Health Professions Student Loans, Including Primary Care Loans/Loans for Disadvantaged Students

To increase educational opportunities by providing long-term, low-interest loans to students in need of financial assistance and in pursuit of a course of study in an approved health discipline.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

PCL: (1) Long-term low-interest loans made to students of Allopathic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine.

HPSL/LDS: Long-term, low-interest loans made to students of Dentistry, Pharmacy, Optometry, Podiatric Medicine; and Veterinary Medicine; and (2) funds provided to Health Professions Schools to capitalize loan funds.

LDS: First awards were made in September 1991.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - Jim Essel, Division of Health Careers Diversity and DevelopmentStudent Loans and Scholarships, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, , Department of Health and Human Services, Parklawn Building, Room 8-429-105, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Telephone: (301) 443-4776.

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007 support was provided to 13,817 students.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds on deposit can only be used for loans to eligible students pursuing a full-time course of study.

The maximum amount a student may borrow is cost of attendance (including tuition, other reasonable educational expenses and reasonable living expenses).

Third and fourth year medical and osteopathic medicine students may be eligible for additional funding to repay earlier higher-interest educational loans.

The interest rate is 5 percent.

Effective July 1, 1993, to be eligible for a Primary Care Loan (PCL), students of allopathic medicine and osteopathic medicine must meet financial need criteria and agree to enter and complete a residency training program in primary health care not later then 4 years after the date on which the student graduates from such school.

The PCL borrower must also practice primary health care until the loan is repaid in full.

To be eligible for Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS) students must meet the HPSL criteria and also be from a disadvantaged background as defined by the Secretary.

A school must be carrying out a program for recruiting and retaining students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities and carrying out a program for recruiting and retaining minority faculty to be eligible for LDS funds.

In addition, the school must agree to ensure that adequate instruction regarding minority health issues is in the curricula of the school.

Health clinics must provide services to a significant number of individuals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, including members of minority groups and enter into arrangements with one or more such clinics for the purpose of providing students of the school with experience in clinical services to such individuals.

Secondary educational institutions and undergraduate institutions of higher education, to must enter into arrangements with one or more such institutions for the purpose of carrying out programs regarding the educational preparation of disadvantaged students, including minority students, to enter the health professions and recruit such individuals into the health professions.

These institutions should also establish a mentor program for assisting disadvantaged students, including minority students, toward completion of the educational requirements for degrees from the school.