State and Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs


Dentists, dental hygienists and allied dental providers are eligible for the programs described in the chart below where applicable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.


Stay abreast of state legislation related to student loan repayment programs by visiting the ADEA U.S. Interactive Legislative Tracking Map and selecting “Student Loan Repayment Programs” from the drop-down menu. Bills will be added to the interactive map as they are introduced throughout the state legislative sessions. 


If you have any questions about the chart or its content, please contact the ADEA Advocacy and Government Relations Team at AGR@adea.org.  

 

Download a printable version of the 2023 ADEA Summary of State and Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs. PDF

 

STATE PROGRAM DETAILS

Alabama no longer takes part in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) State Loan Repayment Program.


The Alabama Board of Dental Scholarship Awards operates the Dental Service Program. PDF The Board may award an annual loan worth up to the annual cost of in-state tuition and required fees at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry (UAB SOD). Loans are awarded based on economic need and scholastic ability. Loans may be forgiven, but an applicant must agree to work full-time in a clinical practice as a licensed dentist in an area of critical need for five years and agree to participate in the state Medicaid program. 


The Alabama Board of Dental Scholarship Awards will award student loans in an amount not to exceed the full amount of annual tuition at UAB SOD for a maximum of four years. The Board may award a number of loans equal to 20% of the students enrolled at UAB SOD each academic year. These loans can be repaid with cash or through service by agreeing to practice in an approved area in need. The Board may also award a number of merit scholarships equal to 5% of the students enrolled at UAB SOD. To learn more about awards given by the Alabama Board of Dental Scholarship Awards, call the Board at 205-934-8132.

HB 133 became law in June 2023. This bill created the Preceptor Tax Incentive Program. Once established, a community-based dentist will be allowed a credit of $500 per rotation, up to an annual maximum of $6,000. Under the bill, a community-based preceptor is a licensed dentist who provides medical services in a health care facility that is physically located in the state and not owned or operated by a qualified medical, dental, optometric, nursing or osteopathic school and who, through an agreement with a qualified school physically located in the state, provides one or more clinical preceptorships for students in a medical program, dental program, optometric program, physician assistant program, anesthesia assistant program, certified registered nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife or certified registered nurse anesthetist program for which he or she receives no monetary compensation.

 

The Alaska State Loan Repayment Program is also called the Supporting Health Access (through loan) Repayment program (SHARP). SHARP-I is the traditional option. The program offers loan repayment for primary care clinicians working in federal health professional shortage areas (HPSAs), largely with underserved populations. SHARP is jointly supported by funds from several sources, including the State of Alaska’s General Fund, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as by required partial employer match. 


Dentists may earn up to $35,000 per year or, for very hard-to-fill areas, $47,000 per year. Dental hygienists may earn up to $20,000 per year or, for very hard-to-fill areas, $27,000. Settings include community health centers, tribal health clinics and critical access hospitals, among others. 


A new component to Alaska’s SHARP Program, SHARP-3, is still in development. The SHARP-3 option was established through the passage of SB 93 in 2019. This bill established the Health Care Professionals Workforce Enhancement Program. Under this program, health professionals agree to work for three years in underserved areas in exchange for repayment of student loans or direct incentives. Dentists may be eligible for up to $35,000 annually, or up to $47,250 annually when employed in a very hard to fill position. Hygienists may be eligible for up to $20,000 annually, or up to $27,000 annually when employed in a very hard to fill position.


This program replaces the Division of Public Health’s existing state loan repayment and incentive program, SHARP-2, which sunset June 30, 2019. This new program, nicknamed SHARP-3, builds on current SHARP-2 with new practice settings, new occupations, new employers, new locations and new roles. 

 

The Arizona State Loan Repayment Programs (SLRP) provides loan repayment for eligible dentists and is administered by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Bureau of Women’s and Children’s Health.


The SLRP has two components:

  1. Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program (PCPLRP) 
  2. Rural Private Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program (RPPCPLRP)


The PCPLRP and the RPPCPLRP follow similar program guidelines. Eligible dentists must work in federally designated health professional shortage area (HPSA) or in Arizona medically underserved areas. They must also agree to a minimum of two years of full-time service (40 hours per week) or half-time service (at least 20 hours per week). The amount of the loan award varies based upon type of provider, full-time versus half-time status, the HPSA score of the service site and the provider’s total student loan indebtedness. 


The order of making awards to eligible candidates is based on descending total priority score, which is determined by a set of variables that include geographic location, HPSA score, percent of underserved population served and other variables.


The difference between PCPLRP and RPPCPLRP is in the service site eligibility requirements based on the type and location of the service site. The PCPLRP requires a primary care provider to have current or prospective employment with a public or private, non-profit entity located and providing services in a federally designated HPSA in the state. The RPPCPLRP requires a primary care provider to have current or prospective employment with rural private primary care practices located in federally designated HPSA or Arizona medically underserved areas in the state.

 

The Arkansas Health Education Grant (ARHEG) Program provides assistance to Arkansas residents who are seeking professional training in dentistry to help offset the cost of attending out-of- state institutions.


If the school has a direct contract with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE), the contract provides that the state will provide an amount equal to the difference between resident and non-resident tuition. Should the differential exceed the contract price approved for similar programs by the Southern Regional Education Board, the lesser amount will be paid. For schools that charge the same annual tuition for residents and non-residents, and such annual tuition is extraordinary as determined by the ADHE, the amount will not be less than $5,000 per student. 

 

The California State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) increases the number of health care providers, including dentists and registered dental hygienists, practicing at eligible sites located in federally designated health professional shortage areas.

Eligibility requirements  for practitioners include, among others:

  • U.S. citizenship;
  • a valid, unrestricted license to practice in California;
  • employment (or pending employment) at a SLRP-approved practice site; and
  • a two-year, full-time (40 hours per week) or a four-year half-time (20 hours per week) commitment.

Service years and award amounts for full-time/half-time initial and extension grants may vary from year to year; the amounts are subject to change based upon federal requirements. If awarded, an applicant may receive up to $50,000 for an initial two-year, full time commitment or four-year, part time commitment. Extensions of up to four years can be granted for varying amounts, depending on the extension year.


The California Dental Corps Loan Repayment Program offers loan repayment for dentists who work in dentally underserved areas and who provide services to at least 50% dentally underserved populations (as defined in the authorizing statute). The program will provide $35,000 for loan repayment annually for three years, to reach a total of $105,000, or the total amount of the loan—whichever is the lesser amount.

The authorizing statute requires the Dental Board of California to prioritize candidates who:

(1) speak one or more Medi-Cal threshold languages; 
(2) come from an economically disadvantaged background with economic, social or other circumstances;
(3) have worked in a health field in an underserved area or with an underserved population; and
(4) are dentist specialists recognized by the American Dental Association or have met all eligibility requirements to graduate from a dental specialty residency program approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.


