CounselorsEmpowerACA Government Affairs Blog

The ACA Government Affairs team strives to keep the counseling community connected with important legislative news, updates, and announcements that affect the profession. Questions? Want to get involved in our advocacy efforts? Email us at 


Jan 03, 2019

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

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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  1. 9 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. 8 Melissa Stetson 03 Jan
    what about clinicians who are providing In Home Therapy?
  3. 7 Yesenia Cannon 03 Jan
    Any student loan forgiveness programs for clinicians who are not licensed?
  4. 6 Thelma Epps 04 Jan
    I am interested in applying for this student loan forgiveness program as well.  I am an LADC.
  5. 5 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. 4 Wilma 04 Jan
    I am interested in the student loan forgiveness.  i have a LADC I, but also dealing with health issues. 
  7. 3 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. 2 Shawn 08 Jan
    Does Waterford Michigan qualify as one of these areas?
  9. 1 Ashley 10 Jan
    Are provisionally licensed professional counselors able to apply?


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