Degrees Not Debt


Got higher education debt?
Take the Degrees Not Debt Pledge and the MNEA DND Challenge

Americans currently owe
$1.2 trillion in student debt.


Do you have student loan debt? 
You may be leaving money on the table. Read the 5 Steps to Kick Student Debt to learn more.

Seven in 10 college seniors who graduated last year had student loan debt.


The Stats and Real Life Stories Behind College Debt 
College is increasingly unattainable for students. Read some of their stories. (PDF)


The average debt was $29,400 per borrower.












Take the Degrees Not Debt Pledge and the MNEA DND Challenge

Most educators under the age of 30 do. The high cost of college may keep students from pursuing higher education and preventing potential teachers from entering the classroom. Every American deserves a fair shot at higher education, but student debt has become a barrier to accessing the American Dream. Missouri NEA is launching a campaign to help.


NEA’s Degrees Not Debt campaign has the support of tens of thousands of educators and students who believe that there are solutions to the student loan debt crisis in America. NEA is advocating for change on the local, state and federal level including: more need-based aid; affordable student loans; expanded loan-forgiveness programs; and state re-investment in higher education. NEA is also working to assist students, educators, education support professionals, their families and communities to reduce and or eliminate their federal student loan debt by taking advantage of federal government programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income Driven Repayment options. Missouri NEA is joining the cause with it’s own statewide campaign.


Take the Pledge and the MNEA DND Challenge

Raise your voice for college affordability and take the NEA Degrees Not Debt pledge. Find the pledge at But don’t stop there. Tell us your story. Post a short video of you telling your story and why you care about changing the student debt scene across the country. Take the MNEA DND Challenge by posting your video to your Facebook page and sharing with MNEA at Use the hashtag #MNEADegreesNotDebt. Also, if you have a Twitter handle, be sure to tweet your comments and link to your video on Twitter using the same hashtag.

Reduce-your-college-debt workshops

MNEA is hosting a series of workshops throughout the state to educate members on how to lower and eliminate their federal student load debt. If you are interested in bringing Degrees Not Debt to your local please signup by going to: and or contact your local president or UniServ Director.


Student loan relief resources

You could be leaving money on the table. Learn more about some of the options for reducing and or eliminating your federal student loan debt below.



Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you work full-time in a public service jobs (such as education), you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This means that loans could be completely forgiven after ten years of working and making payments. To learn more go to:  


Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Options
There are a number of IDR plans that may help to lower your monthly federal student loan repayments. IDR options are monthly repayment amounts based on your family size and income. The most common plans are Income Based Repayment (IBR), Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) plans. Find out which one is right for you! To learn more go to:  



College affordability solutions

NEA’s Degrees Not Debt campaign and thousands of pledge-takers are calling on Congress to:

  • Increase need-based federal aid, like Pell Grants.

  • Allow borrowers to refinance their loan interest rates in the same way that homeowners can refinance their mortgages.

  • Expand loan forgiveness programs, especially for people working in public service careers like education.

  • • State re-investment in higher education.

If you believe that all Americans, no matter their background, deserve a fair shot at higher education, join us. Sign the Degrees Not Debt pledge






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