CalHealthCares provides loan repayment to eligible dentists and physicians whose patient caseload consists of a minimum of 30% Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Eligible dentists may apply for either a loan repayment up to $300,000 in exchange for a five-year service obligation, or a Practice Support Grant up to $300,000 in exchange for a 10-year service obligation. 

 

Under the Colorado Health Service Corps, dentists and dental hygienists who work full time at an approved site in a health professional shortage area (HPSA) may be eligible for an award up to $120,000 for dentists and $90,000 for hygienists. Awards may also be granted in amounts up to $90,000 for dentists who meet three quarters of the time obligation, and $60,000 for dentists who meet a part-time obligation. Dental hygienists can earn up to $67,500 for meeting a three-quarter-time obligation, and up to $45,000 for meeting a part-time obligation. All contracts are for three years. Participants must agree to work for three years at an approved site and meet minimum direct clinical contact hourly requirements.


Additionally, the State Dental Loan Repayment Program provides awards to dentists and dental hygienists willing to serve in a public, nonprofit or private dental practice in Colorado that serves at least some Medicaid, Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) and/or uninsured patients each month. Participants must agree to serve at the same site, serving underserved patients, for a term of two years. Award amounts vary, based on numbers of Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program), CHP+, Colorado Old Age Pension and/or uninsured patients seen each month.

  • Dentists receive an award of:
    • $50,000 if 80 or more underserved patients per month are seen, 
    • $37,500 if 60–79 underserved patients per month are seen or 
    • $25,000 if 20–59 underserved patients per month are seen.
  • Dental hygienists receive an award of:
    • $12,000 if 80 or more underserved patients per month are seen, 
    • $8,000 if 60–79 underserved patients per month are seen or 
    • $6,000 if 20–59 underserved patients per month are seen.

Health care professionals who provide a preceptorship during the applicable tax year may be eligible for Rural and Frontier Health Care Preceptor Tax Credit, a $1,000 tax credit, available to only 300 primary health care preceptors. Both dentists and dental hygienists are eligible for the tax credit.

 

The Connecticut State Loan Repayment Program is not currently accepting applications.

Dentists and dental hygienists pursuing loan repayment opportunities should seek opportunities under the federal programs listed at the end of this chart.

 

The Delaware State Loan Repayment Program offers financial assistance up to $100,000 for educational loans to qualified dentists, and up to $60,000 for qualified dental hygienists who commit a minimum of two consecutive years of full-time (40 hours per week) or half-time (20-39 hours per week) service in a health professional shortage area. Dentists who commit to a third and fourth year are eligible to receive up to an additional $50,000 annually, while hygienists who commit to additional services are eligible to receive up to $30,000 annually.

All dentists must agree that a minimum of 20% of patients will be comprised of Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Program recipients and/or low income who will be provided care at reduced rates or free-of-charge. All dentists also must agree to provide preventive dental services to eligible clients of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services. Program funds are sourced from the Health Resources and Services Administration and require a $1-to-$1 match for every dollar awarded.

 

The DC Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) provides loan repayment to eligible health professionals practicing full time at HPLRP-certified sites in health professional shortage and medically underserved areas in DC. The HPLRP assists certified sites to recruit and retain providers by providing loan repayment up to $151,841.29 over four years for physicians and dentists and $83,510.61 for all other eligible providers. Both dentists and dental hygienists may be eligible under the program.

Legislation passed in 2019 established the Dental Student Loan Repayment Program. Word The new program is to be established by the Florida Department of Health and it will help repay student loans for dentists employed by any eligible public health program that serves Medicaid and other low-income patients in a dental health professional shortage area or medically underserved community.


The program is authorized to accept up to ten new dentists each fiscal year into the program, and to repay up to $50,000 annually or $250,000 total in student loans for each dentist. Dentists may receive funds under the loan program for at least one year, up to a maximum of five years.


In 2023, the legislature voted to provide funding for the program. This document will be updated following implementation of the program. 

 

The Dentists for Rural Areas Assistance Loan Repayment Program administered by the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce, provides service-cancellable loans of up to $25,000 per year for up to four years for dentists who practice full time in an underserved, rural county with a population of 50,000 or less. Contracts are awarded for one year and are renewable for an additional three terms for a maximum of four years and $100,000.

 

Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program is a federal grant to pay off educational loans for primary care and behavioral health providers who care for patients at nonprofit organizations in designated health professional shortage areas of Hawaii. General and pediatric dentists and dental hygienists are eligible to receive funds under the program.

Awardees are required to make a two-year commitment to work at an approved site. Approved sites are located in health professional shortage areas and must also meet additional specified criteria. 

 

The Rural Health Care Access Program (RHCAP) provides grants to nonprofit organizations to help rural Idaho communities improve access to primary medical and dental health care through grants assistance. "Improving access to health care" includes removing barriers that prevent people from obtaining health care, strengthening health care systems and developing partnerships to better serve communities.


Grants of up to $35,000 per year for a maximum of one year may be awarded to eligible entities serving any area designated as a health professional shortage area (HPSA) or medically underserved area/population.


Applicants may submit grant proposals that improve access to health care in any of the three assistance categories:

  1. Telehealth projects
  2. Community development projects or
  3. Other, e.g., loan repayment for primary/dental care providers, recruitment incentive and/or reimbursement of relocation expenses for primary/dental care providers.

 


The Idaho State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) ) is a multidiscipline, state-based loan repayment program for dentists and other eligible health care providers working in a federally designated health professional shortage area (HPSA). The loan repayment is provided through a federal grant. Participating sites must implement a sliding-fee scale for low-income and uninsured patients and accept Medicare and Medicaid. Loan repayment awards may range from $10,000 to $25,000 per year, depending on employer contribution. A two-year service obligation is required of full-time practitioners, and sites must submit annual reports during the funding period. Participants currently receiving loan repayment and fulfilling a service obligation are not eligible.


The SLRP dual application process requires the submission of an application by the health care employment site and the practitioner seeking the loan repayment.

 

Under the Illinois National Health Service Corps State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) dentists who sign a contract with the Illinois Department of Public Health guaranteeing their minimum commitment of two years of service in a health professional shortage area, may receive up to $25,000 annually for a maximum of $50,000 for full-time service. The required site contribution is up to $12,500 per year for two years. A third year and a fourth year of service can be added individually upon completion of the initial two-year obligation. Providers will be able to work less than full time, but at a minimum of half time, if they agree to extend their obligation period twofold.


