Now Open: 2020 NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program!

2019-10-07 | , American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

Applications Due October 31, 2019 by 7:30 PM ET

Multiple Technical Assistance (TA) Opportunities Available

(October 7, 2019) The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)'s National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) fiscal year (FY) 2020 application cycle is now open. The S2S LRP provides up to $120,000 in loan repayment assistance to medical (DO and MD) or dental (DDS or DMD) students in their final year of school in exchange for a commitment to provide primary health care services in eligible health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) of greatest need. The NHSC is seeking applicants who are interested in serving communities with limited access to health care and in providing care through their initial service commitment and beyond. HRSA requires that NHSC S2S LRP awardees practice in a federally designated HPSA. For more information individuals may visit the Health Workforce Connector.

A complete online application must be submitted by 7:30 PM ET on Thursday, October 31, 2019. For more information, please review the complete 2020 S2S LRP Application and Program Guidance.

Important note: According to the NHSC, it takes an average of approximately three weeks to prepare a complete application with all required and supplemental documentation. All supporting documentation for the application must be uploaded before an individual can submit a complete application package. The NHSC will not accept documentation by fax, mail, or email.

The NHSC will be hosting technical assistance sessions for those interested in applying for the program and to answer any questions:

Application Webinar
October 9
4:00 – 5:00 PM ET
Access Link
Dial in number: 800-857-1286
Passcode: 5851178

Q & A Sessions
October 16 & 28
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET
Access Link

Last year, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine partnered with the NHSC to host a webinar about applying to and qualifying for the NHSC S2S LRP. Much of the content of the webinar remains relevant for this year’s program, including the experiences shared by Nicole Gastala, MD, an NHSC S2S LRP award recipient who provided a unique perspective on her first-hand experience of what it's like to serve as an NHSC clinician.  View the webinar recording to learn more.

S2S LRP Program Information:

Awards are subject to the availability of funds. The NHSC anticipates making approximately 171 S2S LRP awards in FY20. The S2S LRP will provide funds to participants to repay their qualifying outstanding educational loans. Program options include:

  • Full-Time Clinical Practice: The NHSC will pay recipients up to $120,000 if they commit to three years of full-time clinical service-defined as no less than 40 hours per week, for a minimum of 45 weeks each service year.
  • Half-Time Clinical Practice: At the discretion of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a waiver of full-time service may be granted to allow participants to complete their service commitment through half-time service. The NHSC will pay recipients up to $120,000 if they commit to six years of half-time clinical service-defined as no less than 20 hours per week (not to exceed 39 hours per week), for a minimum of 45 weeks per service year.

To be eligible for the S2S LRP, all applicants must be:

  • A United States (U.S.) citizen or U.S. National;
  • Pursuing a DO, MD, DDS, or DMD degree at an accredited institution located in a State, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory;
  • Enrolled as a full-time student in the final year of medical or dental school with a graduation date before July 1, 2020; and
  • Eligible for federal employment. 

Medical students must have passed Step/Level 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) and pass Step/Level 2 before graduation. In addition, medical students must be planning to complete an accredited primary medical care residency in an NHSC-approved specialty. Participants who, at any time, pursue training that is not approved under the NHSC S2S LRP will be in default and owe damages as described in the program guidelines. On a case-by-case basis, requests may be approved by physician participants who are in their final year of postgraduate training to complete certain approved postgraduate training programs (fellowships), which are outlined in the program guidelines.

Applicant Resources:

Applicants may visit the NHSC S2S LRP website for fact sheets and other resources.

For questions, please call 1-800-221-9393 (TTY: 1-877-897-9910) Monday through Friday (except federal holidays) 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.