Mental Health Professional Loan Repayment Program

The Mental Health Professional Loan Repayment Program was established to increase the number of non-prescribing mental health practitioners serving high-need communities in Iowa. The program provides loan repayment benefits for up to five consecutive years of full-time service, and can be adjusted for part-time service. The maximum award for this program is $40,000, which is paid in annual installments toward outstanding Federal Stafford Loan, Federal Grad PLUS Loan and Federal Perkins Loan balances at the end of each 12 month employment period.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Graduate from an eligible Iowa college/university with at least a doctorate degree in psychology, or at least a master’s degree in counseling and guidance, social work, marriage and family therapy or mental health counseling.
  • Complete at least 2 years of post-degree clinical experience in assessing and diagnosing mental health needs, and providing mental health counseling services to individuals or groups while under the supervision of another individual in the mental health field.
  • Hold a current, non-prescribing practitioner license issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Award Amount

  • The maximum loan repayment benefit is $40,000, paid in annual installments of $8,000.  
  • 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.

High-Need Communities

  • A city in Iowa that is within a federal mental health shortage area as designated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Shortage areas can change over time and will be evaluated at the time a Repayment Agreement is signed by both parties. More detail to follow.

Service Requirements

  • Provide mental health services on a full-time basis for five consecutive years unless granted a waiver for part-time service.

Selection Criteria

  • To the extent possible, an equal number of new recipients will be selected from each occupation, based on availability of funds. More detail to follow.

How to Apply

More detail to follow. The application is anticipated to open in Spring 2023.