Frequently Asked Questions about Loan Forgiveness/Repayment Programs in Minnesota

Do the loan forgiveness/repayment programs pay for undergraduate loans?
For the Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Programs, a qualified education loan eligible for repayment means a government, commercial or foundation loan for actual costs paid for tuition, reasonable education expenses and reasonable living expenses related to the graduate or undergraduate education of a health care professional.

The Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program restrict eligible loans to government and commercial loans for educational purposes related to the degree under which you will be completing your service obligation.

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When should I apply?
Apply for the Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program in your final year of training, during the application cycle of July 1- December 1. Applications will be available on each loan forgiveness program Web page after July 1.Licensed dentists or pharmacists may apply; however, students or residents receive highest preference.

The Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program require providers to be fully licensed to practice independently and contracted for employment by an approved facility before being eligible to apply. Under certain requirements, physicians may apply to the Corps program in the final year of residency.

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Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to receive a loan forgiveness/repayment award?
The Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Programs do not require this. However, if selected, you will be required to practice in Minnesota after completing training.

The Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program DO require you to be a U.S. citizen or a national.

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Do I have to be a Minnesota resident to apply?
No. However, if selected, you will be required to practice in Minnesota after completing your training.

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What are the selection criteria?
Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program selections are based on suitability for practice as indicated by experience or training as noted on an application, as well as preference given to those closest to completing their training.

The Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program ranks applications based on: the likelihood of the candidate being eligible for receiving a federal award (primarily based on the score and status of the Health Professional Shortage Area designation), letters of reference, answers to two essay questions concerning the applicant’s knowledge of the patient population to be served and the applicant’s knowledge of the health of that population, the percentage of the population served that is uninsured/underinsured as addressed in the site application; and the completeness of the application.

The federal National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program primarily ranks candidates based on the score assigned to the Health Professional Shortage Area designation in which the applicant is intending to practice.

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Will you help me find employment?
Our office does not assist with placement. Depending on your profession, job opportunities may be listed at:  

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If I'm accepted, how long do I have to find a qualifying job?
For the Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program, you must begin your three-year, full-time service obligation no later than March 31 following completion of required training.

You must already be employed to be eligible to apply to the Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.

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Do I have to pay state and federal taxes on the award?
Loan forgiveness program payments are considered exempt from state and federal income taxes, after December 31, 2008.

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Do you know of any other loan forgiveness programs?
Yes. Our office has compiled a courtesy listing of other opportunities at:Other Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs. Please check with each sponsoring agency for further information.

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Do you have a listing of licensed nursing homes in Minnesota that would qualify for the Nurse Loan Forgiveness Program?
Yes. You can find nursing homes in Minnesota, by county and/or city at the Minnesota Department of Health.

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In order to qualify for the Dentist Loan Forgiveness Program, at least 25 percent of my patients must be covered by state public programs or sliding fee discounts. Do you have a list of clinics that do this?
Yes. A listing of the Minnesota dental clinics that provide services to patients who use public care programs, or that offer services at a reduced cost is on the Minnesota Dental Association Web site.

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Are health professionals in demand in Minnesota? What are the average salaries?
Department of Employment and Economic Development collects labor market information on various professions including: Occupations in Demand and What Do Jobs Pay?

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Do you have Minnesota health workforce information?
Yes:

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How are the Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Programs different from the Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program?

The Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Programs are entirely funded by the state of Minnesota and administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care.

The Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program is funded by the state of Minnesota and a grant with the National Health Service Corps. It is administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care but must follow federal guidelines required under the grant.

The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program is funded and administered by the federal government. the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care provides technical assistance to sites and providers during the application process.

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Can candidates apply and/or participate in more than one program at the same time?

Candidates may apply for more than one program at the same time, depending on eligibility during the application cycle. However, Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program prohibit candidates from completing service obligations under multiple programs at the same time.

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Who can I call for more information?

For more information on Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program, contact:
            Brenda Flattum, 651-201-3870 or brenda.flattum@state.mn.us

For information on Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program and the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, contact:
            Deb Jahnke, (651) 201-3845 or debra.jahnke@state.mn.us

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Updated Monday, March 31, 2014 at 04:01PM