Loan Repayment Programs
National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs)
NIH wants to encourage outstanding health professionals to pursue careers in biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research. If you commit at least two years to conducting qualified research funded by a domestic nonprofit organization or U.S. federal, state, or local government entity, NIH may repay up to $35,000 of your qualified student loan debt per year, including most undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans. Loan repayment benefits are in addition to the institutional salary you receive for your research.
If you are or will be conducting qualified research funded by a domestic nonprofit institution outside NIH, you may be eligible for one of the five extramural LRPs:
Application link: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/apply_here/index.aspx
Health Disparities Research
Contraception and Infertility Research
Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
You may submit only one LRP application to NIH in any fiscal year, even though your research may be appropriate for more than one of the programs.
The purpose of the Clinical Research LRP is to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals as clinical investigators.
See Notice for Extramural Loan Repayment Program for Clinical Research (LRP-CR) for program and policy guidance.
Meet general eligibility requirements of the LRPs outlined in the eligibility section of the site.
Have an M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., Psy.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., D.C., N.D., O.D., D.V.M., or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited institution.
Engage in qualified clinical research.
Clinical Research Definition
Patient-oriented research conducted with human subjects, or research on the causes and consequences of disease in human populations involving material of human origin (such as tissue specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator or colleague directly interacts with human subjects in an outpatient or inpatient setting to clarify a problem in human physiology, pathophysiology or disease, epidemiologic or behavioral studies, outcomes or health services research, or developing new technologies, therapeutic interventions, or clinical trials.
General Eligibility Requirements
All eligible researchers and scientists — including women, individuals from underrepresented groups, and persons with disabilities — are encouraged to apply for loan repayment. The general eligibility criteria applicable to all five extramural LRPs are listed below. Follow the links in the left navigation menu to review additional eligibility requirements for each individual LRP.
To be eligible for participation in the extramural LRPs, you must meet these criteria:
You must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the U.S.
You must have a health professional doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., Psy.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., D.C., N.D., O.D., D.V.M., or equivalent doctoral degree) from an accredited institution, with one exception: The Contraception and Infertility Research LRP is open to individuals with a doctoral degree, as well as nurses, physician assistants, graduate students, and postgraduate research fellows training in the health professions.
You must have total qualified educational debt equal to or in excess of 20 percent of your institutional base salary at the time of award, which will be between July and September annually. Institutional base salary is the annual amount the organization pays for your appointment, whether the time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities. Institutional base salary excludes any income that you may earn outside of the duties of the organization. Institutional base salary may not include or comprise any income (salary or wages) earned as a federal employee. For renewal applications, it is not necessary to satisfy the 20 percent educational debt-to-institutional base salary requirement.
Your research must be supported by a domestic nonprofit foundation, university, professional association or other nonprofit institution, or a U.S. government agency (federal, state, or local). A domestic foundation, professional association, or institution is considered to be nonprofit if exempt from federal tax under the provisions of Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501). NIH grants and university salaries are considered eligible funding. Your primary employment must be with a nonprofit institution. Any employment or income outside of the nonprofit institution must be separate from your research and cannot represent a significant amount of your total income.
You must engage in qualified research that represents 50 percent of your level of effort and consumes an average of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly service period during the contract (2 years for the initial contract). The LRP contract normally starts on July 1 of the year following your application and you must be conducting your research for the entire period of your contract. LRP contracts are not retroactive to any prior date.
Part-time federal employees working 20 hours per week or less (4/8ths time or less) who are (a) not conducting research as a federal employee, and (b) whose funding is from a domestic nonprofit source as defined above, are eligible to apply for loan repayment if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
You must agree to conduct only research that is not prohibited by federal law, regulations, or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you receive an award, you must conduct your research in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local law (e.g., applicable human subject protection regulations) for the entire contract period.
You may not submit more than one LRP application to NIH in any fiscal year. If you have applied previously for an LRP, but did not receive an award, you are eligible to submit a new application if you meet all of the above eligibility criteria.
Recipients of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowships and training grants can apply for and receive LRP awards but may have to defer their NRSA service payback until the completion of the LRP. Recipients of postdoctoral NRSA support for individual fellowships (F32 or F33) or institutional research training grants (T32) incur a service obligation in the first year of their fellowship, which is then repaid in the second year. Since the LRPs require a service obligation during the entire period of participation, individuals cannot satisfy two service obligations concurrently.
No applicant will be excluded from consideration on the basis of age, race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or other non-merit factors.
The following individuals are not eligible for participation in the extramural LRPs:
Persons who are not U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.
Any individual who has a federal judgment lien against his/her property arising from a federal debt is barred from receiving federal funds even if the judgment is paid in full or satisfied.
