California State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
The California State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) increases the number of primary care physicians, dentists, dental hygienists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, pharmacists, and mental/behavioral health providers practicing in federally designated California Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA).
Congress authorized SLRP in 1987 under the U.S. Public Health Services Act Title III, Section 3381(a)-(1) (42 U.S.C.) Section 254q-1(a)-(i). Learn more...
SLRP assists with the repayment of qualified educational loans for eligible primary health care professionals in exchange for a 2-year full-time or 4-year half-time initial service commitment. Additional 1-year extensions are available following successful completion of the initial service commitment.
SLRP requires the provider's practice site to be listed on the SLRP Practice Sites List, pay the provider a prevailing wage, and match the award on a dollar-for- dollar basis with non-federal contributions (directly or through donations from public or private entities).
Must meet all requirements listed in EACH section to be considered eligible
- Be a U.S. citizen (U.S born or naturalized)
- Possess a valid and unrestricted license to practice your profession in California
- Be free from judgments arising from federal debt
- Not have any other existing service obligations with other entities
- Not be in breach of any other health professional service obligation
- Be current on any child support payments
- Be employed at or have accepted employment at a SLRP approved Practice Site (See Practice Site Eligibility section for more details)
- Commit to providing a 2-year full-time (40 hrs./week) or a 4-year half-time (20 hrs./week) service obligation (See service commitment and awards section for more details)
- Medicine (MD/DO)
- Family Medicine
- General Internal Medicine
- General Pediatrics
- General Psychiatrist
- Dentist (DMD/DDS)
- Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (NP)
- Primary Care Physician Assistant (PA)
- Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
- Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)
- Licensed Mental Health or Behavioral Health Professionals
- Health Service Psychologist (HSP), formerly Clinical or Counseling Psychologist
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
- Mental Health Counselor (MHC)
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
- Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
- Psychiatric Nurse Specialist (PNS)
- Pharmacists (PharmD) Guidelines
SLRP offers both full-time and half-time service commitments. Full-time service requires a minimum of 40 hours per week; at least 32 of those hours must be spent providing direct patient care in an outpatient setting, during regular business hours. Half-time service requires a minimum of 20 hours per week; at least 16 of those hours must be spent providing direct patient care in an outpatient setting, during regular business hours. All providers are allotted 35 days off per service year. Clinicians who exclusively provide OB/GYN, mental health, geriatric, or pediatric dental care have fewer required outpatient care hours.
Practice Site Eligibility
Pursuant to Chapter 454 of 2016 (AB 2048), effective January 1, 2017, the SLRP Practice Sites List includes all Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). To host SLRP providers, a practice site must:
- Be located in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA)
- Be a public or private not for-profit out-patient facility
- Match the SLRP award, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, in addition to the provider's salary
- Pay the provider a prevailing wage
- Provide services on a free or reduced fee schedule basis to individuals at or below 200% of the federal poverty level
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 $50,000.00.
|Current Obligation Year||Full-Time Maximum Award|
(2-year initial obligation)
|Half-Time Maximum Award|
(4-year initial obligation)
|Initial 2-year or 4-year obligation||$50,000.00||$50,000.00|
|Extension Year 1||$20,000.00||$10,000.00|
|Extension Year 2||$20,000.00||$10,000.00|
|Extension Year 3||$10,000.00||$5,000.00|
|Extension Year 4||$10,000.00||$5,000.00|
Each site is required to match the awarded grant, on a dollar for dollar basis, up to $25,000 per provider. The award amount may vary due to the amount of provider's debt. The provider will need to consult with the practice site to determine if the site will provide the matching award.
Frequently Asked Questions
- If a provider is awarded by SLRP, what are the service agreement obligations?All SLRP awardees must:
- Meet the weekly hour requirements for the service commitment
- Apply the entire award amount (SLRP funds and the matching funds provided by the site) to eligible student loan debt during the awardee’s service dates
- Submit official lender statements at the end of the awardee's service obligation showing all award funds were applied to qualifying student loan debt
- Can a provider apply for more than one scholarship or loan repayment program at once?
A provider may apply for more than one scholarship/loan repayment program at once. If awarded, a provider may only accept one service obligation at a time.
- What types of loans qualify as eligible educational debt under SLRP?
Government and commercial loans obtained by the applicant for undergraduate and graduate health professions degree qualify for SLRP. Qualifying commercial lending institutions are those subject to examination and supervision by an agency of the United States, or by the State in which the institutions have their place of business. SLRP does not include interest on educational loans as eligible sources of loan repayment. The following types of debt are not considered eligible under the program: loans that are in default, credit card debt, Primary Care Loans, personal lines of credit, and loans repaid in full. Eligible educational loans consolidated with loans owed by any other person, such as a spouse, are ineligible for repayment. For loans to remain eligible, applicant/participants must keep their eligible educational loans segregated from other debts.
- If a facility is not currently located in a HPSA, how does it receive a HPSA designation?
To receive a HPSA designation, a site representative must contact the Shortage Designation Program
- Does SLRP staff aid with job placement at SLRP Practice Sites?
No. SLRP does not provide job placement assistance; however, we do provide a list of approved Practice Sites. To secure employment, applicants should contact sites to discuss employment opportunities. To search specifically for opportunities in rural areas, please visit National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network.
