Student Loans For Those Seeking Health Professions

If you are a full-time student looking to study to be a doctor of science in pharmacy; or a doctor of dentistry, podiatric medicine, optometry, or veterinary medicine, you may be eligible for the need-based Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL), designed to provide financial assistance in the form of long-term loans.

HPSL is a federal loan program administered by the University as the lender.

The aggregate maximum you may borrow in HPSL loans is limited only by the cost of tuition and fees, and by the funds available and the 5 percent annual interest is subsidized by the federal government during the time you are in school and the one-year grace period. You begin repayment at the end of the grace period. Your payments are calculated for full repayment within 10 years (120 months).

For consideration for the HSPL loan, you must report parental data on the FAFSA, even if you have independent student status.

Each and every time you accept an HPSL loan, you will be mailed a paper promissory note and loan disclosure form that you are required to complete and return to SFC before loan funds can be disbursed to you. You will be required to attend an exit interview if you:

* are about to graduate.

* leave the University (even if it is just temporary).

* drop your registration below half-time enrollment.

* transfer to another school.

* leave for a National Student Exchange (NSE) experience.

Are there any restrictions? Funds are allocated to schools by statutory formula for the purpose of capitalizing a student loan fund. Funds on deposit can only be used for loans to eligible students pursuing a full-time course of study; for costs in connection with the collection of any obligation to the fund. The maximum amount a student may borrow is cost of attendance (including tuition, other reasonable educational expenses and reasonable living expenses). Third and fourth year medical and osteopathic medicine students may be eligible for additional funding to repay earlier educational loans.

Students of allopathic medicine and osteopathy must meet financial need criteria and agree to enter and complete a residency training program in primary health care not later then 4 years after the date on which the student graduates from such school and to practice primary health care through the date on which the loan is repaid in full.

To be eligible for Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS) students must meet the HPSL criteria and also be from a disadvantaged background as defined by the Secretary. To be eligible for LDS funds a school must be carrying out a program for recruiting and retaining students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities and carrying out a program for recruiting and retaining minority faculty.

In addition, the school must agree to ensure that adequate instruction regarding minority health issues is provided for in the curricula of the school.

Participating schools are required to renew their agreement periodically as specified by the Secretary to operate a student loan fund with the agency responsible for administering the program. Student applications for financial assistance indicating the basis of approval or disapproval of a loan are maintained on file in the school.