IOScholarships Founder TV Segment on Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Find out if you qualify

Student loan repaymentTwo Courts have issued injunctions blocking the implementation of certain provisions of the SAVE Plan. While we are assessing the rulings, borrowers can still enroll in the SAVE Plan. We will be sharing more information with borrowers soon.

Source Federal Student Aid Website

The Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan is the newest income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. Like other IDR plans, the SAVE Plan calculates your monthly payment amount based on your income and family size. In addition, the SAVE Plan has unique benefits that will lower payments for many borrowers.

The SAVE Plan replaced the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Plan. Borrowers who were on the REPAYE Plan automatically get the benefits of the SAVE Plan.



  • The SAVE Plan is an IDR plan, so it bases your monthly payment on your income and family size.
  • The SAVE Plan lowers payments for almost all borrowers compared to other IDR plans because your payments are based on a smaller portion of your adjusted gross income (AGI).
  • The SAVE Plan has an interest benefit: If you make your full monthly payment, but it is not enough to cover the accrued monthly interest, the government covers the rest of the interest that accrued that month. This means that the SAVE Plan prevents your balance from growing due to unpaid interest.
  • The SAVE Plan gives borrowers who originally borrowed $12,000 or less forgiveness after as few as 10 years.
  • More elements of SAVE will go into effect in summer 2024 and will lower payments even more for borrowers with undergraduate loans.


What You Need to Know

The SAVE Plan includes multiple new benefits for borrowers, and more are coming in July 2024. Expand the sections below to learn more about the current SAVE Plan.

Watch our video explaining the benefits of the SAVE Plan, including the government interest subsidy and how it applies to a $0 payment.

Lower Payments Through Increased Income Exemption

The SAVE Plan decreases monthly payments by increasing the income exemption from 150% to 225% of the poverty line. This means SAVE can significantly decrease your monthly payment amount compared to other IDR plans.

Your monthly payment amount is based on your discretionary income—the difference between your adjusted gross income (AGI) and 225% of the US Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guideline amount for your family size. See the table below for examples.

Because your required monthly payment is a percentage of your discretionary income, your payment will be $0 if your discretionary income is $0. For example, 225% of the Poverty Guideline amount for a family size of one (in the 48 contiguous states) is $32,800, which means that if your annual income is equal to or less than $32,800 and your family size is just yourself, your discretionary income is $0 and your monthly payment will be $0. The same is true for a family size of four with an annual income of $67,500 or less.


Interest Benefit Stops Your Balance From Growing

The SAVE Plan eliminates 100% of remaining monthly interest for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans after you make a full scheduled payment. This means that if you make your monthly payment, your loan balance won’t grow due to unpaid interest that accrued since your last payment.

For example: If $50 in interest accumulates each month and you have a $30 scheduled payment, the remaining $20 would not be charged once you make your monthly payment on time.


Excludes Spouse’s Income if Filing Taxes Separately

The SAVE Plan excludes spousal income for borrowers who are married and file taxes separately. Previously on the REPAYE Plan, your spouse’s income was included as part of the total income used to determine your monthly payment amount, regardless of your tax filing status. Under the new SAVE Plan, if you file separately, your monthly payment amount will be based on your income only. This change also removes the need for your spouse to cosign your IDR application, resulting in a simpler application process.


How To Apply

Use the IDR application to apply for the SAVE Plan.

If you were on the REPAYE Plan, you’ve been automatically enrolled in the SAVE Plan. There is no need to reapply or request to change your plan. 


Actionable tips to help you get a STEM scholarship

  1. Start early: Gathering all the essential letters and documents necessary for a scholarship application can be time-consuming. Therefore, it’s advisable to start well in advance of the deadline, preferably with a couple of months to spare. Most scholarships require SAT scores for undergraduate students and GRE/GMAT scores for graduate students. Standardized testing agencies will take at least a few weeks to mail you your scores. 

Similarly, you’ll need to be flexible with the people, such as professors and mentors, you approach to write you a letter of recommendation. Ideally, budget a couple of weeks at least for this process. By starting early with these tasks, you can ensure you’re ready to post your application comfortably before the last date. 

  1. Identify STEM scholarships that fit your requirements: Scholarships to help students into STEM disciplines are multiplying, and an online search will throw up hundreds of results. However, not every scholarship is for you, both in terms of eligibility and interest. Some are open to all STEM students, others are for students already in college, and some are exclusively targeted at underrepresented groups like women and minorities. One thing that can help with the filtering process is being clear about the field or industry you want to go into. You can make a long list of prospective scholarships that meet your requirement before shortlisting your priority targets. Make sure to apply to as many scholarships as necessary, including a few outside your industry focus, to improve your chances of success. IOScholarships simplifies the process for you. It matches you with thousands of scholarships based on your talents and skills. This improves your chances of winning the scholarship.
  1. Be organized: Managing multiple applications at the same time can be cumbersome as they are likely to have different requirements, deadlines, and formats. This is where the IOScholarships organizer comes in. Our free organizer tool will allow you to stay focused on the application process. We offer a single view and an easy interface that allows you to manage your selected scholarships and stay on top of deadlines.
  1. Ace the essay: Many STEM scholarships do not require an essay, as is customary for most general scholarships. However, some do. Consider this an opportunity to showcase the best of your writing skills, your reasoning and logical skills, your thought process, and finally, the level of interest in your chosen field of study. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
  • While universities and scholarship programs prize intelligence and academic achievement, they also prefer candidates who are aligned with their worldview. Therefore, make sure to write a personalized essay for each university that matches its mission and values. 
  • Stick to the assigned topic. For instance, you may be asked to write an essay about what influenced your interest in a particular major subject, or what you’ve done so far to learn more about it. Make your essay precisely about those questions. 
  • Expand on your resume. Without deviating from the topic, use your essay to help the reader discover more about you in terms of subject matter knowledge, awareness of new developments in the field, and opportunities for practical application. 
  • Edit and proofread your essay before submission. Preferably use a writing assistant or editing software to make sure your piece is in perfect order. Language proficiency might not seem important to a chemistry or math student, but it certainly is when it comes to writing your scholarship essay.  

For more information on writing a unique essay, read the following article 

  1. Recheck your applications: Before submitting your application, ensure you’ve followed all instructions to the last detail. Every scholarship has different documentation and formatting requirements and it can be hard to make your application stand out. It’s ideal, therefore, to customize each application separately and not recycle documents like cover letters and lists of achievements. Although it may take longer, it’s ideal to treat each scholarship as a separate process and customize applications accordingly. 
  1. Don’t be discouraged: If you didn’t get a scholarship, try and work out what you could have done differently with your application and use that knowledge to improve your chances with future opportunities. Some scholarships even offer feedback on your application to help you better your chances next year. Keep your spirits up and remember that there are always going to be new scholarship opportunities you can aim for. 

Get help applying for STEM scholarships

Navigating the sheer number of STEM scholarships out there can be challenging for students. Scholarships that look appealing because of their funding amount may not be right for your choice of major subject or university. Others get overlooked because they are new and not many people have heard about them. 

At IOScholarships, we take the hassle out of the process of identifying and applying for the right scholarships. We are a community dedicated to securing debt-free education for students from diverse backgrounds. 

Join us today to get access to thousands of curated scholarships and financial education resources. And trust us to find the STEM scholarships that are perfect for

SAVE Plan Could Benefit Diverse Underrepresented and Low-Income Students this Summer