- When does the annual application cycle occur?
The SLRP annual application cycle opens on August 1 and closes on October 1 (subject to change).
- When does a current SLRP provider apply for an extension agreement?
A current SLRP provider may apply for an extension agreement during the regular annual application cycle. However, an awardee may be unable to apply for an extension if the current service dates overlap with the dates set for the new agreements.
- What criteria are used to select award recipients for SLRP?
Application scores depend on the applicant's work experience with medically underserved communities, cultural and linguistic competence, and career goals. Although applicants are not required to be bilingual, bilingual applicants are favored. SLRP also favors extension agreements from compliant awardees.
- When will applicants be notified about their award statuses?
Applicants will be notified about their award statuses after the application cycle has closed and all applications have been scored. The application cycle lasts 60 days, and the scoring process time can vary depending upon the number of applications received.
- How soon are payments disbursed to awardees following the start of their agreements?
SLRP award payment dates vary from year to year. The disbursement of the first SLRP check will depend upon the awardee’s agreement dates and terms.
- Are SLRP awards considered to be taxable income?
Federal funds and matching state funds, used to support SLRP, are exempt from federal income and employment taxes.
- Is an awardee required to apply all award funds to loan debt immediately upon receiving them?
No. An awardee is required to apply all award funds (those awarded by SLRP, and the site’s matching amount) to student loan debt by the end of the service obligation. They can choose to allocate those funds however they wish (e.g. in one lump sum or by monthly payments). Regardless of how an awardee allocates the award funds, it is the provider’s sole responsibility to ensure they make the required monthly payments to lenders. The provider must remain current on all payment schedules required by the lender(s).
- What happens if loans are consolidated during a provider’s SLRP agreement term?
If an awardee’s loans are consolidated during the SLRP agreement term, they must notify SLRP immediately, and provide all of the new corresponding loan information.
- What happens if an awardee needs to move to another site during the service obligation?
An awardee may change sites during the service agreement dates. The awardee must notify SLRP at least 30 days prior to leaving the original site. The new site must meet all of SLRP’s requirements.
- What happens if an awardee needs additional time off (maternity/paternity leave, emergency medical leave, FMLA, etc.)?
If an awardee needs additional time off (other than that provided under the agreement), the awardee must contact SLRP immediately; awardees’ requests can be accommodated by extending agreement end dates to ensure that the original service obligation is still met.
- What happens if an awardee is unable to fulfil the terms of the agreement?
An awardee that breaches the agreement with SLRP will be responsible for repaying an amount equal to the sum of the following:
- $7,500 for each month of full-time service not completed under the agreement
- $3,750 for each month of half-time service not completed under the agreement
- Interest on the above amounts (the amount OSHPD is entitled to recover shall not be less than $31,000, even if the breach formula results in a lower amount due)
- If an applicant has been working in a qualified facility for several years already, can credit be received for time already served if they are awarded?
No. An awardee will only receive credit for time served after a service obligation has begun.
- If an applicant is selected to be a SLRP awardee, how many times can they reapply?
An awardee is eligible to participate in SLRP for as long as they have student loan debt. SLRP favors retention at our approved Practice Sites, so extension agreements are encouraged.
- Do applicants need to submit entirely new applications each time they apply for SLRP?
Yes. Applicants are required to submit entirely new applications every time they apply for a new or extension agreement with SLRP.
- What other loan repayment programs are there for providers?
This page was last updated on Thursday, March 8, 2018.
Mental Health Loan Assumption Program
Funded by Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act
Application Deadline Extended to November 13, 2017.
If you live or work in the following counties effected by the California Wildfires, the deadline to submit your application is November 17, 2017: Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Yuba, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Nevada, and Orange.
Please note: HPEF recommends that you complete and submit your application 2-4 days prior to the November 13, 2017 deadline as you may experience delays on the CalREACH website due to the large amount of applicants using the system on the deadline date. Please plan accordingly.
If you have questions pertaining to the requirements for hard-to-fill or retain positions you may contact your County's Mental Health Director or Designee's Office. Click on the County Contacts List
To view criteria from Counties who have asked us to post, click on the appropriate link below:
Apply for the MHLAP Application here
Background: MHLAP was created by the Mental Health Services Act (Act), passed by California voters in November 2004. The Act provided funding to develop a loan forgiveness program in order to retain qualified professionals working within the Public Mental Health System (PMHS). Through the Workforce Education and Training component of the Act, $10 million is allocated yearly to loan assumption awards. An award recipient may receive up to $10,000 to repay educational loans in exchange for a 12-month service obligation in a hard-to-fill or retain position within the County PMHS.
Eligible Professions: Counties determine which professions are eligible for their County's hard-to-fill or retain positions. Some of the eligible professions include, but are not limited to, Registered or Licensed Psychologists, Registered or Licensed Psychiatrists, Postdoctoral Psychological Assistants, Postdoctoral Psychological Trainees, Registered or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Registered or Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Interns, and Registered or Licensed Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners in California. Support, managerial and/or fiscal staff may be eligible.
This page was last updated on Thursday, October 26, 2017.