National Health Service Corps

Counselor

Loan Repayment * Students to Service Loan Repayment Program * Scholarship Program * Commitment and Consequences * Other Resources

Loan Repayment Program

NHSC offers loan repayment assistance to primary care medical, dental, or mental/behavioral health clinicians who choose to work where they are most needed. You must obtain a job at a qualified NHSC site before applying to the loan repayment program. Providers earn a market-rate salary, paid by the employing facility – as well as up to $50,000 toward their student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment – and can choose to serve longer for additional loan repayment support.

Eligible fields are:

Medical Primary Care: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Geriatrics, Mental Health

  • Allopathic and Osteopathic Physicians (MD, DO)
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP)
  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)
  • Physician Assistants (PA)

Dental Primary Care: Family/General, Pediatric, Geriatric

  • Doctors of Dental Surgery (DDS)
  • Doctors of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD)
  • Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH)

Mental and Behavioral Health Primary Care

  • Allopathic and Osteopathic Physicians - Psychiatry (MD or DO)
  • Health Service Psychologists (HSP)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
  • Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)
  • Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT)
  • Psychiatric Nurse Specialists (PNS)
  • Nurse Practitioners - Mental Health (NP)
  • Physician Assistants - Mental Health (PA)

Find NHSC-approved job sites here: NHSC Jobs Center.

Learn more with this fact sheet.

Students to Service Loan Repayment Program

Under the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP), medical students (MD or DO) in their final year of school can receive loan repayment assistance - up to $120,000 with 3 years of full-time, or 6 years of half-time service - in return for providing health care in urban, rural, or frontier communities with limited access to care.

To be eligible, spouses must be:

  • A U.S. citizen (U.S. born or naturalized) or U.S. national
  • Enrolled full-time in their final year at a fully accredited medical school in an eligible allopathic or osteopathic degree program
  • Planning to complete an accredited primary medical care residency in an NHSC-approved specialty (Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Geriatrics, and Psychiatry)

S2S LRP participants must work at NHSC-approved sites, which are published each year.

Learn more with this NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program fact sheet.

Scholarship Program

You can apply to the Scholarship Program if you are accepted to or enrolled in an accredited U.S. school to become a:

  • Physician (MD or DO)
  • Dentist
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife
  • Physician Assistant
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The scholarship pays tuition, fees, other educational costs, and provides a living stipend in return for your commitment to work at a NHSC-approved site in a medically underserved community.

For each year of scholarship financial support (up to four years), spouses must serve one year at an NHSC-approved high-need urban, rural, or frontier U.S. site. The minimum commitment is two years, and service begins upon graduation or residency training. Scholars earn a market-rate salary, paid by the employing facility.

Commitment and Consequences

Particularly for military spouses, NHSC knows situations may arise that make it difficult to complete a service commitment in one location. If you PCS or move for another reason, you can apply for a transfer. However, NHSC must approve any transfers first, even to another approved site, to avoid violating your service commitment and breeching a NHSC LRP contract. Violating your commitment and breeching your contract can result in very costly financial penalties.

In certain situations, NHSC may agree to suspend or waive your service commitment if completing it becomes impossible or would involve an extreme hardship. A suspension of your service may be granted for a temporary situation, while a waiver of contract obligations may only be granted in the rare instance where a Corps member becomes permanently unable to meet their service commitment.

There are no special exceptions for military spouses.

Other Resources

  • NHSC Jobs Center - search jobs and sites by geography, HPSA score, or discipline.
  • Virtual Job Fairs - connects job-seekers with sites. Showcases open positions and allows participants to virtually “chat” with interested candidates.
  • Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Your Practice Site fact sheet.
  • Testimonial: Dentist Kelly Crooker joined NHSC after she left the Army to help repay her dental school loans. Watch her story and other member videos on the NHSC Playlist.

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