Mothers on the Fast Track: How a New Generation Can Balance Family and Careers

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And if you're interested in that because who isn't? Get ready—this is the largest guide to student loan debt relief we've ever assembled. Student loan forgiveness can come in many different forms. You could receive a grant to pay off some or all of your loans , or you could get your loans cancelled in exchange for working in a specific high-needs area for a period of time.

For instance, one of the most well-known student loan forgiveness programs is Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Under this program, the government will cancel your federal loans if you work for a qualifying employer in public service and make qualifying payments.

We go into that program in later in this article, but for now, know that it's not the only way to get your loans forgiven. There are many ways to get your student loans forgiven. We've provided links to the original website for all the grant programs we list below, so you can easily see how and where to apply. If the application period has passed on one that looks good to you, try setting a calendar reminder to check back when it starts up again.

From the American Association of University Professors

This is a good idea, because many are given out on a yearly basis--and for some, the funds are first-come, first-served. Plus, many of these programs run annually. These are grant programs that provide funds on a national level to anyone in these fields who qualify, and need help paying off their student loans. And if you stay for longer, you could be eligible for more. If you choose to stay longer, you could keep renewing your contract until your entire physician student loan debt is paid.

But if you have one from before then, you could get the full amount forgiven if you qualify. Qualifying teachers work in low-income communities or teach high-needs subjects like math, special education, science, bilingual education, or foreign languages. You get your forgiveness in per-year percentage increments until the loan is forgiven.

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You can apply through your state. Herbert S. Many law schools offer loan forgiveness for graduates who work in the public sector, and there are numerous state-based programs for public-service lawyers as well. The individual research topics include:.

How to handle kids' technology use

The upshot is that you can get the remainder of your federal student loans forgiven after 10 years or qualifying payments, if you work for a qualifying government or nonprofit employer. Under this program, there are a lot of hoops to jump through. It matters more who you work for than your job title; doctors, lawyers, teachers, and many other professionals could qualify for forgiveness. After 20 or 25 years, the remainder of your balance will be forgiven, but you'll have to pay taxes on the forgiven balance.

See the website for a complete list.

Many states give out grants for student loan forgiveness, as well as scholarships for people enrolling in college. You have to apply within two years of graduating school. You had to be under 24 years of age or enrolled at least part-time in college when your parent died.

The amount and time period vary by profession. In addition, the military offers special student loan forgiveness programs in:. Some private companies use student loan forgiveness as a recruitment tool.

How a New Generation Can Balance Family and Careers

A few of these include:. Part-time employees are eligible for half that. You just have to know where to look. You can also get your student loans forgiven by working in public service or enlisting in the military, as long as you qualify.

Another place to check, though, is with your college. Some colleges and universities will forgive student loans for those who agree to use their skills in a high-needs area. For instance, law schools will often forgive a large chunk of student loan debt for public defenders, ahead of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Check with your school to see if they offer this benefit. You may have to sign up to work in a high-needs area or low-income community to access this funding.

Finally, check with your employer. Some employers offer scholarships, grants, and student loan forgiveness benefits to people who work for them. Here are a few ideas:. The grant-making organization should have an application on its website.


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You may have to print it out and mail it, or you might be able to fill it out online. If you missed the deadline on a grant that looks like it would be a good fit, check when it will open again and set a calendar reminder to apply. Want another way to reduce your student loan burden? Jen Williamson is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. She has written for a variety of industries, including software, education, business, and personal finance. We had framed the problems, but not the solutions. We realized one of the more effective ways to compliment the research was to learn from the experiences of individual women struggling and succeeding with these very issues.

Balancing Your Career with Your Family Life

One of the core components of this book was based on identifying and interviewing women in fast track professions. Almost all of these interviews were conducted by my daughter, Eve Ekman. I was part of the first large wave of women to enter a doctoral program; in my case American history, which is still my passion. When I entered graduate school, an unusual choice for a woman, I considered this accomplishment to be entirely my own. I was unaware that my generous fellowship and very welcoming graduate program were products of the galloping economy of the times, which created a huge growth in higher education and opportunities for PhDs to fill the faculty ranks of burgeoning new state universities.

I was also an unknowing beneficiary of the revolution of the Civil Rights movement that had begun in the s and later, the new feminist movement. In Betty Friedan, author and activist put down her pen to take to the streets after the success of her surprise bestseller The Feminine Mystique that articulated a sharp critique of s domesticity. Freidan and 15 other professional women founded what became the National Organization for Women NOW in a hotel room in Friedan and Dr.

What brought these women together was gender inequality in the workplace and anger at the lack of enforcement of employment discrimination laws which had been extended to include gender. Most of the male dominated professions like law, medicine, and the corporate world were closed to them. In addition, true gender equality, they decided, had to occur both in the workplace and in the home; men and women must share equally in all aspects of domestic life, including childrearing.

From the beginning of my graduate studies, I was torn between family and career. His job brought us to California, where the job market for women with newly minted PhDs was still firmly closed. My only options were poorly paid, short-term part-time lecturer positions, which I pursued while completing my degree. Our son Tom was born in , and after a great deal of agonized decision-making, I chose to pursue law — a profession I believed would offer more opportunities and fewer geographical constraints.


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I did not do well in the probationary period of law practice, also known as the associate years. My husband and I divorced and I gave up the practice of law after only a year, unable to deal with the demands of work and home. With few friends and no family in the area who could help with childcare I could not manage the high-pressured long hours required to succeed as an associate.

At the time I considered leaving the practice of law my personal failure. These years gave me breathing space to focus on my family obligations, to marry again, and to welcome a second child, Eve in What makes my story different than thousands of other women who have stepped or fallen into the second tier to accommodate their family obligations is that I was given a second chance when my children were older. I was offered an entry—level, tenure-track faculty position at UC Berkeley at age Hiring someone over 40 for an entry level position in any of the fast track professions is unusual.

2012 NUS Greater Good Series : Mothers on the Fast Track - Beyond the Glass Ceiling

In fact, my appointment was first turned down by the central administration because of my age, but a strong dean championed my cause. I was offered this opportunity because I wrote a book in the late s while working in the second tier. This accomplishment was made possible by a six-month break to accompany my husband on his sabbatical to England.

That precious time, with our children in English schools, allowed me to re-think, re-tool and begin a book. Having struggled — and failed — to make it on the fast-track, I had personal insight for my book, The Equality Trap , which expressed concern about encouraging women to run on the fast track without changing the nature of the track to accommodate families.

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