Professional News

Kentucky state loan repayment program now accepting applications from health care professionals

mother holding son getting vaccine
jacoblund, iStock / Getty Images Plus.

HAZARD, Ky. (Aug. 16, 2022) — The Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program (KSLRP) is now accepting applications from health care professionals looking for help in paying off their student loan debt.

The Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH) serves as the administrator for KSLRP, which is funded through the National Health Service Corps, a federal program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The loan repayment assistance program offers financial support to working clinicians as a way to help recruit them and retain them in the Commonwealth’s rural and underserved communities. Applicants selected to participate in the competitive program agree to work full time for two years providing primary care services at an eligible practice site located in one of Kentucky’s health professional shortage areas. KSLRP participants receive tax-free student loan repayment awards in exchange for their service commitment.

Awards range from $20,000 to $50,000 a year — an increase from past years. Award amounts depend on applicants’ disciplines and specialties, level of loan indebtedness and sponsor commitment level.

The current application window runs for one month from Aug. 1 to Sept. 1. The deadline to submit completed application materials is Thursday, Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. ET. 

Eligible KSLRP applicants include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, registered nurses, dentists, registered dental hygienists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional clinical counselors, health service psychologists, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurse specialists, alcohol and substance use disorder counselors, and pharmacists.  

The program’s service commitments are commonly completed at federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, community mental health facilities, state and county health department clinics, free clinics, critical access hospitals affiliated with a qualified outpatient clinic, correctional or detention facilities and private practices. Practice sites must be public or nonprofit private entities.

KSLRP is a 50/50 match program: For every federal dollar provided by KSLRP, participants must have a 1:1 match from a sponsor source. Sponsors can include employers at their service site; private foundations, corporations, community organizations, and/or philanthropies; and, rurally-oriented organizations requesting that their funds be used to support the placement of practitioners in rural areas.

New program participants must begin their service commitment in January 2023. 

The program also allows past participants to apply for one-year extension contracts.

Program guidelines and all application materials can be found online at

For more information, please contact Lisa Garza (; 606-439-3557, Ext. 83490).

The Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH), established in 1991, is a federal-state partnership authorized by federal legislation. The UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, located in Hazard, serves as the federally-designated Kentucky Office of Rural Health. KORH works directly with clinicians, clinic and hospital administrators, policymakers and other stakeholders to improve the accessibility of health care services for the Commonwealth’s rural and underserved residents. The office connects communities and health care organizations to local, state and federal resources while working toward long-term solutions to financial, quality improvement and workforce challenges.