Health Care Loan Repayment Program

The Health Care Loan Repayment Program provides loan repayment awards to nurse educators teaching full-time at eligible Iowa colleges and universities, as well as applicants who agree to practice full-time as registered nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in service commitment areas for five consecutive years and meet the requirements of the program.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be an advanced registered nurse practitioner, physician assistant or registered nurse working full-time in a service commitment area*, or a nurse educator teaching full-time at an eligible college/university in Iowa (employment will be verified at the conclusion of the state fiscal year);
  • Must complete and file annual applications for the program by the March 31 deadline;
  • Owe a balance on an eligible federal student loan (Parent Plus and private loans do not qualify for repayment); A recipient who refinances an eligible federal loan to a private education loan after being designated to receive an award may continue to receive loan repayment benefits as long as the recipient contacts Iowa College Aid and provides required documentation. 
  • Be in good standing with all federal student loan accounts. Borrowers interested in postponing repayment on federal student loans should contact their current loan holder.

    *A service commitment area is defined as a city in Iowa with a population of less than 26,000 that is located more than 20 miles from a city with a population of 50,000 or more.

Eligible Service Commitment Areas

Award Amount

  • The maximum annual award shall be the lesser of: $6,000 or 20% of the eligible applicant’s total outstanding qualified student loans.

Selection Criteria

All applications received on or before the March 31 deadline will be considered for funding. To the extent possible, an equal number of new advanced registered nurse practitioners, nurse educators, physician assistants, and registered nurses will be offered awards based on availability of funds.

In the event that funding is insufficient to award all eligible applicants within an occupation category, criteria for selection of eligible applicants with each occupation category will be prioritized as follows:

  • Applicant renewal status;
  • Iowa Residency status;
  • Members of the Iowa National Guard, if requested by the adjutant general;
  • Date of application.

How to Apply

Recipients must reapply annually* by completing the Loan Repayment portion of the Iowa Financial Aid Application (IFAA). The application will be available online beginning January 1 and applications must be submitted by March 31 to guarantee consideration.


*Applicants may receive loan repayment for no more than five consecutive years. Recipients who fail to submit a completed program application before the established deadline, will not be considered for future awards.