Teacher Shortage - Loan Forgiveness

As part of a federal requirement, the Maine Department of Education submits to the U.S. Department of Education teacher shortage areas for designation based on collected data and public input.  The U.S. DOE annually designates teacher shortage areas for purposes of deferment of loan repayments or reductions of teaching obligation. 


The Department’s approval of the proposed shortage areas in Maine may benefit student grant and loan recipients who are qualified to teach in the academic disciplines, grade levels, and/or geographic regions where the designated teacher shortages currently occur.

These benefits to student financial aid recipients, such as loan cancellations, are indicated in the following regulatory provisions:

  • 34 CFR 682.210(b)(5)(ii), (b)(7), (q), and (s) enable a borrower who had no outstanding Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loan on July 1, 1987,  but who had an outstanding FFEL Program loan on July 1, 1993, to qualify for deferment of loan repayment under the Stafford Loan Program anytime within the life of the borrower’s loan(s) for up to three years of service as a full-time teacher in a private elementary or secondary school in a teacher shortage area designated by the Department, and as certified by the chief administrative officer of the particular school in which the borrower is teaching;
  • 34 CFR 674.53(c) enables Federal Perkins Loan borrowers who are full-time teachers of mathematics, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or any other field of expertise where the State educational agency determined there is a shortage of qualified teachers to qualify for cancellation of up to 100% of the outstanding balance on the borrower’s Federal Perkins loans;  and
  • 34 CFR 686.12(d) enables grant recipients to fulfill their teaching obligation under the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program (regarding the requirement to serve at least four academic years, within eight years of graduation) by teaching in a “high-need field,” which includes academic disciplines/subject areas identified as teacher shortage areas at the time the grant recipient begins teaching in that field. 

Designated Shortage Areas

The designated shortage areas for the 2018-2019 SY can be accessed through the 2018-2019 Teacher Shortage Report for Maine

The designated shortage areas for the 2019-2020 SY can be accessed through the 2019-2020 Teacher Shortage Report for Maine

The designated shortage areas for the 2020-2021 SY can be accessed through the 2020-2021 Teacher Shortage Report for Maine.



  • United States Department of Education: Teacher Shortage Areas
  • Stafford Loan and Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) borrowers should contact the Federal Student Aid Hotline at 1-800-4RFED-AID. 
  • Federal Perkins Loan borrowers should contact the school where the loan was received.