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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

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Application & Program Guidance: Eligibility, Funding Preferences & Application Process

The Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP) Application is currently closed.

Eligibility

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for a FLRP award, all applicants must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen (either U.S. born or naturalized), U.S. National or Lawful Permanent Resident. A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) is any person not a citizen of the U.S. who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. An LPR is also known as a "Permanent Resident Alien," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder."
  2. Provide certification from the health professions school (previously attended by the applicant) that identifies the applicant as coming from a disadvantaged background based on environmental and/or economic factors. HHS defines an individual from a disadvantaged background as one who comes from 1) an environment that has made obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a graduate or undergraduate school challenging for the individual, or 2) a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. Applicants also have the option of submitting documentation which satisfies any of the environmental factors listed on pgs. 26-27 of this Guidance. (For more details, refer to the term, “Individual from a Disadvantaged Background” under the Definitions section.)
  3. Have a degree or certificate in one of the following eligible health profession disciplines:

a. Allopathic Medicine;
b. Osteopathic Medicine;
c. Podiatric Medicine;
d. Veterinary Medicine;
e. Dentistry;
f. Pharmacy;
g. Optometry;
h. Nursing (RN or Advanced Practice RN);
i. Public Health (graduate level only);
j. Physician Assistant;
k. Behavioral and Mental Health: clinical psychology, clinical social work, professional counseling, or marriage and family therapy (graduate level only); or
l. Allied Health Professions: dental hygiene, medical laboratory technology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, radiology technology, speech pathology, audiology, and registered dietitians (baccalaureate or graduate level; see Definitions).

Please note that any degrees or certificates obtained after the applicant’s eligible health professions degree or certificate will not be eligible. For more information regarding eligibility, applicants may contact the FLRP at1-800-221-9393 or email GetHelp@hrsa.gov.

An applicant in the final year of approved graduate training or final year of study must submit, by the application closing date of June 27, 2013, a letter of good standing from his/her Program Director indicating the expected date of graduation. The individual must graduate no later than June 28, 2013 to be eligible for the FLRP in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. 

  1. Have an employment commitment from an eligible health professions school for a full-time or part-time (as defined by the school) faculty position for a minimum of 2 years, with employment to commence on or before July 31, 2013. Eligible health professions schools must be located in a State and be an accredited public or non-profit private school (see exception below) of:
    1. Allopathic or osteopathic medicine;
    2. Dentistry;
    3. Nursing;
    4. Pharmacy;
    5. Allied health;
    6. Podiatric medicine;
    7. Optometry;
    8. Veterinary medicine;
    9. Public health (graduate level);
    10. A school offering physician assistant education programs; or
    11. A school offering graduate programs in behavioral and mental health.

Exception: Schools of Nursing and schools offering physician assistant education programs may be one of the following: public, private non-profit, or private for profit. All other schools listed above must be public or private non-profit institutions.

  1. Have a written agreement with the eligible health professions school in which the school has agreed to pay principal and interest due on the applicant’s educational loans in an amount equivalent to the loan repayments made by the DHHS under FLRP, unless the school has been granted a full or partial waiver of this requirement from the FLRP. This amount is in addition to the pay the individual would otherwise receive as a faculty member. (See “What are the requirements of the FLRP applicant’s employing institution?” below.)

Applicants must provide supporting documentation (i.e. an official agreement from the applicant’s employing institution) stating the type of match (full or partial) the institution will be providing to the employee within the two-year service period.
For institutions that are unable to provide matching loan repayments, applicants must provide an official letter from the entity requesting a full or partial waiver from FLRP, with supporting documentation of undue financial hardship.

An applicant will be deemed ineligible if he/she:

  1. Have any judgment liens arising from a Federal debt;
  2. Have an outstanding contractual obligation or existing service obligation (e.g., under the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, the State Loan Repayment Program, the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program, or the Bureau of Health Professions Nurse Faculty Loan Program, any local or State-sponsored loan repayment/forgiveness program, any employer-sponsored scholarship or recruitment/retention incentive programs, or Active Duty military obligation) that will not be satisfied by the application submission deadline;
  3. Have defaulted on any Federal payment obligations (e.g., Health Education Assistance Loans, FHA Loans, Federal income tax liabilities, etc.) or non-Federal payment obligations (e.g., court-ordered child support payments);
  4. Have defaulted on a prior service obligation to the Federal government or a State or local government, even if subsequently that obligation was satisfied through service, monetary payment or other means;
  5. Had any Federal or non-Federal debt written off as uncollectible or had any Federal service or payment obligation waived;
  6. Are currently excluded, debarred, suspended, or disqualified by a Federal agency from participating in a covered transaction; or
  7. Have failed to apply all FLRP funds previously received (if applicable) toward the qualifying educational loans. Payment histories from the lender(s) will be required.

