While financial aid and scholarship options abound for students as they enter college, few may know of loan forgiveness programs. Designed to encourage students in certain career fields to assist in geographic areas that need their assistance, loan forgiveness programs are almost like scholarships for students after they’ve completed their schooling.
Across the nation loan forgiveness programs exist allowing careers to reduce or cancel Perkins Loans or assist in paying back student debt through volunteerism. Iowa offers a number of loan forgiveness programs designed specially to meet the needs of underserved areas of the state. Five different programs are available for students entering the healthcare industry in Iowa:
NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program. This Federal program enables dedicated registered nurses committed to caring for underserved people to serve in hospitals and clinics in some of America’s neediest communities, improving the lives of their patients and transforming their own.
Iowa Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness Program. Registered nurses employed in Iowa and nurse educators who hold master’s, specialist’s or doctorate degrees and are teaching at eligible Iowa college and universities are eligible for this repayment assistance program.
Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program. Graduates of Des Moines University can apply for this loan repayment assistance program serving osteopathic doctors, physicians assistants, podiatrists and physical therapists practicing in high-need communities in Iowa.
Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program. This loan repayment incentive program is available to medical students at the University of Iowa or Des Moines University who agree to practice as physicians in rural commitment areas in Iowa for five consecutive years. The area must be an Iowa city with a population less than 26,000 located more than 20 miles from a city with a population of at least 50,000.
Rural Iowa RN and PA Loan Repayment Program. Similar to the Primary Care Loan Repayment Program, this program provides a loan repayment incentive to advanced registered nurse and physician assistant students enrolled at eligible Iowa colleges and universities who agree to practice in a rural service commitment area in Iowa for five consecutive years. The area must be an Iowa city with a population less than 26,000 located more than 20 miles from a city with a population of at least 50,000.
As with all scholarship or financial grant opportunities, take the time to read the details of each loan forgiveness program to make sure that students are both eligible for the program and that they are fully aware and willing to undertake the commitment of each program. By taking on a loan forgiveness program, students can achieve their postgraduate goals while helping to better their community in return for financial relief from student debt.