Teaching positions in New Jersey and across the nation continue to be in high-demand as classrooms continue to grow and the need for high-quality, diverse teachers increases. In particular demand are teachers of color, who currently represent less than 25% of the teaching workforce.
In an effort to narrow the divide and encourage new and aspiring teachers of all backgrounds to pursue careers in education, districts across the nation are investing more in starting salaries for teachers, with New Jersey leading the investments at average salaries of $51,179 for new teachers. In addition to increased pay, there are a number of programs available to help new teachers save on everyday expenses and stretch their income with money-saving incentives that reward their service to students.
From loan forgiveness and discounts on cars to reduced rates for home ownership, read below for some key benefits and opportunities available exclusively to teachers:
Reduce your student debt
Most people pursuing higher education have experience with loans and know that repayment can be a struggle, even with gainful employment. For those in a teaching profession, there are several programs available to offset your loan debt in exchange for your contributions as teachers in our nation’s public schools.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program
Forgives the remaining balance on your Federal Direct Loans after 120 qualifying payments (10 years). Learn more: www.StudentAid.gov/publicservice
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Forgives up to $17,500 of your Direct or FFEL Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans after 5 complete and consecutive years of teaching at a qualifying school. Learn more: www.StudentAid.gov/teach-forgive
Perkins Loan Cancellation for Teachers
Forgives up to 100% of your Federal Perkins Loan Program if you teach full-time at a low-income school, or if you teach certain subjects. Learn more: www.StudentAid.gov/teach-forgive
Save on a new car
Cars can be pricey and there are several auto companies dedicated to giving back to teachers to ensure they can arrive at school safe and sound. Find the deal below that gets you keys to your next opportunity!
General Motors (GM)
For current employees of a public or private school, college, or university, GM offers discounts on vehicles from General Motors brands (except Cadillac), including cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. Bonus: Eligible buyers can also extend the discount to spouses, domestic partners, dependent children under 21, or full-time students under 25. Find your next car here: https://www.gmeducatordiscount.com/
Ford & Lincoln
Teachers employed by schools that are part of Ford’s partner recognition program are entitled to discounts on most vehicles in the Ford and Lincoln lineups, including cars, trucks, and SUVs. If your employer is part of the program, the discount is extended to spouses and other residents of the employees’ households. Find out if you’re eligible: https://www.fordpartner.com/partnerweb/jsp/howitworks/fordpartner_rules.htm#contact
Chrysler Dodge Jeep
- Teachers can benefit from preferred pricing on a wide variety of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM and Fiat vehicles. Visit www.fcausaffiliates.com and enter the discount code ME88Y3 to begin the process. For questions, contact the program affiliate office at Chrysler or the National Education Association, which coordinates this benefit.
- Richard Lucas Subaru of Avenel, New Jersey believes teachers and other educators deserve to be rewarded for their contributions. Their dealership has a special “Teacher Discount Price” and encourages teachers to reach out to learn more: https://www.subaruofwoodbridge.com/teacher-discount.htm
Pay less for better auto-insurance
Now that you earned a discount on your car, there are even more reasons for teachers to drive with confidence. From discounts on coverage to special services usually reserved for more expensive insurance packages, see how you can save and stay covered with auto insurance:
- Teachers can receive a discounted quote from Liberty Mutual, as well as a number of cost-savings benefits, including a $0 deductible for any vehicle vandalism on school property or during school-related events. Learn more about other school-related savings on their website.
- Get the most from your auto-insurance with special services for teachers from Plymouth Rock, including First Class Roadside Assistance and waived deductibles for incidents that happen on school property. Learn more about all the other incentives available here: https://www.plymouthrock.com/insurance/nj-teachers
- Educators with a Horace Mann auto policy receive a package of value-added features and benefits at no additional cost as a way to extend their thanks for the hard work teachers do every day. See all the benefits here: https://www.horacemann.com/en/insurance/auto-insurance/educator-advantage.aspx
Own a home for less
Do you see home ownership in your future? In New Jersey, there are special financing advantages for teachers as a thank you for all the contributions teachers make in the lives of children. See how your home ownership dreams can be realized with a Teacher Next Door Housing Grant:
New Jersey Teacher Housing Grants
- New Jersey teachers can save big on homeownership with housing grants through the Teacher Next Door Program. Those employed in education (including teachers, school staff, and administrators) qualify for amounts from $1,000 up to $4,170 to be used towards the purchase of any home on the market. In addition to the Teacher Next Door Grant, down payment assistance of up to $10,681 may be available to eligible applications. Check to see all the housing assistance available with New Jersey Housing Grants here.
These are just some of the small way to save that can add up to make a big difference. At Rutgers Alternate Route, we’re dedicated to serving our community of new and aspiring teachers with valuable information so our teachers can be positioned for successful careers in education. Stay in touch by following us on Twitter @RutgersAltRoute or contact us for more information.