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Iowa College Aid

Health Professional Recruitment Program

The Health Professional Recruitment Program (HPRP) was established to increase the number of advanced registered nurse practitioners, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, physician assistants, podiatrists and registered nurses practicing in high-need communities in Iowa. The program provides loan repayment benefits to individuals that practice in specified locations for up to four years. The maximum award for this program is $50,000, which is paid in four increments toward outstanding Federal Stafford Loan and Grad PLUS Loan balances at the end of each 12 month employment period. A recipient who refinances an eligible federal loan to a private education loan after signing a contract may continue to receive loan repayment benefits as long as the recipient contacts Iowa College Aid and provides required documentation.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Graduate from an eligible Iowa college/university.
  • Be employed as an advanced registered nurse practitioner, athletic trainer, occupational therapist, physical therapist, physician, physician assistant, podiatrist or registered nurse practicing in a high-need community in Iowa that agrees to provide a dollar-for-dollar loan repayment match to state funds.   
  • Practice in a high-need community for four years.

Award Amount

The maximum annual award is $12,500 for up to four consecutive years. The maximum amount a recipient can receive over the four-year period is $50,000. Award amounts may be reduced if the community matching funds are less than the annual maximum award. All award funds must be applied to outstanding student loan balances. Details on the taxability of loan repayment benefits can be found on the IRS website.

High-Need Communities

An eligible high-need community is:

  • 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 (see map below).

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, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, physician assistants, podiatrists, and registered nurses will be offered awards based on the 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:

  • Most recent graduation year
  • Application date

How to Apply

The application will be available February 1, 2024 - March 31, 2024.

If you are an advanced registered nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or registered nurse, and are trying to decide if you want to apply for the Health Professional Recruitment Program or the Health Care Award Program; see the program comparison guide to help in your decision.

Important Dates

March 31: Applications must be submitted by March 31 to guarantee consideration.