National Health Service Corps Loan Forgiveness Program

Posted 10/9/2009

About the National Health Service Corps
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC), through scholarship and loan repayment programs, helps Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in the U.S. obtain a sufficient number of fully qualified medical, dental, and mental health providers essential to meet their populations’ critical need for safe and fundamental health care.

Since 1972, more than 30,000 clinicians have served in the Corps, expanding access to health services and improving the health of people who live in urban and rural areas where health care is scarce.

About half of all NHSC clinicians work in Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-supported Health Centers, which deliver preventive and primary care services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. About 40 percent of Health Center patients have no health insurance.

Purpose of the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP)
The purpose of the NHSC LRP is to ensure that an adequate supply of health professionals are available to provide primary health services to populations located in select Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), identified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. HPSAs can be found in rural and urban communities across the nation. The NHSC LRP recruits fully trained health professionals who agree to provide primary health services in NHSC community sites. In return, the NHSC LRP assists clinicians in their repayment of qualifying educational loans that are still outstanding.

Now accepting applications for Loan Repayment Awards.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act designated $200 million to fund the NHSC LRP. Applications will be accepted continuously until funds are expended or September 30, 2010, whichever comes first.

The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program provides $50,000 (or the outstanding balance of qualifying student loans, if less than $50,000), tax free, to medical, dental, and mental health clinicians in exchange for two years of service at approved sites in Health Professional Shortage Areas. Upon completion of the service commitment, clinicians may be eligible to apply for additional support for extended service. Most applications will be processed within eight weeks of the submission of a complete application (i.e., on-line application, supplemental paper forms, and required documentation).

The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program provides many benefits. Be sure you stay in compliance with the requirements of your in-service contract.

National Health Service Corps loan repayment participants will be working under one of three types of assignments while serving their obligations. For more information about the Practice Assignments, click here.
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