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Understanding Loan Repayment Funding Priorities

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) uses certain funding priorities to evaluate applicants, and ultimately determine who should receive loan repayment awards.

 

All NHSC Loan Repayment Program

We assign clinicians to Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) of greatest need. The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) measures the relative need of HPSAs and assigns each HPSA a score.

We review and approve loan repayment program (LRP) applications by descending HPSA score, and based on the following funding priorities, to the extent that funding is available.

NHSC Loan Repayment Program

Funding Priorities

The NHSC gives first priority funding to NHSC scholarship recipients that have completed their service obligation and continue to have eligible student loans. The NHSC then prioritizes applicants within each HPSA score by their disadvantaged background, then by training in a specialty needed by the National Health Service Corps, and then by characteristics that indicate a likelihood they will remain in a HPSA. The following funding priorities will be applied to all eligible and qualified applicants:

  • Current (or former) NHSC Scholarship Awardees. 
    We give priority to you if you are a former NHSC scholar who has completed your service commitment and continue to have eligible student loans.
  • Applicants who have completed specialized training needed by the Corps
  • Applicants from a disadvantaged background.
    We give priority to you if you (or your spouse, if applicable) have a higher likelihood of continuing to practice in a HPSA once you complete the service commitment and you come from a disadvantaged background.
    • To qualify for the latter, you must submit certification from a school (PDF – 407 KB) where you:
      • Identified as having a disadvantaged background based on environmental and/or economic factors; or
      • Received a federal Exceptional Financial Need Scholarship.
  • Applicants with characteristics likely to remain in a HPSA.
    We will also give priority if you (or your spouse, if applicable) indicate a higher likelihood of continuing to practice in a HPSA once you complete your service commitment.
    • Generally, we assess your experience in working with underserved populations. We then consider the following factors to determine your eligibility for this priority: 
      • Trainings completed in community-based underserved settings. 
      • Your time and work at your current NHSC-approved site; and 
      • Your spouse’s characteristics, if any, which demonstrate that they are likely to remain in a HPSA.

NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program

Funding Priorities

In addition to the funding priorities that apply to the NHSC LRP, we also rank your NHSC SUD Workforce LRP application in tiers as shown in the “Tiering for Funding Priorities” table in the Application and Program Guidance (APG) (PDF - 639 KB). 

NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program

Funding Priorities 

In addition to the funding priorities that apply to the NHSC LRP, we also rank your NHSC Rural Community LRP application in tiers as shown in the “Tiering for Funding Priorities” table in the Application and Program Guidance (APG) (PDF - 638 KB).

NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program

Funding Priorities

Each application cycle, we have limited funds available for loan repayment awards. Given this, you will receive priority, if you are an eligible, qualified applicant who demonstrates the following:

  • You are likely to remain in a HPSA AND you come from a disadvantaged background.
    You (or your spouse, if applicable) have a higher likelihood of continuing to practice in a HPSA once you complete the service commitment and you come from a disadvantaged background.
    • To qualify for the latter, you must submit certification from a school (PDF – 407 KB) where you:
      • Identified as having a disadvantaged background based on environmental and/or economic factors; or
      • Received a federal Exceptional Financial Need Scholarship.
  • You are likely to remain in a HPSA.
    You (or your spouse, if applicable) indicate a higher likelihood of continuing to practice in a HPSA once you complete your service commitment.
    • We assess your experience working with underserved populations. You may be able to demonstrate this through past work and volunteer experiences, as well as your background.
    • We will base our assessment on your responses to the essay question, and information gathered in your recommendation letters and resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV).

 

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