This program provides for the repayment of qualifying educational loans for health professionals. In return, the health professional commits to fulfill a service obligation in an eligible practice site within a federally designated health professional shortage area (HPSA) for a minimum of two years. Loan repayment amounts for a two-year contract are $35,000 for physicians and $19,000 for non-physicians. Physicians can contract up to four years and receive $100,000. Non-physicians can contract up to three years and receive $35,000. Please see chart below. The loan repayments are exempt from gross income and employment taxes.
To be eligible a health professional must:
- Be a United States citizen
- Have professional credentials certifying that provider is a Primary Care Physician, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife, Primary Care Physician Assistant, General Practice Dentist, Registered Clinical Dental Hygienist, Clinical or Counseling Psychologist, Psychiatric Nurse Specialist, Certified Social Worker, Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, or Marriage and Family Therapist
- Agree to practice full time as a health professional in an eligible facility for a minimum of two years
- Be free of judgments arising from federal debt
Requirements to be a certified eligible entity:
- Must be a public or not-for-profit private or public entity located in a federally designated HPSA in the areas of primary care, mental health, or dental health, as are appropriate to the applicant.
- Agree to pay a dollar-for-dollar match on non-federal funds of the federal portion of the loan repayment amount for provider's educational loans.
How does it work?
An eligible entity begins the State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) by recruiting a health professional using the SLRP as an enticement.
The health professional applies for loan repayment by filling out an application which provides eligibility information to the Office of Rural Health.
The Office of Rural Health determines eligibility of the health professional and makes a recommendation to the Secretary of Health regarding the status of each applicant.
The health professional and the eligible entity enter into a State Loan Repayment Program contract with the Department of Health.
Office of Rural Health
600 E. Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501