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 3, 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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