteer with student loan repayment assistance. College students and graduates with student loans are eligible to apply to their list of organizations.
- National Health Service Corps - The National Health Services Corps is responsible for bringing health care to underserved areas that may be remote or impoverished. In exchange for a two-year commitment, volunteers can get medical school loan repayments. Primary care physicians must be qualified in medicine, dentistry, or behavioral health to apply.
While there are plenty of things to give attention to after graduating, students can benefit greatly from giving back to those in need. For a larger list of organizations that aid in student loan forgiveness, check out this article from Student Loan Hero.