Through the Virginia State Loan Repayment Program, qualified healthcare professionals may qualify for student loan repayment assistance. This VA-SLRP is operated by the Virginia Department of Health-Office of Health Equity (VDH-OHE) providing a non-taxed incentive to qualified medical, dental, behavioral health and pharmaceutical (pharmacists) professionals in return for a minimum of two (2) years of service at an eligible practice site in one of the federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in a qualified field of practice in Virginia. Read on to see eligibility requirements, award amounts, and the application process for the Virginia State Loan Repayment Program.
In order to be eligible for the Virginia State Loan Repayment Program, you will need to meet some or all of the following criteria:
All applicants shall meet the following criteria to be eligible for the VA-SLRP: – Shall sign and submit an application packet to participate in the VA-SLRP. The applicant shall include the following in the application packet:
1. Application with full legal name as it appears on the social security card
2. Copy of a valid social security number
3. Application with original signatures
4. Professional experience narrative
5. Proof of qualifying loan (original statement from the lender)
6. Employment contract with original signatures and employment start date
7. Complete certificates included in the application (release, loan & non-delinquent status)
8. Copy of active and valid Virginia medical license
9. Recommendation letters- Two required
10. Criminal history check (form: SP-167 from the Virginia State Police) (original only) or most recent background check from your employer, not older that one year.
11. Application for recruitment for the practice-site (to be filled out by the practice site)
12. HPSA designation and HPSA score for the practice site (http://www.hrsa.gov/shortage)
13. Cash match letter (templates for cash match and cash match request from the state are available at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/OHE/primarycare/incentives/loanrepayment/index.htm)
– Note: A cash match is not required for Tobacco Region applicants; complete request letter and provide proof of residency;
14. Live & Work in the Tobacco Region –This applies only to providers applying for Tobacco Region funds
- Shall be citizens or nationals of the United States
- Note: Virginia Residency is not required, but the daily traveling distance shall be no longer than two (2) hours each way.
- Have completed residency training and be board eligible or board certified in an eligible specialty;
- Have completed graduate or appropriate training from an accredited program
- Shall be licensed in Virginia in one of the approved specialties;
- Shall be eligible for federal employment;
- Shall have a signed contract to begin full-time employment at an approved site; or
- Shall be currently practicing full-time at an approved eligible site; o Full-time service equates to 40 hours per week for a minimum of 45 weeks per year
- A maximum of eight (8) hours per week of practice-related administrative activities is allowed and at least 32 hours per week shall be direct patient care at an approved site.
How much can I expect to be awarded?
Through the Virginia State Loan Repayment Program, qualified applicants may be eligible to receive assistance towards paying off their student loans. Here is a breakdown per program of what you may qualify for in terms of repayment:
- The minimum service obligation for the initial approval is two (2) years, and for that time, the maximum payment is $100,000. A maximum amount of $50,000 is paid by the community/practice site in the first two years of the agreement and up to $50,000 paid by the VA-SLRP Program. For the third and fourth renewal years, extensions can be awarded each year for a total of up to $40,000. This includes a cash match ($20,000 Federal and $20,000 Community/Practice Site match). The amount of the Federal portion of the award will be determined partially by the amount provided by the participants’ practice site cash match portion or the advisory committee for those who are applying for a state match. The total amount of awards for all four years cannot exceed $140,000 nor the current loan balance. All approvals are based on the availability of funds.
For further information on these programs and what you may qualify head over to the program’s website.
What loans qualify for this program?
The following loans qualify for the Virginia State Loan Repayment Program:
• Stafford loans
• Grad PLUS loans
• Consolidation loans
• Perkins loans
• Private student loans
How do I apply for this repayment program?
Head over to the program website here for a full breakdown of this year’s requirements and application guidelines.