Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Denial Letters

J.K. Trotter filed this request with the U.S. Department of Education of the United States of America.


From: J.K. Trotter

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Copies of all response letters, dated between January 1 2016 and December 31 2016, that were sent to individuals who submitted a "Employment Certification Form" to the Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. A copy of that form can be found here:

Please limit the requested records to letters that notified the applicant that their employer did NOT qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. In other words, this request seeks only letters (dated between January 1 2016 and December 31 2016) in which the applicant was informed that their request for certification had been DENIED.

Please note that I am not submitting this request under the Privacy Act. If responsive records contain information whose disclosure is protected by the Privacy Act, or would otherwise require a Privacy Act waiver to disclose, I kindly ask that you redact or withhold that information from the released records.

I request expedited processing of this request. The targeted records directly pertain to ongoing litigation resulting from the Department of Education’s policy toward eligibility criteria for individuals seeking to have their student loans forgiven under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The litigation has already received widespread media attention:

Given the fact that my request is narrowly targeted AND that the government's activities in this case have the immediate effect of influencing the public, and decisions the public may or may not make regarding their careers, I believe the Department of Education should grant my request for expedited processing.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Please note, however, that I am a reporter who works full-time for Gizmodo Media Group, based in New York City. As such, I ask that you consider the fees in this case to be waived under the public interest exemption. The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. It is being submitted in the regular course of news-gathering, in this case regarding important matters of government activity.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

J.K. Trotter

From: Baker, Juanita

This is the Department's acknowledgment of your request for information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552. Your request was forwarded to the primary responsible office(s) for action.
Any future correspondence or questions regarding your request, please contact the FOIA Public Liaison at 202-401-8365 or

  • Department of Education FOIA Acknowledgment Letter 17-01447-F

From: Short, Jacqueline (Contractor)

Good afternoon:

Please see the attached document concerning your FOIA request to the Department of Education FOIA Service Center.


FOIA Analyst
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW, Room 4C155
Washington, DC 20202-4510

From: Cook, Elise

Dear Mr. Trotter,

Please find attached above, the final responses to your fee waiver and expedited processing determinations.

Thank you,

Elise Cook
Government Information Specialist
FOIA Service Center
Office of The Chief Privacy Officer
US Department of Education
(202) 401-8365

From: Cook, Elise

The Federal Student Aid office is experiencing a high volume of FOIA requests. They are continuing to process your request. Unfortunately they are unable to provide a more definite timeframe for completion. Jacqueline Short will contact you as soon as she receives any information regarding your request. As she is the FOIA analyst assigned to your case

Thank you for your patience and we apologize for the delay in responding to you. Please feel free to check back with us at any time.

Elise Cook
Government Information Specialist
FOIA Service Center
Office of The Chief Privacy Officer
US Department of Education
(202) 401-8365

Telework Days:
Mondays and Wednesdays
AWS day 2nd Friday of pay period

From: U.S. Department of Education

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: U.S. Department of Education

A copy of documents responsive to the request.