Loan Forgiveness Programs Available To Social Workers
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Government Relations Update

Loan Forgiveness Programs Available To Social Workers

Federal Programs 

Perkins Loan Forgiveness Program
Additional information: Check with your college or university financial aid office.
Program for social workers working in public or private nonprofit child or family service agencies providing services to high-risk children and families from low-income communities or social workers providing early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities in public or private nonprofit agencies under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). This program is also available for teachers, nurses, law enforcement professionals.

Recipients of Federal Perkins Loan funds received after July 22, 1992 can qualify for postponement/ cancellation of up to 100% of the loan. The cancellation takes place over 5 years. For each year of service completed, the student is entitled to cancellation of the loan at the following rates:

  • First and second years of employment: 15% each year
  • Third and fourth years of employment: 20% each year
  • Fifth year of employment: 30%.

National Health Service Corp - Federal Program
Additional information:

Fully trained health professionals, including clinical social workers, who are dedicated to working with the underserved and have qualifying educational loans are eligible to compete for repayment of those loans if they choose to serve in a community of greatest need. In addition to loan repayment, these clinicians receive a competitive salary, some tax relief benefits, and a chance to have a significant impact on a community.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Loan Forgiveness for Researchers
Additional information and on-line application:
Program is for social workers and other professionals who are pursuing research careers in the areas of clinical, pediatric, contraception and infertility, or health disparities. Participants must possess a doctoral-level degree, devote 50% or more of their time to research funded by a non-profit organization or government entity (federal, state, or local), and have educational loan debt equal to or exceeding 20% of their institutional base salary.

Other Federal Resources
State Programs

National Health Service Corp - State Loan Repayment Program
Additional information:

The State Loan Repayment Program is part of the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr) overall strategy to improve access to underserved communities. NHSC grants matching funds directly to States to operate their own loan repayment programs. Primary care health professionals who are providing full-time clinical services in a public or non-profit facility located in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area are eligible for this program. Eligibility requirements and benefits vary from State to State. For specific information, please contact the States directly.

State Loan Repayment Contacts

If your state is not listed below, it is because they do not provide state loan repayment for social workers.

Karen Munsterman
Office of Statewide Health Planning Development
1600 9th Street, Room 440
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-654-3138 (FAX)

Mario Garcia, M.P.H.
Program Manager
Connecticut Department of Public Health
Public Health Initiatives Branch
410 Capitol Avenue, MS#11HLS
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT, 06134-0308
(860) 509-7138
860-509-7720 (Fax)

Janet Chorpenning
Indiana State Department of Health
2 N. Meridian Street, Section 8B-99
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-233-7761 (FAX)

Patricia Kehoe
Iowa Department of Public Health
Lucas State Office Building, 5th floor SE
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
515-242-6384 (FAX)

Kansas – only for licensed independent practice level)
Barbara J. Gibson, Primary Care Services
KDHE Office of Local and Rural Health
Curtis State Office Building
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 340
Topeka KS 66612 -1365
785 296-1200
785 296-1231 (FAX)

Susan Robertson
University of Kentucky Center for Rural Health
750 Morton Blvd.
Hazard, KY 41701
606-435-0038 (FAX)

Kristy Nichols, Director
State Office of Rural Health
P. O. Box 2870
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-2870
225-342-0080 (FAX)
Currently does not accept social workers, but have requested in most recent state plan to include social workers. (December 2005)

Sophie Glidden
Director Primary Health Care, State of Maine
Department of Health and Human Services
35 Anthony Avenue, State House Station #11
Augusta, ME 04333
207-624-5431 (FAX)

Julia Dyck
Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
617-624-6062 (FAX)

Ken Miller
Michigan Department of Community Health
Policy and Legal Affairs Administration
201 Townsend Street
Lansing, MI 48913
517-241-1200 (FAX)

Debra L. Jahnke, Sr. State Program Administrator (Loan Repayment)
Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
Minnesota Department of Health
121 East 7th Place, Suite 400
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
651-282-6334 or 800-366-5424
651-297-5808 (FAX)

Amy Vallery  (Loan Forgiveness)
85 East 70th Pl., Suite 220
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975

Keith Clark
Nevada Office of Rural Health
1500 College Parkway
Elko, NV 89801
775-738-0689 (FAX)

