Press Releases

            Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asking that all recalled Peace Corps volunteers receive credit towards the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program through September 30, 2020.

            “I write to express my concerns about the financial hardships Peace Corps volunteers are facing in the aftermath of being recalled from their posts due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Given the financial hardship they are now facing, I ask that you allow recalled Peace Corps volunteers to receive Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) credit through September 30th, 2020,” wrote Senator Feinstein.

            “Limiting these volunteers’ ability to repay their student loans will create unnecessary financial burdens that could ultimately discourage them from returning to service when it is safe to do so.”

            Full text of the letter is available here and below.

April 10, 2020

The Honorable Betsy DeVos
Secretary
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Dear Secretary DeVos:

            I write to express my concerns about the financial hardships Peace Corps volunteers are facing in the aftermath of being recalled from their posts due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Given the financial hardship they are now facing, I ask that you allow recalled Peace Corps volunteers to receive Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) credit through September 30th, 2020.

            Our global recovery from this pandemic relies on the well-being and readiness of people like Peace Corps volunteers with expertise in public health, community economic development, education, and other areas critical to global security.  Following the abrupt termination of their service, Peace Corps volunteers across the United States are now experiencing serious economic hardships—including a lack of access to health insurance and severely limited job prospects—all of which is exacerbated by their student loan debt. 

            It is my understanding that under current Department of Education guidelines, many of the 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers who were recently recalled will no longer receive credit toward PSLF, as they no longer work full-time. Limiting these volunteers’ ability to repay their student loans will create unnecessary financial burdens that could ultimately discourage them from returning to service when it is safe to do so.  Therefore, I urge you to allow Peace Corps volunteers affected by the coronavirus to receive credit toward their PSLF payments through September 30th, 2020.

            Your efforts to provide relief for these tireless service members will make a tremendous difference in stemming the global pandemic and ensuring the livelihood of thousands of Americans and countless global citizens. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to working with you on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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