CounselorsEmpowerACA Government Affairs Blog

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Jun 11, 2019




Application Process Announced: New SUD Student-Loan-Forgiveness Program for Rural Opioid Response Workers

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications through June 18 for a new student-loan-forgiveness program for behavioral health clinicians working to fight the opioid epidemic in drug-treatment programs in rural underserved areas.

This new program, the Rural Community Loan Repayment Program, will award up to $100,000 in student loan repayment to primary care and behavioral health clinicians providing substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in rural communities nationwide. In exchange, participants commit to serve for three years at rural health care sites.

The program will make FY 2019 loan repayment awards in coordination with the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) initiative to provide evidence-based substance use treatment, assist in recovery, and to prevent overdose deaths across the nation.

To qualify you must be:

  • A United States citizen (U.S. born or naturalized) or United States national;
  • A provider (or be eligible to participate as a provider) in the Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, as appropriate;
  • Fully trained and licensed to practice in the NHSC-eligible primary care medical, or mental/behavioral health discipline and state in which you are applying to serve; 
  • A health professional in an eligible discipline with qualified student loan debt for education that led to your degree; and
  • Working, or have accepted a position, at a rural NHSC-approved SUD treatment facility. Sites that have received RCORP funding will receive preference.


HRSA is holding an application webinar June 13 at 1 pm ET

Access Link
Dial-in number: 800-857-1286
Passcode: 4667956

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Related Info


  1. 10 Erin Berk 11 Jun
    No I have questions about working a private practice and providing counseling in a rule area one day a week for three years? How would that work? Thank you.
  3. 8 Susan 11 Jun
    So what I am reading they would need to be independent licensed. Is that correct? They can’t still be under supervision?
  4. 7 Tammy kling 11 Jun
    hello, I can’t do the time that is posted for the webinar, can someone call me so I can get more info on this program? 716 514 6695 
  5. 6 Anthony Winters 12 Jun
    I am a student in mental health counseling. Can I get a list of places this program is eligible for in Florida? Will this still be available when I become licensed in a couple years? 
  6. 5 Delma Garza 13 Jun
    If I am unable to attend the webinar is there another way to be able to get the information that was discussed. Will it be recorded for anyone to be able to listen to it a different time?
  7. 4 Shundra King 14 Jun
    Looking for loan forgiveness 
  8. 3 Tina Watkins 17 Jun
    i want to receive information on how to apply for this loan forgiveness please. Thank you, Tina
  9. 2 Norma Thomas 20 Jun
    i want to receive information on how to apply for this loan forgiveness please. Thank you, Norma
  10. 1 B. McLeod 28 Jul
    I would like more information on loan forgiveness program.  I am fully licensed professional counselor with an active CAADC certification.  I am currently working full-time for a major behavioral health care facility.


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