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Assistance for Primary Health Care Providers to Repay Their Student Loans

The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program has the goal to assist primary health care providers to repay their student loans. The program is designed to provide health care (and possibly teaching) to places with limited health care is available.

For example, a borrower can work full-time for four years at a designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA’s) site. In return, the health care provider gets a portion (or all) of their student loans repaid. The repayment amounts could be another way to assist them in managing their debt. The chart below outlines the time commitment along with the amount of pay-off involved with successful completion of the program.

2 Years Full-time

4 Years Half-time

2 Years Half-time

Sites with HPSA Score of 14+

Up to $60,000

Up to $60,000

Up to $30,000

Sites with HPSA Score of 0–13

Up to $40,000

Up to $40,000

Up to $20,000

With continued service, NHSC providers may be able to pay off all of their student loans.

As the chart illustrates, a health care provider may also choose to work half time at a HPSA site. This may allow someone to continue exploring their options as a health care provider, and still be in good standing on their student loans. However, it also doubles their time commitment, so it would be up to the individual as to what works best for them.

Here are a few more additional details about the program:

  •  Specialties include, but are not limited to, Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, and Mental and Behavioral Health
  •  You must be a US Citizen or US National
  •  The amount(s) of the pay-off is NOT taxable
  •  There is an application process involved in signing up for the program

For more information about this program, please visit

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.

Jose Espada

Jose Rivera Espada is the director of financial aid at IU School of Medicine, a nine-campus allopathic medical school in Indiana. Jose’s experience includes working as an assistant director of financial aid at Butler University and a financial aid coun...