What types of educational loans qualify for FLRP?

FLRP participants will receive funds (up to $40,000 for 2 years of service) from FLRP to repay the outstanding principal and interest of qualifying educational loans (see Definitions). The qualifying educational loans must be obtained prior to the date the participant submits his/her online application to the FLRP. Loans incurred after the application deadline will not be considered for loan repayment under a FY 2013 contract (but could be considered under a subsequent FLRP application and contract).

  1. Qualifying Educational Loans include loans obtained from government (Federal, State or local) or commercial lenders for actual costs paid for:
    1. Tuition, fees, and other reasonable educational expenses (see Definitions) for undergraduate and/or graduate education; and
    2. Reasonable living expenses (see Definitions) incurred while enrolled in undergraduate and/or graduate education.

Examples of qualifying educational loans include: Federal Perkins student loans that are not subject to cancellation, Stafford Loans, and commercial Supplemental Loans for Students.

  1. Consolidated Loans may also be eligible within the following guidelines:
    1. The consolidated/refinanced loan must be from a Government (Federal, State, or local) or commercial lender and must include only qualifying educational loans of the applicant.
    2. If an otherwise eligible educational loan of the applicant is consolidated/refinanced with ineligible (non-qualifying) debt of the applicant or loans of another individual, no portion of the consolidated/refinanced loan will be eligible for loan repayment.
  2. Non-Qualifying Loans include but are not limited to:
    1. Loans for which the associated documentation does not identify the loan as applicable to undergraduate or graduate education.
    2. Loans obtained from family members, or from private institutions or other entities that are not subject to Federal or State examination and supervision as lenders.
    3. Loans that have been paid in full.
    4. PLUS Loans (made to parents).
    5. Credit Cards or Personal Lines of Credit
    6. Loans subject to cancellation (ex. Federal Perkins loans subject to cancellation for faculty employment at Tribal College or University; Nursing Faculty Loan Program loans subject to cancellation for faculty employment at a school of nursing), unless the applicant can provide documentation as indicated in the Instructions for Supporting Documentation and Supplemental Forms, that such loans are not subject to cancellation.
Documentation of loans will be required. Qualifying educational loans must have documentation to establish that they were contemporaneous with the education received. Loan documentation will be verified by contacting lender(s)/holder(s) and checking the applicant’s credit report.

NOTE: The original date of the applicant’s qualifying educational loan(s) must occur prior to or within 3 months from the date the health professions degree or certificate was received.

What are the requirements of the FLRP applicant’s employing institution?

The employing institution must be an eligible health professions school and must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Employment Contract. The employing institution must enter into a contract with the applicant to serve as a full-time or part-time (as defined by the school) faculty member for a minimum of 2 years.
  2. Letter of Employment (applicable only if serving as a tenured faculty member). The employing institution must write a letter (official letterhead) to indicate that the applicant will serve as a full-time or part-time (as defined by the school) faculty member for a minimum of two years.
  3. Loan Repayment Agreement/Waiver of Loan Repayment Requirement. The employing institution must enter into a written agreement with the applicant to make loan repayments in an amount equal to the FLRP loan repayments or request and be granted a full or partial waiver of this loan repayment requirement.
    1. Loan Repayment Agreement. The employing institution’s loan repayment agreement must provide that:
      1. The institution will make payments of the principal and interest due on the educational loans of the faculty member in an amount equal to the amount of such payments made by DHHS under its two-year FLRP contract (the maximum amount is $40,000 for two years);
      2. The loan repayments made by the school will be in addition to the pay that the faculty member would otherwise receive and the amount of the faculty member’s pay will be determined without regard to the amount of the payments made by DHHS under its two-year FLRP contract.
    2. Waiver of Loan Repayment Requirement. The Secretary of the DHHS or his/her designee may waive all or part of the above requirement if the Secretary or his/her designee determines, based on documentation submitted by the employing institution, that the requirement will impose an undue financial hardship on the employing institution. The following items are examples of documentation that would support a waiver request:
      1. Documentation of diminished financial resources (e.g., consistent budget cuts, reduced earnings on endowments, and/or unexpected expenditures), such that payment of all or part of the matching loan repayment funds would impose an undue financial hardship; or
      2. Documentation showing the institution is engaged in collective bargaining agreement(s) that either prohibits such differential compensation or that would require the institution to provide a similar amount of support for faculty not covered under the FLRP.

In instances where a partial waiver is requested, the employing institution must also enter into a written agreement with the applicant to pay the remaining portion of the loan repayment match amount outlined in a. above.