HB 4645 was passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2022. This bill requires the Department of Public Health to create and administer the Equity and Representation in Health Care Workforce Repayment Program and the Equity and Representation in Health Care Workforce Scholarship Program. Once implemented, the repayment program will repay qualifying educational loans of dentists and other health care professionals who agree to serve in a nonprofit or public medical facility for a specified period of time to be determined by the Department. The scholarship program will cover tuition and fees for training dental assistants and other specified health professionals who work in a nonprofit or public medical facility, or who have an accepted an offer to work in such a facility.

 

The Indiana Health Care Professional Recruitment and Retention Fund Program (IHCPRRF) provides loan repayment for student loans incurred by health care professionals practicing in public or private nonprofit settings in federally designated health professional shortage areas approved by the Indiana State Department of Health and, therefore, cannot establish private practices. The program is open to both dentists and dental hygienists, and applicants may receive up to $20,000, depending on their loan debt, for a two-year commitment to work full time. An additional $20,000 may be granted for a second two-year commitment. 

 

The Primary Care Recruitment and Retention Endeavor (PRIMECARREPDF) Iowa Loan Repayment Program requires a two-year practice commitment in a public or nonprofit site located in a health professional shortage area. The program provides up to $50,000 for two years of full-time service, and $30,000 for two years of full-time service for dental hygienists.


A Request for Proposal (RFP) is posted each fall on the Iowa Department of Public Health website and at IowaGrants.gov with additional application periods scheduled, if unallocated funds become available.


The Fulfilling Iowa’s Need for Dentists (FIND) is operated by Delta Dental of Iowa. The FIND program collaborates with communities on the recruitment of dentists and the establishment of private practice dental offices located in rural, underserved areas in Iowa. The program offers up to $125,000 over a five-year period for dentists who work in a priority county, and up to $200,000 over a five-year period for dentists who work in a high- priority county. In return, each selected dentist agrees to practice in one of Iowa’s designated dental shortage areas and to allocate 35% of patient services to underserved populations, including a minimum of 15% Medicaid-insured patients.

 

Under the Kansas State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), for a minimum commitment of two years of full-time service, dentists are eligible to receive up to $25,000 annually for repayment of outstanding educational debt. Registered dental hygienists are eligible to receive up to $20,000 annually. Qualifying practice sites must be a nonprofit or public health care practice site meeting Kansas SLRP eligibility requirements. All practice sites must complete the Health Care Practice Site Application form to be included with the health care professional’s application.


Please note that the loan repayment awards are made on a competitive basis and are limited to available funds. After the initial two-year contract has been fulfilled, the health care provider may extend the contract for up to three additional years of service in one-year increments. Each year the application cycle is open June 1 through July 31.


Since 2011, the Kansas Dental Association and Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation, in partnership with Delta Dental of Kansas, have promoted dentists to practice in rural Kansas through the Kansas Initiative for New Dentists Program (KIND). KIND Loan Forgiveness Grant provides existing dentists up to $50,000 in assistance for moving/locating to a rural area. A KIND Loan Forgiveness Grant recipient must commit to practicing in a rural area for three years and be a KanCare (Medicaid) Provider. 


The KIND Scholarship is also available for students. Eligible dental students may apply for the KIND Scholarship each year. The awardee may receive up to $25,000 per year or $100,000 in total scholarship assistance. In return, the student commits to practicing dentistry in a rural area as a KanCare (Medicaid) provider for a period of time determined by the total KIND scholarship award.


The Kansas Dental Education Opportunities Program is designed to encourage dentists to establish Kansas practices. Kansas helps pay the difference between resident and nonresident tuition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Applications also are available from UMKC.

Student loan repayment program open to all state residents:

The state of Kansas has designated 95 counties as "Rural Opportunity Zones". Designated counties offer one or both of the following financial incentives for new full-time residents: Student Loan Repayment Assistance and/or 100% State Income Tax Credit.

Counties offering loan repayment will provide up to $15,000 in Student Loan Repayment Assistance over five years for individuals with a newly established permanent address in the county.

In counties offering the tax credit 100% of the taxpayer’s Kansas tax liability. A resident may claim this credit for not more than five consecutive years following establishment of their domicile in a rural opportunity zone.

 

The Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program (KSLRP) is a 50/50 matching loan repayment administered by the Kentucky Office of Rural Health. For every federal dollar provided by the KSLRP, participants must have a 1-to-1 match from a sponsor source. Sponsors can include employers at the practice site; private foundations, corporations, community organizations, and/or philanthropies; and rurally oriented organizations requesting that their funds be used to support the placement of practitioners in rural areas.

The program requires a two-year commitment to practice at an eligible site.

Eligible sites must:

  • Be a public or nonprofit private entity;
  • Provide comprehensive outpatient, ambulatory and primary health care services;
  • Be in a federally–designated health professional shortage area;
  • Accept Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program;
  • Utilize a sliding-fee scale;
  • Charge for professional services at the usual and customary prevailing rates;
  • Properly display and advertise their sliding- fee scale and their commitment to provide care to patients regardless of ability to pay; and
  • See all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.


Total funding limits for a two-year commitment vary by profession, $100,000 for dentists and $40,000 for registered dental hygienists.

Recently, signed legislation created a new health care fund that could lead to scholarships for dental hygienists and dental assistants. The bill created the Kentucky health care workforce investment fund which would be required to reserve at least 65% of all net funds for scholarships that could be used by specified health care professionals, including dental hygienists and dental assistants. Scholarships would be granted to eligible training programs that have partnered with a health care provider or facility. All funds granted for scholarships would be required to be matched. Partnerships that would target underserved communities and professions that are in highest demand or that include health care facilities with fewer than 50 employees would be prioritized. More information can be found by visiting the Kentucky Healthcare Workforce Collaborative site.

 

The purpose of the Louisiana State Loan Repayment Program is to encourage primary care practitioners to serve in health professional shortage areas (HPSAs). The program will repay government or commercial educational loans obtained by the practitioner.   


Dentists who meet eligibility requirements may receive up to $30,000 annually for a three-year initial commitment. Participants who complete their original commitment, remain at an eligible HPSA site, still have educational loans to repay and have been compliant with all requirements may be able to extend their commitment for two more years.  


The Louisiana Tax Credit for Healthcare Providers provides a nonrefundable tax credit for up to $3,600 for five years to dentists who establish and maintain a primary office within a federally designated dental HPSA that is also in a rural area as defined by the Louisiana Department of Health. Practices must also accept Medicaid and Medicare payments for services rendered, and the only exceptions are dentists and optometrists.  

