Cory Turner

The U.S. Department of Education says it will reach out to federal student loan borrowers who may have been prematurely denied loan forgiveness under the revamped Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and will reprocess their applications.

Student borrowers, take note. In testimony before a House subcommittee, the head of the office of Federal Student Aid told lawmakers that his agency is preparing for federal student loan repayments to resume early next year.

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SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

The U.S. Department of Education has begun sending emails to thousands of teachers, nurses and other public servants to tell them they could have some of their federal student loan debts erased months — and even years — earlier than borrowers had expected.

Zahra Nealy was in the shower, listening to the radio, when she heard NPR reporting on Friday that the U.S. Department of Education would use its authority to help borrowers and relax the rules of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

"That's me! You're talking about me," Nealy, who works for a Southern California nonprofit, remembers thinking. "It's really hope, in a desperate time."

A troubled student debt relief program for teachers, police officers and other public service workers will soon get the makeover that borrowers have been demanding.

Next week, according to a source familiar with the plans but who is not authorized to discuss them publicly, the U.S. Department of Education will unveil a significant overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which has been a magnet of confusion, mistakes and mismanagement since its inception in 2007.

The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday that it would send roughly $148,000 to one Florida school district, Alachua County Public Schools, reimbursing it for money that has been withheld by the state.

Updated September 24, 2021 at 6:58 AM ET

Miguel Cardona walks the halls of Locust Lane Elementary School in Eau Claire, Wis., with a gray mask, a crisp blue suit and the easy familiarity of a teacher or principal, though he is neither.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona kickstarts his "Return-to-School Road Trip" this week, talking up the Biden administration's efforts to help children safely return to classrooms. The five-day bus tour begins early Monday with a pep rally at Locust Lane Elementary School in Eau Claire, Wisc.

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