The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program encourages licensed primary care health professionals to serve in Washington's critical shortage areas. The program provides financial assistance through either conditional scholarships or loan repayment. The loan repayment portion of the program provides educational repayment assistance to licensed primary care health professionals. Applicants agree to provide primary care health care in rural or underserved urban areas with designated shortages.
In 2014, approximately 100 health professionals worked in underserved areas of Washington as a result of this program. Since 1990, the program has funded over 1,000 professionals serving in 38 Washington counties. Further, according to a recent national survey, over 80 percent of the recipient responders anticipate remaining in their health professional shortage service site for two additional years following their service term.
Two programs provide educational loan repayment assistance (click on table to the right for more information):
- The Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) uses matching federal grant funds for awards.
- The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) uses state dollars only for awards.
The FSLRP provider application opens in January and closes in mid-March. It is a two-year contract with a maximum award of $70,000. Awardees must work a minimum of 40 hours per week. The HPLRP provider application opens in mid-March and closes at the end of May. It is a minimum three-year contract with a maximum award of $75,000. Awardees may work less than full time, but a minimum of 24 hours per week, which then prorates their service obligation period. Due to changes in the program, carefully read the provider reference guides provided in the tab below before initiating an application.
FSLRP eligible professions include:
Physician (MD/DO) - Family Medicine, Women’s Health, General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, General Pediatrics
General Psychiatrist (MD/DO)* - must meet the qualifications for physicians above AND serve exclusively in mental health HPSAs
Physician Assistant* - Adult, Family, Pediatric, Psychiatric, Mental Health, Geriatrics, and Women’s Health
Nurse Practitioner* - Adult, Family; Pediatric, Psychiatric, Mental Health, Geriatrics, and Women’s Health
Certified Nurse Midwife - must have a master’s degree or post-baccalaureate certificate from a school accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM); national certification by the American Midwifery Certification Board (formerly the ACNM Certification Council); AND a current, full, permanent, unencumbered, unrestricted health professional license, certificate, or registration (whichever is applicable) from Washington State
Pharmacist - must work as a general staff pharmacist, filling and dispensing prescriptions. Time spent on educational classes, working with specialty patients (such as warfarin, diabetes) would fall under same the eight-hour rule as the other professions.
Dentist (DDS, DMD)
*Include mental health
HPLRP eligible professions include:
- Physician (MD/DO) - Family Medicine, Women’s Health, General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, General Pediatrics, and General Psychiatry
- Naturopathic Physician
- Physician Assistant* - Adult, Family, Pediatric, Psychiatry, Mental Health, Geriatrics, and Women’s Health
- Nurse Practitioner* - Adult, Family, Pediatric, Psychiatry, Mental Health, Geriatrics, and Women’s Health
- Registered Nurse*
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
- Licensed Midwife
- Pharmacist - must work as a general staff pharmacist, filling and dispensing prescriptions. Time spent on educational classes, working with specialty patients (such as warfarin, diabetes) would fall under same the eight-hour rule as the other professions
- Dentist (DDS, DMD)
- Dental Hygienist
*Include mental health
Information on eligible sites:
The site application is tentatively scheduled to open in August and run through October. Please check this website for updates on the exact opening and closing dates. Sites may apply to be approved for both the FSLRP and the HPLRP through one application.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be employed or have a contract to begin seeing patients no later than July 1, 2016.
- Submit documentation of eligible outstanding educational debt (does not include loans with a cosigner or loans not in their name).
- Provide primary care – not specialty care.
- Be employed at an eligible site. Stand-alone urgent care/walk-in clinics, specialty care, or placement agencies are not considered eligible sites. The applicant must be a permanent employee of the site.
- Sign a contract to serve the minimum required years or pay back the funds with penalty.
- Be employed or have a contract to begin employment (seeing patients) at an eligible site no later than July 1, 2016.
- Submit the required quarterly service verfication form and supporting payment history to show funds are being applied to eligible loans.
- Awardees of the Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) agree to serve for a minimum of two years.
- Awardees of the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) agree to serve for a minimum of three years.
Applying for loan repayment:
To apply for the Loan Repayment Program, visit the WSAC web portal.
The 2016-17 application cycle will have two rounds and will follow the schedule below.
Health sites apply annually to participate in the program. Sites may apply to be approved for both the FSLRP and the HPLRP through one application. Check back for the 2017-18 application timeline. The eligible site list is posted in January.
- Sites must reapply each year to be listed on the eligible site list.
- New site applicants must first register and then contact the program (360.753.7794) to have their site added.
- If the organization has multiple clinics/locations, each individual site (physical location) must submit a separate application.
- Dental, medical, mental health, and pharmacy (new this year) applications must be submitted separately.
- May apply for multiple professions.
- May apply for both recruitment and retention.
- Must submit the application online by the deadline date.
- Will be notified of application status application by email.
The site application must be approved prior to the provider being eligible to apply.
Both the site application and provider application are competitive processes. Not all who apply will be approved or awarded.
For more information, please see the site reference guides:
- Federal-State Loan Repayment Program site reference guide
- Health Professional Loan Repayment Program site reference guide
To be eligible for the Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) the site must either be located in a Federal Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or have a HPSA designation with a score of 1 or higher. Visit the HRSA Date Warehouse to find out if your site qualifies.
The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) does not require a HPSA designation to be eligible.
Information on the application process:
The Washington Student Achievement Council, in coordination with the Department of Health, oversees the site application process. When the site application cycle opens, sites will be able to access the online application (the application is not accessible outside the application cycle window). Click on register and follow the directions to register under the column "Students/Parents/Other." Then select "Register as a Health Professional."
If you have submitted an online site application previously, enter your email address and password to login and access your site application. If you forgot your password, click on the link to reset your password. Please note, you will not be able to access the application when the application cycle is not open.
Once you submit the application, you will not be able to make changes. Contact Chris Wilkins at email@example.com or call 360-753-7794 with questions.