 

The Maine Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Pilot Program provides one-time funds to support rebuilding Maine’s health care industry workforce, which has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The program attracts and retains health care professionals in Maine by repaying outstanding student loans of selected participants who commit to living and working in Maine for at least three years. The state will pay up to $25,000 per year or, in aggregate, the lesser of $75,000 or 50% of the recipient’s outstanding loan balance. Applicants are chosen based on the health care needs of the state and other specified factors.


The Maine Dental Education Loan is a forgivable loan program for Maine residents seeking advanced dental education. To receive loan forgiveness, a dentist must practice general dentistry full time in an underserved area of the state in an eligible dental care facility. Legislation passed in 2019 increased the maximum amount participants may receive from $20,000 to $25,000 annually, up to $100,000 total. Disbursement of loan funds is made directly to the institution.  


The Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program provides loan repayment assistance for dentists practicing general dentistry in eligible dental care facilities in underserved areas of Maine. The initial contract term is for two years with the ability to renew for an additional two years. The program is open to dentists, and recently signed legislation created eligibility for dental hygienists, dental therapists, expanded function dental assistants and dental assistants. Participating providers are eligible to receive up to $25,000 annually, up to $100,000 total for a maximum of four years. Providers must be able to document employment at a qualifying dental care facility.

A qualifying dental care facility is any health care facility that:

  • Offers primary dental care as either its primary service or as part of a broader medical practice,
  • Accepts payments through MaineCare and
  • At which at least 25% of the patient load has been accepted for treatment regardless of ability to pay through insurance or other payment source.


The Maine Health Professions Loan Program is a need-based, competitive loan for Maine students pursuing advanced medical, dental and veterinary education. The program provides up to $25,000 annually and up to $100,000 total for a maximum of four years. The number of loans awarded each year is limited and depends on available funding. Interest does not accrue while students are in school. The interest rate can be as low as 0% and is based on location and type of practice and/or population served. 


The Maine Grants & Loans Programs website provides additional information on each loan program.


A limited number of eligible dentists who practice in underserved areas may also be eligible for a tax creditPDF ranging between $6,000 and $18,000. The amount of the tax credit depends on length of time practiced in an underserved area.


Please review this section of the Maine Revised Code for details regarding eligibility.

 

The purpose of Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program (MDC-LARP) is to increase access to oral health care services for Maryland Medical Assistance Program (MMAP) recipients by increasing the number of dentists treating this population.


Participating dentists may receive up to $23,740 per year in loan repayment assistance and must be employed full time, agree to a three-year commitment and treat a minimum of 30% MMAP recipients as a portion of their total patient population per year. 


Maryland SmartBuy 3.0 is a state loan program for all residents that gives homebuyers an opportunity to purchase any home in Maryland that meets Maryland Mortgage Program guidelines while paying off student debt. 


To qualify, homebuyers must have an existing student debt with a minimum balance of $1,000. Maryland SmartBuy 3.0 financing provides up to 15% of the home purchase price for the borrower to pay off their outstanding student debt with a maximum payoff amount of $50,000. The full student debt for at least one of the borrowers must be paid off at the time of the home purchase.

 

The Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program (MLRP) for Health Professionals awards up to $25,000 per year and $50,000 total for dentists and up to $20,000 per year and $40,000 total for dental hygienists.


Applicants may re-apply to the MLRP when their contract obligation is complete. Repeat applicants may not receive more than $100,000 in total MLRP funding.


Eligible health professionalsPDF must be employed by or have a contract to work in eligible public or nonprofit health care organizations, located in a federally designated health professional shortage area, and make a commitment of two years of full-time work or the equivalent extended commitment of part-time work (e.g. a 20-hour work week will mean a four-year contract) while providing primary health services in an eligible health care organization.  

 

The Michigan State Loan Repayment Program (MSLRP) assists employers in the recruitment and retention of medical, dental and mental health care providers who continue to demonstrate their commitment to building long-term, primary care practices in underserved communities designated as health professional shortage areas (HPSAs). MSLRP will assist those selected by providing up to $300,000 in tax-free funds to repay their educational debt over a period of up to eight years.

New applicants and current participants compete for consecutive two-year MSLRP agreements requiring them to remain employed for a minimum of 40 hours per week for no less than 45 weeks per year at eligible, nonprofit practice sites providing primary health care services to ambulatory populations. Nonprofit employers must contribute a 20% match. For-profit employers placing providers in nonprofit practice sites, such as state prisons, must contribute a 50% match. Providers must remain with the employers who sponsor them during their two-year agreements, and employers must continue to employ the providers they sponsor during their two-year service obligations. 


Dental hygienists are not currently eligible for reimbursement under this program. 

Each November, the MSLRP Application Period Update will announce the dates of the upcoming annual application period.

 

The Martha Mordini Rukavina Loan Forgiveness ProgramPDF provides loan reimbursement to dentists  willing to practice in the Taconite Assistance Area (TAA) of northeastern Minnesota for at least five years. Forgivable loan amounts of up to $120,000, not to exceed the applicant’s documented outstanding educational debt, will be dispersed at a rate of $30,000 per year for four years.


The Minnesota Dental Therapist/Advance Dental Therapist Loan Forgiveness Program is available to practicing Dental Therapists (DTs)/Advanced Dental Therapists (ADTs) or final year DT and ADT students in the process of completing their training or certification. Selected participants are required to practice in a designated rural area full-time for at least three years, with an optional fourth year. Participants may receive an annual award of up to $14,000 not to exceed $56,000 or the balance of designated loans, whichever is less. 


For more information on Minnesota Health Care Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs,go online.

 

The Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program (MRDSP) identifies qualified university and college students from rural areas of the state for dental school matriculation. The scholarship program consists of three distinct phases through which participants progress: undergraduate predental education, dental school and actual practice. During dental school training, MRDSP Scholars are awarded $35,000-per-year scholarship and are also given support to help them to be successful.


Upon completion of dental school training, the MRDSP Scholar must enter practice in a community of 10,000 or fewer located more than 20 miles from a medically served area for a period of time equal to the number of years scholarship funding was received. The practice site must be pre-approved by the MRDSP Board of Directors during the final months of training. Service must begin within 90 days of the completion of training.

 

Missouri participates in the Health Professional Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), a competitive federal grant program that allocates funds to the state to award funding for educational loan repayment to Missouri-licensed practicing psychiatry, medical and dental health professionals in exchange for services in Missouri areas with a shortage of mental health, medical and dental professionals.


Qualifying employment is considered as full-time, direct patient care in a health professional shortage area (HPSA) providing primary health care services. (You can search for HPSAs.) Full-time employment in the SLRP is considered 40 hours per week. Hospitalists, emergency medicine physicians and positions in inpatient facilities and prisons do not qualify. The maximum loan repayment amount is up to $50,000 for two years of service in a HPSA.


