Student loan forgiveness program for public servants rejected 99 percent of applicants
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A program allowing public servants to receive student loan forgiveness has rejected more than 99 percent of its applicants because of confusion about the program and a lack of coordination with the company running it, a government audit report showed.

The rejection statistic, which had been included in a statement from the Department of Education (DOE) on Sept. 19, was the subject of a government audit released Thursday

The audit report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted "the large number of denied borrowers suggests that many are still confused by the program requirements."

It also criticized the DOE for not cooperating with the company hired to run the program, FedLoan.

Among its findings, the audit report noted that DOE staff had "incorrectly identified what they thought was an error in how the servicer was certifying borrowers that were employed part-time because they were not aware of the most recent guidance that other staff at Education had emailed the servicer on the topic." 

The report also said almost all of the communication between Education and FedLoan is being done through email, and creating a "fragmented collection of guidance and instructions creates a risk that relevant information may be overlooked."

The GAO recommended that the DOE focus on standardizing their payment information and provide more information to both borrowers and FedLoan.

The DOE was not immediately reachable by The Hill. The department released a statement included in the audit report, agreeing to many of the report's recommendations, but did not offer a timeline or strategy to meet them.