Grants to States for Loan Repayment


To increase the availability of primary health care in health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) by assisting States in operating programs for the repayment of educational loans of health professionals in return for their practice in HPSAs.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; C - Direct Payments For Specified Use
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2018 Since its inception in 1972, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) has worked to support qualified health care providers dedicated to working in underserved communities in urban, rural, and tribal areas. Across the nation, NHSC clinicians serve patients in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) – communities with limited access to health care. As of September 30, 2018, there were 6,815 primary care HPSAs, 5,632 dental HPSAs, and 4,929 mental health HPSAs. The NHSC seeks clinicians who demonstrate a commitment to serve the Nation’s medically underserved populations at NHSC-approved sites located in HPSAs. NHSC-approved sites provide care to individuals regardless of ability to pay; currently, there are over 16,400 NHSC-approved sites. Eligible sites include Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and FQHC Look-Alikes, American Indian and Native Alaska health clinics, rural health clinics, critical access hospitals and hospitals managed or owned by the Indian Health Service (IHS), school-based clinics, mobile units, free clinics, community mental health centers, state or local health departments, community outpatient facilities, federal facilities such as the Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, IHS, and private practices. In particular, the NHSC has partnered closely with HRSA-supported FQHCs to help meet their staffing needs. Over 60 percent of NHSC clinicians serve in Health Centers around the nation, and 15 percent of clinical staff at FQHCs are NHSC clinicians. The NHSC also places clinicians in other community-based systems of care that serve underserved populations, targeting HPSAs of greatest need. As of September 30, 2018, there are 10,939 primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health practitioners providing service nationwide.
Public Health Service Act, Title III, Section 338I, 42 U.S.C. 254 q-1(h), as amended; Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-10).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible entities include the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau
Beneficiary Eligibility
Applicants for State programs must have completed a course of study required to practice independently without supervision as one of the following health care professionals: Doctor of Allopathic Medicine or Osteopathic Medicine, General Practice Dentist (D.D.S. or D.M.D.), Pediatric Dentist, Primary Care Certified Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse-Midwife, Primary Care Registered Nurse, Pharmacist, Primary Care Physician Assistant, Registered Clinical Dental Hygienist, Health Service Psychologist (formerly Clinical or Counseling Psychologist (Ph.D. or equivalent), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (master's or doctoral degree in social work), Psychiatric Nurse Specialist, Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor (master's or doctoral degree with a major study in counseling), Marriage and Family Therapist (master's or doctoral degree with a major study in marriage and family therapy),Registered Nurse and Pharmacist. The primary care specialties approvable for physicians are: family medicine (and osteopathic general practice), internal medicine, including geriatricians, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, and geriatrics and general psychiatry. General practitioners (physicians who have not completed residency training programs) are not eligible for funding under the SLRP. The primary care specialties approval for registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are: adult, family, pediatrics, psychiatry/mental health, geriatrics, or women's health. Participants must provide full-time clinical service for a minimum of two years in a public or non-profit entity located in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). Refer to the NHSC State Loan Repayment Program Guidance for specific requirements.
Applicants should review the individual HRSA Notice of Funding Opportunity announcement issued under this CFDA program for any required proof or certifications which must be submitted prior to or simultaneous with submission of an application package.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. HRSA requires all applicants to apply electronically through
Award Procedure
Notification is made in writing by Notice of Award
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Approximately 120 to 180 days after receipt of application.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Procedures for assessing the technical merit of grant applications have been instituted to provide an objective review of applications and to assist the applicant in understanding the standards against which each application will be judged. Critical indicators have been developed for each review criterion to assist the applicant in presenting pertinent information related to that criterion and to provide the reviewer with a standard for evaluation. Competing applications are reviewed by non-Federal expert consultant(s) for technical merit recommendations. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated against the following criteria: (1) Purpose and Need; (2) Response to Program Purpose; (3) Impact; (4) Organizational Information, Resources and Capabilities; and (5) Support Requested. See the most recent Notice of Funding Opportunity for detailed selection criteria.
How may assistance be used?
Funds under this grant must only be used to repay the qualifying educational loans of health professionals who have entered into State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) contract with the States.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Recipients are required to maintain grant accounting records 3 years after the date they submit the Federal Financial Report (FFR). If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit or other action involving the award has been started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records shall be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it, or until the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. States must agree to make available (directly or through donations from public or private entities) non-Federal contributions in cash toward SLRP contracts in an amount not less than $1 for each $1 of Federal funds provided in the grant. A State may not use any Federal funds or in-kind contributions to satisfy the non-Federal match requirement. A State must verify that contributions from sources other than State appropriated funds are non-Federal. States may use non-Federal funds in excess of the $1 for $1 minimum match to supplement the repayment of qualifying loans of health professionals. The Federal share must be used to repay the government and commercial loans of health professionals for tuition, educational expenses and living expenses described in Section 338B(g)(1) of the Public Health Service Act. States must assume administrative costs.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
This funding opportunity provides support for a 4-year project period. States are asked to commit the full amount of funding for their loan repayment awards to practitioners in the current fiscal year to avoid out-year commitments for additional Federal funds. Recipients drawdown funds, as necessary, from the Payment Management System (PMS), the centralized web based payment system for HHS awards. Recipients drawdown funds, as necessary, from the Payment Management System (PMS). PMS is the centralized web based payment system for HHS awards.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Division of National Health Service Corps, Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 14N58
Rockville, MD 20857 US
Phone: (301) 594-4400
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 18$12,485,936.00; FY 19 est $18,979,864.00; FY 20 est $20,000,000.00; FY 17$12,633,936.00; FY 16$13,070,603.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
FY 18 awards ranged from $80,000 to $1,000,000, with an average award of $337,457.73. FY 19 awards ranged from$68,000 to $1,000,000, with an average award of $ 441,392.19. FY 20 awards (est) ranged from$68,000 to $1,000,000, with an average award of $ 441,392.19.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
All administrative and audit requirements and the cost principles that govern Federal monies associated with this activity will be subject to the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 as codified by HHS at 45 CFR 75.. HRSA awards are also subject to the requirements of the HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) that are applicable based on recipient type and purpose of award. The HHS GPS is available at
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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