Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik cosponsored the bipartisan Ensuring Military Access of Higher Education Benefits Act with Congressman Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) and Congressman Don Davis (D-NC) to require the Department of Education to complete a data-matching agreement with the Department of Defense which would enable automatic credit toward the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program for military service members. 

“I am proud to introduce this legislation with Representative Van Orden to ensure America’s service members can use their military service to easily qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. “Streamlining the process for our brave service members who selflessly serve our nation to receive the benefits they have earned is one of the many ways we can show our appreciation to them. It is incredibly important that we honor the extraordinary commitment our service members have made to our country as well as incentivize recruitment of future troops.”

“Those who answered the call to serve have made great sacrifices for our nation,” said Congressman Derrick Van Orden. “Of the many challenges servicemembers and veterans face, worrying about how they will pay off their student loans should not be one of them. The Ensuring Military Access to Higher Education Benefits Act does right by our servicemen and servicewomen by removing the red tape to obtaining PSLF credit, ensuring they will not be riddled with student debt during and after their time of service.”

In 2021, the Department of Education announced they would automatically count military members’ service toward the PSLF program instead of requiring them to go through a lengthy and complicated certification process. However, the change was never implemented because the Department of Education and the Department of Defense failed to finalize a critical data-sharing agreement.

In the 2023 NDAA, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik supported a provision that allowed military spouses to defer their student loans when their spouse experienced a change of duty location.