The Primary Care Resource Initiative for Missouri Student Loan Program, a competitive state program, awards forgivable loans to students pursuing health care training leading to Missouri licensure or registration in dentistry or dental hygiene. The amount of funding provided depends on the student’s chosen discipline and educational status.

 

The Montana National Health Service Corps Student Loan Repayment Program provides loan repayment funds for dentists and dental hygienists working in health professional shortage areas at an approved National Health Service Corps site. In exchange for two-years of service, full-time applicants may receive up to $37,500 per year. Part-time providers can receive 50% of eligible debt, up to $37,500. Providers may qualify for up to two 1-year continuations beyond their initial service obligation. The program is funded through a federal grant that requires a $1-to-$1 match with nonfederal dollars.

 

The Nebraska Loan Repayment Programs are available to primary care, mental, dental and allied health professionals practicing in shortage areas in Nebraska. There is one application for two state loan repayment programs.


The individual seeking loan repayment must initiate the application. Once they complete and submit their portion, a notice will be sent to the entity providing the matching funds. The entity then completes the application. Dentists are eligible to receive up to $200,000, and dental hygienists are eligible for up to $100,000 when practicing at an eligible site located within a designated health professional shortage area. 


Recently enacted legislation provided that state law will not require a match by the local entity in the event federal law does not require a match.

 

The Nevada Health Service Corps (NHSC) program offers loan repayment for dentists and registered clinical dental hygienists in exchange for engaging in full-time clinical practice in an assigned community for a contractually specified period. Typically, the length of time equals two years of full-time service. 

Candidates must agree to:

  • Provide services to all patients—regardless of their ability to pay,
  • Accept specified forms of public insurance,
  • Deliver services with medically-accepted quality standards for performance and
  • Remain in the assigned underserved area for the duration of the period of obligated service.


Awards are made based on the funding available during that cycle. The NHSC reserves the right to determine the amount of the award and the length of the period of obligated service individually for each application. 

Recently enacted legislation will create a new student loan repayment program for health care providers who work in underserved communities. Once implemented, the Student Loan Repayment for Providers of Health Care in Underserved Communities Program will provide up to $120,000 in student loan repayments to health care providers who work in eligible professions in specified geographic areas. Dentists are listed among eligible professionals, but dental hygienists are not.

The bill also requires the State Treasurer to adopt a methodology for determining the amount of repayment an eligible provider may receive from the program. The methodology must include a sliding scale that conditions the amount on areas of specialization, type of degree and average loan burden for the particular field of health care.

 

The New Hampshire State Loan Repayment Program (NH SLRP), provides funds to health care professionals, including dentists and registered clinical dental hygienists, working in areas of the state designated as being medically underserved. NH SLRP contracts are awarded first to applicants who have secured a 1-to-1 match for each state dollar in the contract. This match can come from the eligible practice site or the community in which the applicant will practice. If an applicant is unable to secure a match, the application will be considered in competition with all other unmatched applications received. 


Full-time Service:

The NH SLRP offsets graduate or undergraduate educational loans to full-time dentists at $75,000 for a minimum service obligation of 36 months, with an opportunity for a 24-month extension at $40,000. Registered dental hygienists, are eligible to receive $30,000 for a 36-month minimum service obligation, with an opportunity for a 24-month extension at $10,000. 


Part-time Service: 

The NH SLRP will offset graduate or undergraduate educational loans to part-time dentists at $27,500 for a 24-month minimum service obligation, with an opportunity of a 12-month extension at $10,000, and to part-time registered clinical dental hygienists at $17,500 for a 24-month minimum service obligation, with an opportunity for a 12-month extension at $5,000.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed quarterly. Quarterly applications deadlines are March 15 (for July 1 start), June 15 (for Oct. 1 start), Sept. 15 (for Jan. 1 start) and Dec. 15 (for April 1 start).

 

The Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program of New Jersey (NJLRP) will provide up to $120,000 in student loan redemption for two to four years of service as a primary care provider in areas of medicine defined by the Commissioner of Health or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in areas ranked by the Commissioner of Health reflecting a health professional shortage. Dentists are currently eligible for the program, but dental hygienists are not.


Funding for this program is subject to state appropriations and available funding.

 

The New Mexico Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) provides repayment of outstanding student loans for dentists who make a three-year service commitment to practice full-time in a designated medical shortage area in New Mexico. The program is open to New Mexico residents, and is federal and state funded. Health professionals practicing in a federal health professional shortage area (HPSA) will be offered federal funding first and will receive the highest priority. Recipients are eligible for renewal upon completion of their three-year obligation. The HPLRP application opens every year on March 15 and closes May 1. Recently enacted legislation extended the required service commitment from two years to three years.


The New Mexico Health Service Corps provides stipends to dental and dental hygiene students in exchange for entering into a contract with the New Mexico Department of Health to provide services for a minimum of two years at approved rural, medically underserved clinics upon completion of training. The amount of any stipend awarded is dependent upon available resources and is paid for a maximum of two years.


Under the New Mexico Rural Health Care Practitioner Tax Credit Program, health care providers in rural, underserved areas may be eligible for an income tax credit. Under the authorizing statute, eligible professionals who provide health care for at least 2,080 hours during a taxable year at an approved location will be eligible for a tax credit for that year. Eligible professionals who provide health care for less than 2,080 hours, but at least 1,040 hours, will be eligible for one-half of the tax credit amount. Full-time practicing dentists are eligible for a $5,000 annual tax credit, and dental hygienists practicing full time are eligible for a $3,000 annual tax credit. 


The Allied Health Loan for Service Program provides educational loans to students seeking certification/licensure in an eligible health field, including dental hygiene. As a condition of each loan, the student must declare his/her intent to practice as a health professional in a designated shortage area. For every year of service, a portion of the loan will be forgiven. If the entire service agreement is fulfilled, 100% of the loan is eligible for forgiveness. Penalties may be assessed if the service agreement is not satisfied. The award may not exceed $16,000 per year and is based on the financial need of the student.


The one-year award may be renewed for up to four years upon resubmission of yearly application. The application opens every year on May 15 and closes on July 1.

 

The New York State Primary Care Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (PCSC LRP) is designed to increase the number of certain clinical practitioners, including dentists and dental hygienists, in underserved areas. PCSC LRP eligibility requires the practitioner clinicians must commit to practice at an active New York State Department of Health approved site.  


The NYS Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program offers student loan forgiveness for all residents of the state and provides up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief to recent New York State college graduates who are participating in a federal, income-driven repayment plan whose payments are generally capped at 10 percent of their discretionary income. A recipient receives a maximum of 24 payments equal to the amount of the monthly federal repayment plan payment, provided the recipient continues to meet the Program’s eligibility requirements. A recipient receives a maximum of 24 payments equal to the amount of the monthly federal repayment plan payment, provided the recipient continues to meet the Program’s eligibility requirements.