Any individual who owes an obligation of health professional service to the federal government, a state, or other entity, unless deferrals or extensions are granted for the length of their Extramural LRP service obligation. The following are examples of programs with service obligations that disqualify an applicant from consideration, unless a deferral for the length of participation in the LRP is obtained:
- Armed Forces (Army, Navy, or Air Force) Professions Scholarship Program
- Exceptional Financial Need (EFN) Scholarship Program
- Financial Assistance for Disadvantaged Health Professions Students (FADHPS)
- Indian Health Service (IHS) Scholarship Program
- National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program
- National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP)
- Nurse Faculty Loan Program
- Physicians Shortage Area Scholarship Program
- Primary Care Loan (PCL) Program
- Public Health Service (PHS) Scholarship Program
- Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Program
Individuals who are employed by the federal government with work schedules of more than 20 hours per week (5/8ths time or more).
Individuals who derive any income from any for-profit source or from a private practice.
Current recipients of an NIH Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) or Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA).
Individuals conducting research for which funding is precluded by federal law, regulations or HHS/NIH policy, or that does not comply with applicable federal, state, and local law regarding the conduct of the research (e.g., applicable human subject protection regulations).
Individuals with ineligible loans, which include loans that have been consolidated with a loan of another individual (including spouses or children), or loans that are not educational, such as home equity loans.
Individuals who breached a prior LRP contract.
Individuals whose prior LRP contract had been overpaid and were required to remit funds to NIH to resolve the overpayment, but still owe these funds.
Individuals who terminated a prior LRP contract that would have ended after the starting date of the contracts in the current application cycle.
For more information on the loans previously described, please see the Argosy University brochure entitled Financing Your Argosy University Education.
Federal Student Loan Repayment Program
The Federal Student Loan Repayment Program permits agencies to repay federally insured student loans as a recruitment or retention incentive.
The Federal Student Loan Repayment Program permits agencies to repay federally insured student loans as a recruitment or retention incentive for candidates or current employees of the agency. The program implements 5 U.S.C. 5379, which authorizes agencies to set up their own student loan repayment programs to attract or retain highly qualified employees.
Any employee (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105) is eligible, except those occupying a position excepted from the competitive civil service because of their confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating nature (e.g., Schedule C appointees).
Loans Eligible for Payment
Loans eligible for payment are those made, insured, or guaranteed under parts B, D, or E of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 or a health education assistance loan made or insured under part A of title VII or part E of title VIII of the Public Health Service Act. (See Q&A 17 for examples of the types of student loans that are eligible for repayment.)
Although the student loan is not forgiven, agencies may make payments to the loan holder of up to a maximum of $10,000 for an employee in a calendar year and a total of not more than $60,000 for any one employee.
As with any incentive, this authority is used at the discretion of the agency. Each agency must develop a plan to describe how the program will be implemented.
An employee receiving this benefit must sign a service agreement to remain in the service of the paying agency for a period of at least 3 years. An employee must reimburse the paying agency for all benefits received if he or she is separated voluntarily or separated involuntarily for misconduct, unacceptable performance, or a negative suitability determination under 5 CFR part 731. In addition, an employee must maintain an acceptable level of performance in order to continue to receive repayment benefits.
Periods in a Non-Pay Status
Periods of leave without pay, or other periods during which the employee is not in a pay status, do not count toward completion of the required service period. The service completion date must be extended by the total amount of time spent in non-pay status. However, as provided by 5 CFR 353.107, absence because of uniformed service or compensable injury is considered creditable toward the required service period upon reemployment.
Any employee (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105) who is highly qualified is eligible to receive a student loan repayment, except those employees who currently occupy or will occupy a position excepted from the competitive service because of its confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character (e.g., employees serving under Schedule C appointments). Under 5 CFR 537.104, agencies may offer student loan repayment benefits to recruit a highly qualified job candidate or retain a highly qualified employee who, during the service period established under a service agreement, will be serving under (1) an appointment other than a time-limited appointment or (2) a time-limited appointment if-
The employee (or job candidate) will have at least 3 years remaining under the appointment after the beginning of the service period; or
The time-limited appointment authority leads to conversion to another appointment of sufficient duration so that his or her employment with the agency is projected to last for at least 3 additional years after the beginning of the service period.
National Health Service Corp Loan Repayment Program
Loan repayment program for health professionals (including mental health) working in communities with limited access to health resources.
What is the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program (LRP)?
