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Join the California Student Debt Challenge

Employers across the state can deliver tens of thousands of dollars in federal student loan relief to employees, just by informing them about the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.


The best part is that providing this life-changing benefit to employees comes at ZERO COST to employers because it's a free federal program.

 SO, we're gathering California employers to join us for a “California Student Debt Challenge” to help raise awareness about PSLF for the months of August, September, and October of 2022.

See the Challenge Takers

Click below to see the employers that have already signed up to take the Challenge!

How Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Works

PSLF is a federal program for public service workers that cancels the remainder of their federal student loans after ten years of work. All government and 501(c)3 non-profit employees are eligible. Accessing PSLF poses no cost to the state or to employers. Critically, PSLF eligibility depends on a borrower’s employer’s status–governments and non-profits qualify–not on the borrower’s specific work for that employer. This means that employers are helping give the benefit of loan forgiveness to their employees!

California is Leaving Free Money on the Table

Although an estimated 825,000 Californians qualify to have their debts eventually canceled through PSLF, since the program’s creation in 2007, only 10,290 have received cancellation, and only 14 percent are on track to receive cancellation. Nationwide, borrowers struggle to access this life-changing program. This is due to historically poor program administration, loan servicer misconduct, and a failure to properly communicate requirements to borrowers. More about this here:

The Temporary PSLF Waiver of Requirements

The federal government announced a special eligibility window from October 6, 2021, known as the limited PSLF waiver, through October 31, 2022, during which borrowers can recuperate past credit toward PSLF relief that they missed. Many will receive enough credit to have their loans cancelled, and others will be positioned to build on the credits they receive and to continue their public service work and receive cancellation in the future. However, this is not automatic, and borrowers must take proactive steps by October 31, 2022. More about this here:

The California Student Debt


All eligible government or non-profit employers can join the Challenge during the months of August, September, and October of 2022!

California Student Debt Challenge: The Commitments

Challenge Eligibility + Commitments

⤷ Government and non-profit employers across the state can join the CA

       Student Debt Challenge. Employers do NOT need to become experts

       in PSLF. The Campaign will provide materials and assistance (see below)—

      all employers need to do is commit to taking the following simple steps:

  • Provide information on PSLF to their employees. This information will be supplied to employers at no-cost by Challenge coordinators, and will include letters, emails and training webinars, and can be conveyed to employees by monthly emails in August, September, and October.

  • Sign all required PSLF forms for employees. These are simple forms that merely certify borrowers’ employment. Training and guidance will be available at no cost to employers as needed by Challenge coordinators.

  • Attend a high-profile press conference kickoff event and/or agreeing to be named on the Challenge website as a “Challenge-Taker.” This is an opportunity for employers to step up for their employees, and to encourage others to do so—publicly!

California Student Debt Challenge: Who Can Join?

⤷ Any government employer and any 501(c)(3) employer, as well as

      certain other non-profit organizations, are eligible employers for PSLF.


Specifically, the types of employers that should participate in the Challenge, include:​

  • Tribal governments

  • State, county and local governments

  • Public school districts

  • California Community Colleges, CSU, and UC segments

  • Non-profit organizations (healthcare organizations, social service providers, schools, etc.)

  • 501c3 non-profits​

Employer Assistance

The Challenge Timeline        

The deadline to access PSLF during the waiver is October 31, 2022.

Assistance to Employers During the Challenge

To support California employers throughout the Challenge, campaign coordinators will provide the following resources at no cost:


  • An onboarding session explaining PSLF and the California Student Debt Challenge to potential Challenge-Takers

  • Toolkits with resources that employers can share with employees related to PSLF

  • Free and open webinars to which employers can direct employers for assistance

  • Trainings and “office hours” to support employers and to answer any questions during the Challenge

  • Communications support and social media toolkit to help employers proudly share their participation in the Challenge!

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