 

Under the North Carolina State Loan Repayment Program dentists and dental hygienists who provide services in eligible facilities serving those with high need may receive loan repayment of principal plus interest maximums of $100,000 for general practice with a four-year commitment. The maximum for dental hygienists is $60,000 for a four-year commitment.  


Additionally, North Carolina may award a High Needs Service Bonus. This incentive was designed for providers who have no loans and provide services in eligible facilities serving those with high need. The bonus maximum (assuming no loans) for a four-year commitment is $100,000 for dentists and $60,000 for dental hygienists.


The Forgivable Education Loans for Service (FELS) provides financial assistance to qualified students enrolled in an approved education program and committed to working in critical employment shortage professions in North Carolina. Dentists and dental hygienists are eligible for this program. FELS loan recipients must sign a promissory note that will require them to seek loan forgiveness through employment in an approved position or repay the loan in cash. Loan forgiveness is described in the FELS Rules. Generally, a loan for one academic year will be forgiven for one year of full-time employment. Loans will accrue interest at the rate of 7% per year from the date of the loan disbursement. Recipients cannot receive FELS funding concurrently with other state-funded loans. Applications are entered into a lottery for award consideration.

 

The North Dakota Dentist Loan Repayment Program will repay loans for selected dentists who serve in a public health clinic, practice with a focus on underserved populations or practice in a nonprofit clinic. Providers must serve in areas of the state with a defined need for such services. Each dentist selected may receive up to $100,000 to repay educational loans and must sign a contract to practice full time for five years within an area identified by the State Health Council as having a defined need for dental services. The North Dakota Department of Health reviews all applicants in consultation with the North Dakota Dental Association. The applicants are then prioritized and presented to the State Health Council for review and approval. The applicants are reviewed and prioritized based on personal statement, letters of recommendation, and if they are practicing in areas of greatest need.  


The North Dakota Federal/State Loan Repayment Program is also available for general and pediatric dentists who practice in eligible public and nonprofit sites. Applicants must agree to practice two years in a selected area. Award recipients may receive up to $50,000 for a two-year, full-time service commitment. Full time is a minimum of 32 hours of direct patient care with 8 hours of administrative time allowed. Part time is a minimum of 16 hours per week of direct patient care with 4 hours of administrative time allowed.

 

The Ohio Dentist and Dental Hygienist Loan Repayment Programs provide loan repayment for selected eligible dentists and dental hygienists who provide dental care in a health professional shortage area or a dental health shortage area, accept Medicaid and see patients regardless of their ability to pay.


Selected applicants who practice a minimum of 40 hours per week may receive up to $25,000 annually for the first two years of service, and $35,000 annually for a third and fourth year of service. Part-time participants may receive up to half the amount of full-time participants.


To qualify, applicants must be dental or dental hygiene students in the final year of dental or dental hygiene school, dental residents in the final year of residency or currently practicing general or pediatric dentists or dental hygienists. Funds are tax-exempt. A two-year initial contract is required with a maximum of two additional one-year renewals. 

 

The Oklahoma Dental Loan Repayment Program is designed to increase the number of dentists providing accessible care to underserved metropolitan and rural areas by providing educational loan repayment assistance for up to 25 Oklahoma licensed dentists for up to five years per dentist.


Dentists entering the program agree to teach at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, if applicable faculty positions are available, or provide dental care in a designated health professional shortage area (a minimum 30% of patients treated during the contract period must be Medicaid recipients). An award amount of at least $25,000 per year is based on the amount of state-appropriated funds.

 

Under the Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program, approved practice sites located in a health provider shortage area (HPSA) must agree to match 50% of the total loan repayment award, plus a 10% administrative fee. Dentists and expanded-practice dental hygienists practicing full time under the program may receive up to 50% of their total student loan debt, up to a maximum of $35,000 annually for an initial two-year obligation. Practitioners who work part time may receive up to 50% in loan repayment on qualifying educational debt, up to a maximum of $17,500 per obligation year, for an initial four-year obligation. Providers may qualify for up to two one-year continuations beyond their initial service obligation and may receive up to 60% of their remaining qualified educational debt, up to a maximum of $35,000. The program limits providers to $100,000 maximum in total loan repayment funds.


Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment provides loan repayment for dentists and expanded-practice dental hygienists who work at eligible sites located in HPSAs and serve patients regardless of their source of coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, private, etc.) or ability to pay. Full-time service providers must commit to a three-year minimum service obligation in exchange for a tax-free award of 70% of their qualifying educational loan debt balance, up to $50,000 per obligation year. Full-time providers with less than $29,000 in qualifying loan debt are eligible to receive up to 100% of qualifying loan debt, not to exceed the lesser of their total qualifying loan amount or $20,000. Part-time service providers must commit to a three-year-minimum service obligation in exchange for a tax-free award of 35% of their qualifying educational loan debt balance, up to $25,000 per obligation year. Part-time providers with less than $15,000 in qualifying loan debt are eligible to receive up to 100% of qualifying loan debt, not to exceed the lesser of their total qualifying loan amount or $10,000.


The Oregon Medicaid Primary Care Loan Repayment Program is open to dentists, expanded-practice dental hygienists and other specified practitioners. Awardees receive up to $35,000 per year for a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years. In exchange, participants agree to serve Medicaid and other patients in a qualifying practice site. Qualifying sites include rural hospitals, rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers and other clinical practices located in HPSAs. 


The Oregon Office of Rural Health is charged with administering the Rural Practitioner Tax Credit for Dentists Program, which grants up to $5,000 in personal income tax credits to eligible dentists who work in a county designated as a “frontier county,” or a town with a population less than 5,000 people that is also 25 or more miles from another source of full-time, general dental care. The amount of the credit varies based on the population size of the community and practice site distance from the centroid of a community. Eligible dentists must also have an annual adjusted gross income below $300,000, and attest to being willing to serve patients with Medicare and Medicaid coverage. The practitioner must accept patients insured by Medicare and Medicaid until their patient panel reaches a threshold of 20% Medicare and 15% Medicaid, or the same percentage as in the county population, if that percentage is less.


The Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI) is administered by the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). SHOI covers tuition and fees for a limited number of eligible students entering specific clinical degree programs, including the D.M.D. program. In return, funding recipients agree to practice as a health care practitioner in a rural or underserved community in Oregon for a minimum of one year longer than the total years of funding received. SHOI funding is awarded annually, effective for one academic year with annual renewal if the student remains in good academic standing. The funding provides for payment of full OHSU tuition and required fees but does not provide a living allowance.