The NHSC LRP is administered by the Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service (BCRS) in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The NHSC LRP seeks primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, physician assistants, dentists, dental hygienists, and behavioral and mental health providers (health service psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurse specialists, and licensed professional counselors) to provide culturally competent, interdisciplinary primary health care services to underserved populations located in selected Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) (See “Definitions” page 35) identified by the Secretary of HHS. HPSAs can be found in rural and urban communities across the nation. In return, the NHSC LRP assists clinicians in their repayment of outstanding qualifying educational loans.
The NHSC seeks clinicians who demonstrate the characteristics for and an interest in serving the nation’s medically underserved populations and remaining in HPSAs beyond their service commitment. It is important to remember that service to HPSA populations, not the repayment of educational loans, is the primary purpose of the NHSC LRP.
What are the service options?
The NHSC LRP will provide funds to participants to repay their outstanding qualifying educational loans. Loan repayments are exempt from Federal income and employment taxes. These funds are not included as wages when determining benefits under the Social Security Act. Program options include:
(1) 2-year Full-Time Clinical Practice. The NHSC will pay up to $60,000* for an initial 2 years of full-time clinical practice to clinicians serving at an NHSC-approved service site with a HPSA score of 14 or higher. Applicants that will be working at NHSC-approved service sites with HPSA scores of 13 or lower are eligible to receive up to $40,000* for an initial 2 years of full-time clinical service.
Full-time clinical practice is defined as no less than 40 hours per week, for a minimum of 45 weeks per year. For a more detailed definition of full-time clinical practice, see the “Service Requirements” section on page 17.
(2) 4-year Half-Time Clinical Practice. The NHSC will pay up to $60,000* for an initial 4 years of half-time clinical practice to clinicians serving at an NHSC-approved service site with a HPSA score of 14 or higher. Applicants that will be working at NHSC-approved service sites with
Eligibility Requirements, Qualification Factors And Funding Preferences
To be eligible for loan repayment, all applicants must:
Be a U.S. citizen (either U.S. born or naturalized) or U.S. National
Participate or be eligible to participate as a provider in the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs, as appropriate
Not have any outstanding service obligation for health professional or other service to the Federal government (e.g., an active military obligation, an NHSC Scholarship Program obligation or a NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program obligation) or a State (e.g., a State Loan Repayment Program obligation) or other entity (e.g., a recruitment bonus that obligates you to remain employed at a certain site), unless the obligation would be completed by the application deadline (April 16, 2013) (see below for exception for members of a Reserve component of the Armed Forces or National Guard)
Not be in breach of a health professional service obligation to the Federal, State or local government
Not have any judgment liens arising from Federal debt
Not be excluded, debarred, suspended, or disqualified by a Federal agency
Submit a complete application that is received on or before April 16, 2013
Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP)
The Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP) Application Cycle for the 2013-2014 School Year will be open until June 27, 7:30 pm ET.
About the Faculty Loan Repayment Program
Health professions faculty from disadvantaged backgrounds can receive up to a maximum of $40,000 towards repayment of their student loans in exchange for educating tomorrow's clinicians.
Individuals selected to participate in the program agree to serve on the faculty of an accredited health professions college or university for 2 years. The Government pays up to a maximum of $40,000 of the participant's student loans and provides funds to offset the tax burden.
Participants should also receive matching funds from their employing educational institution.
Be a U.S. citizen (either U.S. born or naturalized), U.S. National or Lawful Permanent Resident. A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) is any person not a citizen of the U.S. who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. An LPR is also known as a "Permanent Resident Alien," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder."
With a degree or enrolled in an approved graduate training program in an eligible discipline:
- Allopathic Medicine
- Osteopathic Medicine
- Podiatric Medicine
- Veterinary Medicine
- Nursing (RN or Advanced Practice RN)
- Public Health (graduate level only)
- Physician Assistant
- Behavioral and Mental Health (graduate level only)
- Clinical Psychology
- Clinical Social Work
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Professional Counseling
- Allied Health Professions (baccalaureate or graduate degree programs)
- Dental Hygiene
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Radiologic Technology
- Speech Pathology
- Registered Dietitian
With an employment commitment for a full-time or part-time faculty position for a minimum of two years, beginning on or before July 31, 2013, from one of the following types of eligible schools:
- Allopathic Medicine
- Osteopathic Medicine
- Allied Health
- Podiatric Medicine
- Veterinary Medicine
- Public Health (graduate level only)
- A school offering physician assistant education programs
- A school offering graduate programs in behavioral and mental health
- From a disadvantaged background, based on environmental or economic factors.
Applicants with full-time or part-time employment at an eligible health professions school and a written agreement with the eligible health professions school to provide a full or partial match equal to the FLRP loan repayment will be funded first. If funds remain, applicants with full-time or part-time employment at an eligible health professions school will be funded. Part-time participants will be funded based on the percentage of a full-time position he or she works.