All across the United States of America, there are many state-run programs in which there is student loan forgiveness. Arizona is one of a handful of states that has a great student loan repayment program. This program is known as the Arizona State Loan Repayment Program. Through this program, the state of Arizona offers a handful of repayment programs geared towards students who work in areas of shortage. This program specifically targets people who work in the healthcare industry. Through this program, you may qualify for thousands in student loan repayments.
In order for you to be eligible for this program, you will need to meet some of the following requirements:
- Be a U. S. Citizen (U.S Born or Naturalized) or U.S. National
- Be fully licensed to practice in Arizona in one of the following disciplines: An allopathic (MD) or osteopathic (DO) physician in the field of family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, internal medicine, geriatrics, or psychiatry;
- Advance practice providers: A nurse practitioner or a physician assistant in the field of family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, internal medicine, or geriatrics; or a certified nurse midwife
- General Dentist
- Behavioral Health Providers: A Nurse Practitioner or a physician assistant who is certified to practice as a behavioral health specialist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed professional counselor; clinical psychologist, or licensed marriage and family therapist
- Have completed the final year of a course of study or program approved by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for higher education in a health profession licensed under A.R.S. Title 32
- If a physician, shall have completed a professional residency program in a primary health care specialty, and be board certified or eligible to sit for the certifying examination in the specialty
- Has current or prospective employment with an eligible employer or service site
- Agree to contract with ADHS to provide outpatient primary care services full-time for at least 40 hours per week or half-time for at least 20 hours per week at an approved service site for a minimum of two years
- Note: Inpatient services provided at critical access hospitals (CAH) could qualify if in conjunction with outpatient services in a rural health clinic or CAH-affiliated clinic. For more information about the service requirements for providers in CAH, click here.
- Except for a primary care provider working at an eligible free clinic or a federal or state prison, agree to charge for primary care services at the usual and customary rates prevailing in the primary care area, except that:
- A patient unable to pay the usual and customary rates is charged a reduced rate according to the service site’s or employer’s sliding-fee schedule required by R9-15-204, a nominal fee less than the sliding-fee schedule, or not charged; and
- A medically uninsured individual from a family unit with an annual income at or below 200% of the poverty level is charged according to a sliding-fee schedule required by R9-15-203 or not charged;
- Agree not to discriminate on the basis of a patient’s ability to pay or a payment source, including Medicare, AHCCCS, and a qualifying health plan.
- Agree to accept assignment for payment under Medicare if providing primary care services to adults, AHCCCS, and a qualifying health plan.
- Have qualifying student loans that are still owed for loan repayment
- Have completely satisfied any other service obligation owed under an agreement with a federal (e.g., an active military obligation or a National Health Service Corps Program obligation), a State (e.g., Scholarship Program obligation) or local government, or other entity, prior to beginning a period of service under this program ◦Note: Individuals in the Reserve Component of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard are eligible to participate in the SLRP. If the SLRP participant’s military training and/or service, in combination with the participant’s other absences from the service site, exceed 35 workdays per service year, the SLRP service obligation will be extended to compensate for the break in service.
The following are not eligible to participate:
- Individuals who have Primary Care Loans through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions are NOT eligible to participate in the SLRP.
- Individuals who have an outstanding contractual obligation for health professional service to the Federal Government, or to a State or other entity, unless that service obligation will be completely satisfied before the SLRP contract has been signed. Please note that certain provisions in employment contracts can create a service obligation (e.g., an employer offers a physician a recruitment bonus in return for the physician’s agreement to work at that facility for a certain period of time or pay back the bonus).
- Individuals with any federal judgment liens.
- Individuals who have: ◦A current default on any Federal payment obligations (e.g., Health Education Assistance Loans, Nursing Student Loans, Federal income tax liabilities, Federal Housing Authority loans, etc.) even if the creditor now considers them to be in good standing;
- Breached a prior service obligation to the Federal/State/local government or other entity, even if they subsequently satisfied the obligation; and
- Had any Federal or non-Federal debt written off as uncollectible or received a waiver of any Federal service or payment obligation.
- Individuals who are delinquent on payment of court-ordered child support or state taxes
How much should be expected through his award?
The award amounts for this program will vary depending on the field and time period in which you have been working in the specific field. These funds are grated via A.A.C. Title 9 Chapter 15 R9-15-209. Factors that will determine the amount granted are based on the following criteria:
- Provider type
- Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) score Full-time or Half-time
- Contract year of service
- Availability of funds
What Loans Qualify?
