Health Professions Loan Assistance Program Information
Health care professionals (physicians, psychiatrists, dentists, dental hygienists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives) in Wisconsin can receive up to $50,000 in education loan assistance through the Health Professions Loan Assistance Program (HPLAP). To be eligible, providers must work full time in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). Information on a community’s HPSA status can be found on the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s HPSA site. Providers must agree to work three years in an eligible underserved rural or urban community. Awards are federal and state income tax exempt. Additional HPSA information, including maps, is available here.
The links below contain the most recent information on the HPLAP program:
For primary and mental health care providers
For dental care providers
Rural Physician Loan Assistance Program
Primary care physicians and psychiatrists practicing in a rural* community are also eligible for an additional award. In 2010 the Wisconsin legislature established the Rural Physician Loan Assistance Program, which grants physicians practicing in a rural community up to $50,000 in loan assistance funds. Physicians practicing in rural communities qualify for this funding whether or not the worksite is located in a HPSA. Physicians practicing in a rural HPSA can apply for both programs and potentially receive a total award of $100,000.
* For the purposes of this award, the state legislature defined "rural" as any of the following:
- A city, town, or village that has a population of less than 20,000 and that is at least 15 miles from any city, town, or village that has a population of at least 20,000.
- An area that is not an urbanized area, as defined by the federal bureau of the census.
The application period for 2017 awards is closed. The Office will begin accepting applications for 2018 awards May 15, 2017. The application deadline will be September 19, 2017.
If you are interested in applying for these competitive programs you must complete an online application (available May 15) and upload the following material:
- Copy of the current balance of each eligible loan.
- Proof of your education/training (copy of your diploma, letter from the school stating dates of attendance and program completion or transcripts that state dates of attendance and program completion).
In addition, your employer must complete an online form (link available within the application) and upload the following:
- A copy of their policy for accommodating patients unable to pay full price for services, if they have such a policy.
- A letter detailing their commitment to your retention.
You can access examples of the employee application and employer form below:
Employee Application Form
Employer Application Form
Other Loan Assistance Programs
Indian Health Service’s Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
- Indian Health Service’s LRP is a competitive program that awards up to $24,000 a year for a two year commitment to work in a Service-approved site. Eligible professions include physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, therapists, psychologists, social workers, environmental health, and other allied health professions. Additional information is available on their website.
National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
- The Health Resources and Services Administration’s NHSC is a competitive program that awards up to $50,000 in education loan repayment funds for health care providers who agree to work for two years in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). This program is similar to Wisconsin’s Health Professions Loan Assistance Program and is open to physicians, dentists, advance practice nurses (NPs, PAs, CNMs), dental hygienists and mental health professionals. Information on the federal program is available on the NHSC website. The NHSC is administered by the WI Department of Health Services; additional information is available on their website.
Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP)
- The Health Resources and Services Administration’s NELRP is a competitive program that repays 60% of the qualifying loan balance of eligible registered nurses, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs) nurse practitioners (NPs) and clinical nurse specialists. Those selected for funding must agree to work for 2 years at a critical shortage facility. Participants may be eligible to work a third year and receive an additional 25% of their qualifying loan balance. More information on the NELRP website, including the application and information on critical shortage facilities.
Primary Care and Psychiatry Shortage Grant
- The State of Wisconsin Higher Education Aids Board (WHEAB) provides competitive grants to primary care physicians, general surgeons and psychiatrists who agree to practice in a rural or urban federally designated shortage area. Providers must file a Notice of Intent to practice in an underserved Wisconsin community prior to accepting employment or becoming in any other way affiliated as a physician in an underserved area in the state of Wisconsin. This program is not based on loan assistance or repayment. More information on the Primary Care and Psychiatry Shortage Grant can be found on the WHEAB website.