Working at a health center can qualify providers for various types of state and federal financial assistance programs that make education more affordable. Some programs help with repayment of already existing loans and others operate on a scholarship-based model, allowing applicants to choose a model that works best for their lifestyle and career path.
NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE CORPS
The National Health Service Corps offers various loan repayment programs to providers working in medically underserved areas. NHSC uses Health Provider Shortage Area (HPSA) designations and scores to determine site eligibility. All of Utah’s health centers are located in HPSAs, and most sites have HPSA scores that qualify them for many of the NHSC programs.
- National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program (LRP): Provides up to $50,000 in loan repayment assistance for qualifying providers that complete a two-year service commitment at a NHSC-approved site with a qualifying HPSA score.
- NHSC Student-to-Service (S2S) LRP : Provides up to $120,000 in loan repayment assistance to students in their last year of medical, dental, physician assistant, or nursing school if that student commits to a three-year service commitment at an NHSC-approved site with a qualifying HPSA score.
- NHSC Scholarship Program (SP): Provides scholarships to student pursuing primary care health professions training in return for a commitment to provide primary care health services in a HPSA after completion of education/training.
The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (Nurse Corps LRP) is a federal program that will pay up to 60% of unpaid nursing education debt for certain nursing professionals that practice in a Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) or an eligible school of nursing for at least two years. All health centers are considered CSFs.
The Health Care Workforce Financial Assistance Program (HCWFAP) is a state-run program that will provide up to $75,000 in educational loan repayment assistant to primary care health professionals who locate and practice for at least three years at qualifying sites in underserved areas across the state. Most health centers in Utah participate in this program.