 

The Pennsylvania Primary Health Care Practitioners Loan Repayment Program is designed to incentivize, recruit and retain primary care practitioners willing to serve underserved Pennsylvania residents and to make a commitment to practicing in federally designated health professional shortage areas (HPSAs). Primary care practitioners (including general dentists and registered dental hygienists) wishing to submit an application must meet all eligibility requirements and must be currently employed at a loan repayment program-approved site either located in a federally designated HPSA or serving a minimum of 30% low-income patients as defined. 

For the required two-year contract: 

  • Dentists may receive up to $80,000 of educational loan repayment for a full-time service commitment, or up to $40,000 for a half-time commitment. 
  • Dental hygienists may receive up to $48,000 of educational loan repayment for a fulltime service commitment, or up to $24,000 for a half-time commitment. 

 

Dentists and dental hygienists pursuing loan repayment opportunities should seek opportunities under the federal programs listed at the end of this chart.

 

The Rhode Island Department of Health is currently operating the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program. General practice dentists, pediatric dentists and registered clinical dental hygienists may apply for the awards.


The program requires a two-year, commitment for full-time (40-hours-per-week) service in a health professional shortage area, or a four-year commitment for part-time service.


The Wavemaker Fellowship provides a financial incentive for graduates pursuing a career or starting a business in Rhode Island in science, technology, engineering, math, design, health care and other key sectors, by defraying student loan payments for up to four years. Dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants are eligible for the program, which offers qualifying individuals a refundable tax credit certificate worth the value of their annual student loan burden for up to four years. In addition to the financial benefit, fellows are invited to participate in various personal and professional development programs, social and professional networking opportunities, community-based events and more.

 

Funds for the South Carolina Rural Dentist Program are appropriated to the Medical University of South Carolina and are administered by the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC). The program assists in the repayment of educational loans for dentists who practice in a health professional shortage area or serve as full-time faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine (MUSC CDM). Priority for this program is given to those demonstrating need and expressing intent to remain in an underserved area or in an area of critical need at the MUSC CDM.  


Loan reimbursement payments are made quarterly and cover the amount of all canceled loan repayment checks submitted to the South Carolina AHEC (dated within the quarter). Alternatively, the dentist can provide the loan account online access details to South Carolina AHEC, which can make the payments directly. 


Accepted community dentists will sign a contract with South Carolina AHEC and MUSC CDM to practice in an underserved area for four years. The current contract amount is up to $75,000 total paid quarterly.

 

The South Dakota Recruitment Assistance Program provides incentive payments to dentists who enter into a contract with the South Dakota Department of Health to provide services in an eligible community for at least three consecutive years. The maximum amount of the incentive payment for a qualifying physician or dentist is $255,568.  

To be eligible a dentist must:  

  • Be licensed as a dentist in South Dakota;  
  • Agree to practice full time as a general or pediatric dentist in an eligible community for at least three consecutive years; 
  • Provide services to Medicaid, Medicare and State Children’s Health Insurance Program patients; 
  • Be a United States citizen;
  • Agree to be a participating South Dakota medical assistance provider and to serve any individual eligible under SDCL 28-6 and may not refuse treatment to any such individual while participating in the program;
  • Not have previously participated in such a program, or any other state or federal scholarship, loan repayment or tuition reimbursement program that obligates the person to provide medical services within an underserved area; and
  • Be recruited to a community and be onsite and practicing for less than four months.

 

The Tennessee State Loan Repayment Program (TSLRP) provides educational loan repayment to qualified primary care practitioners, including general and pediatric dentists, in exchange for an initial two-year service obligation to practice full time or part time at an ambulatory, public or private nonprofit primary care site located in a federally designated health professional shortage area.


The maximum TSLRP award is $50,000 for an initial two-year service obligation. TSLRP recipients in good standing are eligible to reapply for a maximum of up to $20,000 per year in continued loan repayment awards after fulfilling their initial two-year service obligation and as long as they have outstanding educational loans to repay, contingent upon funding availability.

 

The Rural Communities Health Care Investment Program (RCHIP) uses funds from a permanent endowment established from the tobacco settlement for the State of Texas. RCHIP is intended to assist rural communities in recruiting practicing health care providers, other than physicians, to practice in their community by providing partial student loan reimbursements or stipend payments to non-physicians. For more information, contact the State Office of Rural Health.


The purpose of the St. David's Foundation Public Health Corps Loan Repayment Program is to recruit and retain qualified primary care health providers, including dentists, at eligible sites located in the five-county area served by the Foundation. For providers who are selected for enrollment into the program, loan repayment funds will be reserved for annual disbursement at the end of each of the four years of service, contingent upon continued annual grant funding. Dentists are eligible for an award up to $30,000 annually.

 

The Health Care Workforce Financial Assistance Program (HCWFAP) exists to provide educational loan repayment assistance to health care professionals, including dentists, who locate or continue to practice in underserved areas. Participants must agree to a three-year service obligation in an underserved location, and dentists are eligible for up to $75,000.


Additionally, the approved site must provide a 20% match to the provider’s award.

 

The Area Health Education Centers Program administers the Vermont Educational Loan Repayment Program for Health Care Professionals.


Dentists who are employed at an eligible worksite that provides services in an underserved area may be eligible for up to $50,000 in state/federal/match funds per year. State/federal awards must be matched by employer or community funds.


Recipients must be a state of Vermont resident working as a dentist for a minimum average of 20 (clinical) hours per week and at least 45 weeks per year in Vermont. (Non-residents serious about working in Vermont may apply but must move to Vermont prior to disbursement of funds). The practice site or region must be a dental health professional shortage area and must also accept patients with coverage under Medicare, Medicaid, Vermont’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (Dr. Dynasaur) or other state-funded health care benefit programs. A minimum number of unique Medicaid patients to be served during the contract period will be determined at the time of award and noted in the service contract.

 

The Virginia State Loan Repayment Program (VA-SLRP) is operated by the Virginia Department of Health-Office of Health Equity and provides a non-taxed incentive to qualified dentists and registered dental hygienists in return for a minimum of two years of service at an eligible practice site in a health professional shortage area (HPSA).


VA-SLRP requires a $1-for-$1 match from the community/practice site. The maximum award for a four-year commitment is $140,000 and can only be made for a qualifying educational loan. Priority VA-SLRP awards are made based on the HPSA scores for counties, cities and populations in Virginia and Health Resources Services Administration requirements as well as scoring rubric for equitable distribution. All approvals are based on availability of funds. 


For details, please call 804-864-7431 or email olivette.burroughs@vdh.virginia.gov.

