CounselorsEmpowerACA Government Affairs Blog

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Jan 03, 2019

Application Process Announced: New SUD Student-Loan-Forgiveness Program, Existing Student Loan-Forgiveness Program for Health-Care Workers

UPDATE: The deadline for applying to this program has been changed from February 21, 2019 to February 28, 2019. More information here .

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications through Feb. 21 for a new student-loan-forgiveness program for behavioral health clinicians working in drug-treatment programs in underserved areas. As a result of ACA's advocacy efforts, licensed professional counselors (LPCs) are among those eligible to participate in the program.

Congress approved the new loan-forgiveness/repayment plan in October. The program enables eligible clinicians to receive up to $75,000 in student loan repayment in exchange for a three-year commitment to provide substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services at National Health Service Corps (NHSC)-approved sites.

HRSA is holding two online/telephonic application Q&A sessions, 

Thursday, January 24 and Thursday, February 7
2:30 – 3:30 PM ET
Webinar Access Link
Dial-in: 888-950-7563 
Passcode: 3172361

You can learn more about the new program from this fact sheet. In addition, you can apply here and review online information about the approved substance-use-disorder work sites, the application process and participant eligibility requirements.

Feb. 21 also is the application deadline for the existing NHSC Loan Repayment Program, which is not limited to those working in SUD programs. This program offers up to $50,000 in loan forgiveness for clinicians, including LPCs. In exchange for this loan repayment, participants must serve for at least two years at an NHSC-approved site in a designated health professional shortage area (HPSA). You can learn more about this program in the Jan. 10 webinar mentioned above.

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Related Info


  1. 34 Shelby Hartzell 03 Jan
    I am interested in applying for this student loan forgiveness program. I am a licensed professional counselor working at a community college.
  2. 33 Melissa Stetson 03 Jan
    what about clinicians who are providing In Home Therapy?
  3. 32 Yesenia Cannon 03 Jan
    Any student loan forgiveness programs for clinicians who are not licensed?
  4. 31 Thelma Epps 04 Jan
    I am interested in applying for this student loan forgiveness program as well.  I am an LADC.
  5. 30 TaDonya Stephens 04 Jan
    I am interested, I am an LPC Intern and a fully licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, working in with SUD for the last 4 years. Where do I apply?
  6. 29 Wilma 04 Jan
    I am interested in the student loan forgiveness.  i have a LADC I, but also dealing with health issues. 
  7. 28 Dr. Bridgette Chase 06 Jan
    Hello.   I am a SUD Director in Ward 8 WDC.   I am excited about the opportunity to receive loan assistance.   I am committed to working with co occurring clients.   We have a major crisis in WDC.   Opioid addiction is a major crisis and it is destroying the lives of the served and underserved citizens in WDC.  Dr Bridgette Chase  bridgette_chase 
  8. 27 Shawn 08 Jan
    Does Waterford Michigan qualify as one of these areas?
  9. 26 Ashley 10 Jan
    Are provisionally licensed professional counselors able to apply?
  10. 25 DEBRAH L ALSOBROOK 10 Jan

    I am interested.  I live in the Houston, Texas area.  Are interns allowed?
  11. 24 Michael 10 Jan
    I am disability examiner, senior and assist individuals in getting on disability if they meet the requirements from the social security administration. Some of these individuals are abusing substances and alcoholism. Can I become eligible to my student loan forgiven. 
  12. 23 Shelley Marie Windsor 10 Jan
    I would like to apply for this program. I am an LPC intern in Montana. We have high CD rates and the highest suicide rates in the nation. We are a rural state with diverse cultures.
  13. 22 Tim Strickland 10 Jan
    I am LPC and have been working in SUD field in rural south Georgia for the past 10 years for For Profit businesses.  Would I qualify?
  14. 21 Jessica Blount 10 Jan
    I am interested in the loan forgiveness program. I am an LPCC and work with DOC substance abuse clients in Colorado Springs.
  15. 20 Rose Lynch 10 Jan
    I have worked in the SUD program for about 32 years now and have been researching ways to help get my student loan forgiven. Our agency is not a NHSC approved agency so can I still get approved for this forgiveness program without changing jobs?   Rose Lynch, LCPC, CADC-Idaho
  16. 19 Amanda 10 Jan
    I'm interested in finding eligible employment for this program.  What is the best way to search for eligible jobs?
  17. 18 Brenda McDonald 11 Jan
    I am very interest. I am an masters candidate doing my internship in LMHC. I have experience in real life situations and a Human Service background.
  18. 17 Debbie 11 Jan
    I am interested but I cannot make the session today.  Will there be information on the ACA site? Also, can I apply for loan forgiveness if I am a resident in counseling? I graduate in May.

  19. 16 Veronica Johnson 11 Jan
    I’m very interested in loan forgiveness.  I’m an LPC licensed in TX and MO.  Do you have anything near the Dallas area?

    Thank you
  20. 15 Brittany 11 Jan
    I’m currently a student and will have my LAC in June. Are there more opportunities next year? Do you need to have your LPC?


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