General and pediatric dentists (and in some cases, dental hygienists) working in underserved areas are eligible to apply for repayment of school loans related to their professional training. There are several sources of funds available for loan repayment. The key components of the programs are outlined in the Comparison of Loan Repayment Programs table.
Ohio Dentist Loan Repayment Program (ODLRP)
In July 2003, the Ohio General Assembly enacted law creating the ODLRP (Sections 3702.850-3702.95 of the Ohio Revised Code). For the program rules, click here. The intent of this legislation is to encourage new dentists to practice in underserved areas of Ohio by providing loan repayment for dentists who agree to provide care in those areas (as defined in the program rules.) Eligible candidates include:
- dental students enrolled in the final year of dental school;
- dental residents in the final year of pediatric or general practice residency or in advanced education in general dentistry programs; and
- general and pediatric dentists.
To qualify for loan repayment, dentists must provide services in underserved areas for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Also, services must be provided for Medicaid-eligible persons and others without regard to a patient's inability to pay. Dentists are paid a salary in addition to the loan repayment they receive.
Applicants who currently have an obligation for service with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholar or Loan Repayment Program, the ODLRP, DWLRP or other entity are not eligible to participate unless that service obligation will be completely satisfied prior to signing the ODLRP contract.