  1. Completion of “Institution Employment/Loan Repayment Verification Form.” The employing institution must complete this form. The form provides employment information, verification that the applicant will serve as a faculty member for a minimum of two years, and information regarding the institution’s ability to make loan repayments.

NOTE: Applicants who were previously awarded by the FLRP and are re-applying for the current cycle, must provide documentation (i.e. an official record/receipt from the applicant’s former employing institution) that indicates that previous site payments were made in accordance to the specific match promised by the entity.
If the institution is non-compliant and defaults on their agreed institutional match to the FLRP, future applicants will not be eligible to apply if they are employed at that specific institution.

How does the FLRP determine which applicants will receive loan repayment?

The program uses funding preferences to determine the sequential order in which awards are made to qualified applicants. A funding preference will be given based on the applicant’s employing eligible health professions school’s institutional match status (i.e., fully matching the DHHS level of loan repayments, partially matching the DHHS level of loan repayments, or no match required). For the "partial match” and “no match” statuses, the applicant’s employing school must have received or obtained approval for a partial or full waiver of the matching requirement.

Applicants will be grouped into one of the funding preference levels described below. Awards will be made to applicants, starting with the first preference level, in order of decreasing financial need within each level, until funds are expended. Priority will also be given to those clinicians serving as full-time faculty and to those faculty who demonstrate a commitment to promoting health care careers.

 

Funding Preference LevelInstitutional Match
First PreferenceFull Time with Full Match (100%)
Part Time with Full Match (100%)
Second PreferenceFull Time with Partial Match/Waiver (1-99%)
Part Time with Partial Match/Waiver (1-99%)
Third PreferenceFull Time with No Match/Full Waiver (0%)
Part Time with No Match/Full Waiver (0%)

What should I know before I apply?

In FY 2012, FLRP received 80 eligible applications and made 20 awards to faculty members working at eligible health profession schools.

The deadline for submitting an application is June 27, 2013. Applicants will receive an email confirmation upon submission of an online application via the BCRS Program Portal. Applicants will be notified by October 31, 2013 as to whether or not they receive an award.

What should I expect if I am selected to receive an award?

The FLRP frequently corresponds with applicants by e-mail. It is critical that applicants use and maintain a current email address. Please check your email during the application process for correspondence from FLRP and make certain to disable SPAM blockers (or check your SPAM folder).

If your application is approved, FLRP will notify you by e-mail that you have been identified as a possible recipient of a FLRP award. You will be asked to verify whether you are still working at the eligible health professions school identified in your online application. You will then be required to complete the additional required forms (ex. FLRP contract and banking information) to facilitate electronic transfer of award funds via the BCRS Program Portal. This notification does not guarantee an award.
If an applicant is selected for a FLRP award, the individual’s contract will be countersigned by the Secretary of Health and Human Services or his/her designee. Please note that a contract is not effective until signed by the Secretary or his/her designee. All awardees will receive notice via email, directing them to download their award letter, a copy of the fully signed contract, a Payment Authorization Worksheet (PAW), and a welcome packet from the BCRS Program Portal.

Award payments will be provided in one lump sum through an electronic funds transfer to the participant’s checking or savings account identified on the banking information submitted by the participant. A direct deposit is made approximately 90 days after the effective date of the contract.
Individuals who are uncertain that they will be able to fulfill a two-year service commitment under FLRP are advised not to apply to this program. An awardee who fails to begin or complete his or her service obligation will be placed in default and subject to the monetary damages specified in the FLRP contract.

Please note that only the Secretary or his/her designee can make a FLRP contract award. A FLRP award cannot be guaranteed by a school, any other person, or entity.

Important Notes:

  1. Participants must use the FLRP payments to pay the lenders or holders of their qualifying educational loans, as indicated on a Payment Authorization Worksheet (PAW) that will be provided to participants with their award notice. Periodically, FLRP may contact a participant’s lenders or holders to verify that award payments have been applied to FLRP approved loans.
  2. Participants must immediately notify FLRP, via the BCRS Program Portal, of any changes to their mailing address, telephone number, email address, name, or financial institution (bank information). Participants must also notify FLRP of changes in service site and employment status. In the case of a name change, please provide legal documentation, such as a copy of a marriage certificate.
  3. Previous FLRP participants may re-apply for a new two-year contract if they have 1) completed the previous FLRP service obligation in good standing; 2) have remaining qualifying educational loans; and 3) provide a payment history showing that all FLRP funds were applied to the approved qualifying educational loans.
  4. If for any reason a participant does not receive their award within 90 days of their contract start date, the participant should contact FLRP as soon as possible through the BCRS Program Portal, phone (1-800-221-9393), or email (gethelp@hrsa.gov).

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