The following loan options will qualify for this program:
- Refinanced Student Loans (must be Federal, State or local)
- Consolidated Student Loans (must be Federal, State or local)
Consolidated/Refinanced Loans are eligible for loan repayment. Consolidated/refinanced loans must be from a Government (Federal, State, or local) or commercial lender and must be for the applicant’s qualifying educational loans only.
- Qualifying Educational Loans
If an eligible educational loan was consolidated/refinanced with debt other than educational loans of the applicant, no portion of the consolidated/refinanced loan will be eligible for loan repayment.
For loans to remain eligible for the State Loan Repayment Programs, applicants must keep their eligible educational loans segregated from all other debts. Eligible educational loans should not be consolidated with loans owed by any other person, such as a spouse or child.
Obligations or debts incurred under the following are ineligible for loan repayment funds:
- A loan for which a primary care provider incurred a health professional service obligation which will not be fulfilled before the deadline for submission of a LRP initial application;
- A loan for which the associated documentation does not identify that the loan was solely applicable to the undergraduate or graduate education of a primary care provider;
- A Primary Care Loan;
- A loan subject to cancellation; or
- A residency loan.
How to apply?
There are two different ways in which you can apply for the Arizona State Loan Repayment Program. The first way is the recommended way which is via their electronic system. There is an alternate way which is via a paper application system. Both options processes will be highlighted below.
Electronic Application System:
“NEW” Electronic Application System
The State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is pleased to inform you that we have launched the SLRP electronic application system. This project was a result of a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Initiative that the program participated in 2017. The CQI project was undertaken to improve program efficiency and customer service. The SLRP electronic application system is one of the CQI interventions that we have implemented.
The SLRP electronic application system has been launched in two phases:
- First Phase: The online Site Registration cycle is open from March 1, 2018, through April 15, 2018. During this cycle, sites that wish to participate in SLRP can create their profile and register online. ADHS hosted a series of webinars about the Site Registration Portal. The webinar materials are below.
- Second Phase: The online Provider Application cycle will open on April 18, 2018, to June 1st, 2018. Providers who wish to be considered for SLRP must submit their application and required supporting documents through the portal. Please note that providers whose sites are not registered in the portal will NOT be able to apply online. At this time, the Provider Application portal is built for Initial Applications only. Initial Applications are applications for a two-year service commitment from applicants who have not participated in SLRP before. ADHS hosted a series of webinars about the Provider Application Portal. The Webinar materials are below.
Paper Application System:
A complete Initial Application must be received by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Workforce Programs at the address below by June 1st of each calendar year.
Workforce Section Manager
Bureau of Women’s and Children’s Health, ADHS
150 N. 18th Avenue, Suite 320
Phoenix, AZ 85007
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that his/her application is received by the due date specified. Any applications received after the due date will not be considered and will be returned to the applicant.
To apply for loan repayment, new applicants must provide to ADHS a complete initial application that includes ALL of the following documents:
- Initial Application Form
- Employer and Service Site Information Form (one form for each service site)
- Substitute W9 Form with original signature and date
Note: If you have issues opening the Substitute W9 link, please open in Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.
- Required Supporting Documents Checklist
All initial applications will be scored per the health service priority methodology in A.A.C. R9-15-207 and A.A.C. R9-15-208 whichever is applicable. Allocation of funds for new applications will be based on descending order of health service priority score. Per A.A.C. R9-15-209, there is a limit in the number of new primary care providers per site or per employer who can be awarded each fiscal year. If funds remain available after July 1st, applicants who were not approved for the initial loan repayment contract during the calendar year may re-apply by submitting a Supplemental Initial Application to ADHS by October 1st.
Contingent upon availability of funds after the June initial application period, applicants who were not approved for the initial loan repayment contract during the same calendar year may re-apply during an open October application cycle (contingent upon funding) by submitting a Supplemental Initial Application to ADHS by October 1st.
NOTE: Only complete applications will be considered for an Arizona State Loan Repayment Program award. If the received initial application is deemed incomplete upon ADHS’ administrative completeness review, program staff will contact the applicant and will provide twenty (20) working days for the applicant to address the deficiencies and complete his/her application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to understand the identified deficiencies and necessary documents needed. Applications that were not completed during the given time period will be withdrawn from the applicant pool. Withdrawn applications will be returned to the applicant.