New Hampshire
David Roberts, Workforce Coordinator
Rural Health & Primary Care
NH Dept. of Health & Human Services
29 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301
603-201-2276603-271-4506 (FAX)

New Mexico
March Pompei, Primary Care Program Manager
New Mexico Department of Health
1068 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501-4295
505-476-6511 (FAX)

Geri Rousculp
Ohio Department of Health
Primary Care/Rural Health Program
246 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
614-995-4235 (FAX)
Limited to LISWs providing outpatient mental health counseling in a current Mental Health Professional Shortage Area

South Dakota
Karen Cudmore
South Dakota Department of Health
Office of Rural Health
600 East Cap. Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
604-773-5683 (FAX)

Senta Galeazzi
Office of Rural Community Affairs
Rural Communities Health Care Investment Program
P.O. Box 12877
Austin, TX 78711
512-936-6776 (FAX)
Texas+Health+Service+Corps+Program+ %28THSCP%29

Erin Olsen, Support Services Coordinator
Utah Department of Health
Bureau Primary Care, Rural, & Ethnic Health
288 North 1460 West, 4th Floor
P.O. Box 142005
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2005
801-538-6387 (FAX)

Additional State Resources

State Departments of Education

Individual State Programs
District of Columbia

Social Worker Loan Repayment Program: Social workers who hold bachelor's degrees can have $10,000-$13,000 in loans forgiven and those with master's degrees can have $15,000 to $18,000 forgiven if they stay four years.
For more information: Malik Jackson, Director of Recruitment, DC Child and Family Services Agency, 202-724-7387

The Child Welfare Loan Forgiveness Program is designed to provide loan assistance to eligible students for upper-division undergraduate and graduate study. The primary purpose of the program is to attract capable and promising students to the child welfare profession, increase employment and retention of individuals who are working towards or who have received either a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in social work, or any human services subject area that qualifies the individual for employment as a family services worker, and provide opportunities for persons making mid-career decisions to enter the child welfare profession. The legislature appropriated $1 million in FY 2003
For more information: Jim Aiken,, 850-224-2400

The Child Welfare Student Loan Forgiveness Act provides loan assistance, subject to appropriation, to eligible students for upper-division undergraduate and graduate study in social work or human services. It permits forgivable loans to be awarded for a maximum of two (2) academic years and requires a loan recipient to work in child welfare at the Department of Children and Family Services, its successor, or a contracting agency for at least the number of years for which the loan is received. Sets maximum amounts of $4,000 for loans awarded at the undergraduate level and $8,000 for loans awarded at the graduate level. The act contains provisions concerning eligibility, repayment, credit, and a penalty for non-compliance. This bill is subject to appropriations and no funds have been appropriated.
For more information: Joel Rubin,, 312-236-8308

State and Local Government Employees: includes professionals in social work, law, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and education. Applicants must earn less than $40,000 gross annual income. More information: Maryland State Scholarship Administration, 16 Francis St. Annapolis, MD 21401, 410-974-2071, ext. 146

New Jersey
The Social Services Student Loan Redemption Program is designed to provide loan redemption for state residents who have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree within a one-year period prior to being hired as a fulltime “direct care professional at a qualified facility.” Eligibility includes degrees in a human services discipline, such as social work, psychology, counseling, or in a health-related profession, such as occupational, physical, or speech therapy. Loan redemption is not to exceed $5,000 per year or $20,000 over four years. Qualified facilities may include state, local, or nonprofit agencies or organizations that provide services under state contract. 

The program is managed by the Higher Education Assistance Authority; information available on line at
For more information: Walter Kalman, NASW-NJ Chapter,

New York
The Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program is designed to attract social workers to employment in shortage areas, including health, mental health, aging, child welfare, and HIV/AIDS. “Multi-lingual” communities also are identified as shortage areas. To be eligible, a social worker with a LMSW or LCSW must have already worked for the last 12 months in one of the critical shortage areas. Loan amounts of $6,500 can be forgiven in each year the graduate is employed in a shortage area, up to $26,000 over four years. The program is expected to fund loan repayment for approximately 160 social workers.
For more information: Bob Schachter,, 212-668-0050

Suite 700, 750 First Street, Washington, DC 20002-4241
202-408-8600 •
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