 

The Washington State Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) provides eligible dentists and registered dental hygienists a maximum award of $75,000 in exchange for service at an eligible site. The service obligation term is three years for full-time employment (40 hours a week), or a prorated equivalent term of up to five years for less than full-time employment. Participants working part time are required to work at least 24 hours per week at an approved site.  


The Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP)PDF provides a maximum award of $70,000 in exchange for a two-year contract that requires employment at an eligible nonprofit site, located in a Health Professional Shortage Area, that has implemented a sliding fee schedule. Awardees must work a minimum of 40 hours per week. The FSLRP uses state funds with matching federal grant funds for awards. Dentists and dental hygienists are eligible for this program.  

 

West Virginia offers a State Loan Repayment Program for eligible dentists who make a two-year commitment to practice at an eligible site located in a health professional shortage area, including federally qualified health centers, within the state. Eligible dentists may earn up to $40,000 for initial two-year commitment, $25,000 per year for an additional two-year commitment and a maximum award of $90,000 for four years of service. 


Additionally, the West Virginia Health Sciences Service Program is a recruitment-incentive program for health professions students interested in practicing in underserved communities in West Virginia. The program allocates approximately 15 awards each academic year to students in the state's higher education system. Specifically, $30,000 for students who are in the final year of a graduate program in dentistry. The service obligation is either two years of full-time (a minimum of 40 hours per week) or four years of half-time (a minimum of 20 hours per week) employment at an eligible practice site.

 

The Wisconsin Health Professions Loan Assistance Program was established to assist rural and urban underserved communities in recruiting and retaining primary care health and dental professionals. Dentists who agree to work at an eligible site located in a federally designated health professional shortage area (HPSA) are eligible for up to $50,000 in education loan repayment assistance through this competitive program.


Dental hygienists are eligible for up to $25,000. A service commitment of three years is required in a federally designated HPSA.

 

The WY-DENT is a contract program between the State of Wyoming and the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry and Creighton University School of Dentistry for dental education. Participants make a contract payment to the University of Wyoming for the four years of dental school, and the state of Wyoming pays the educational costs to the appropriate dental school for each student. Applicants must be certified residents of Wyoming. To be eligible for certification, the applicant or parent or guardian must be a legal resident of the State of Wyoming for five continuous years immediately prior to enrolling in dental school. 


The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) is a consortium of 15 Western U.S. states established to provide educational opportunities for students in the West. WICHE’s Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) allows certified Wyoming residents to enroll in certain out-of-state, professional programs in allopathic medicine, dentistry, osteopathic medicine, podiatry, occupational therapy, optometry, physical therapy, physician assistant or veterinary medicine. Wyoming applicants or their spouses must be legal residents for one year immediately prior to matriculation to professional school. Support is competitive, and not everyone will receive it. If a professional school admits a student and offers financial support, the student pays reduced tuition based on the costs at the attending institution. The State of Wyoming pays a support fee to the admitting school for educational services. The length of support varies according to each professional program.

 

The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP) is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The NHSC LRP seeks dentists and dental hygienists to provide culturally competent, interdisciplinary primary health care services to underserved populations located in selected health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) identified by the Secretary of HHS. These awards vary based on the HPSA score where the health professional is practicing, and whether the service commitment is full time or half time. 


The initial service commitment is for two years, with the option to apply for additional awards annually. Award amounts vary based on several factors, including the HPSA score for the area in which services is provided. Eligible practitioners may be awarded up to $50,000 for practicing full time. Practitioners may also be awarded up to $25,000 for working part time.

 

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Program provides up to $120,000 to dental students in their final year of school in return for a commitment to provide primary health care full time for at least three years at an approved NHSC site in a health professional shortage area of greatest need.

 

Through the Faculty Loan Repayment Program, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Health Workforce provides loan repayment to individuals who have an interest in pursuing a career as a faculty member in a health professions school.


Program applicants must be from a disadvantaged background, have an eligible health professions degree or certificate and have an employment commitment as a faculty member at an approved health professions institution for a minimum of two years. Program participants receive funds (up to $40,000 for two years of service) to repay the outstanding principal and interest of qualifying educational loans. Dentists and dental hygienists are eligible for the program.

 

The National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs (NIH LRPs) are a set of programs established by Congress and designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals, including dentists, into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. There are two LRPs, one for researchers not employed by NIH (extramural) and another for researchers employed by NIH (intramural).


Research funding from NIH is not required to participate in the extramural LRPs, and extramural and intramural LRP awardees may apply for subsequent, competitive renewal awards as long as they meet program eligibility.


Although organized around broad research areas, the LRPs were never intended to fund research projects. Rather, LRP awards are based on an applicant’s potential to build and sustain a research career.


The LRPs repay up to $50,000 annually of a researcher’s qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research.

 

The Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program (IHS LRP) awards up to $50,000 toward the repayment of qualified student loans in exchange for an initial two-year service commitment to practice full time at an Indian health program site. The IHS LRP is open to dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. 

The IHS Scholarship Program provides qualified American Indian and Alaska Native health professions students an opportunity to establish an educational foundation for each stage of their preprofessional careers. The scholarship program provides financial support in exchange for a minimum two-year service commitment within an Indian Health Program in the recipient’s chosen health professional discipline, including dentistry.

 

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) is available to employees of many government and nonprofit organizations. Qualifying employment for the PSLF Program is not about the specific job that recipients do for their employer. Rather, it is about who the employer is.

Employment with the following types of organizations qualifies for PSLF: 

  • Government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal); 
  • Nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and 
  • Other types of nonprofit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public services. 


The PSLF forgives the remaining balance on recipients’ direct loans after they have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full time for a qualifying employer.

 

The U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps is one of the nation’s uniformed services—a branch committed to the service of health. Officers advance our nation’s public health, serving in agencies across the government as physicians, nurses, dentists, veterinarians, scientists, engineers and other professionals. To join, dentists must hold a current, unrestricted and valid dental license from any U.S. state, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands or Guam. Assignments with certain federal agencies, such as the Indian Health Service, offer loan repayment and/or other educational and family support programs.


Total compensation varies depending on factors such as education and training, professional experience and geographic location of assignment.

The Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) provides an incentive through the payment of professional educational loans to new accessions to enter the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Army.

Payments are sent directly to the lending institution on behalf of the HPLRP participant. The maximum yearly loan repayment is $40,000.  

 

The Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program will pay education-based tuition and fees for up to four years of school and provide recipients a monthly stipend. In addition, the military reimburses all professional school-required books and equipment. In return, recipients agree to serve as active duty.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens, hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, maintain full-time student status during the length of the program and qualify as a commissioned officer. Students must contact a military recruiter to apply.


To learn more visit the U.S Navy or U.S. Army webpages.