Iowa Health Professional Recruitment Program

Updated to include Athletic Trainers in the 2021 Iowa Legislative session; the Health Professional Recruitment Program (HPRP) was established to increase the number of athletic trainers, occupational therapists, physicians, physician assistants, podiatrists and physical therapists 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 athletic trainer, occupational therapist, physician, physician assistant, podiatrist, or physical therapist 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.

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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 athletic trainers, occupational therapists, physicians, physician assistants, podiatrists, and physical therapists, will be offered awards based on eligibility 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

FAQ:

1) Do Athletic Training Education Programs, need to apply to be recognized for their graduates to be able to take part in the program? Yes, Iowa College Aid has already received data from each college that offers an Athletic Training Education Program.

 

2) The graduate must agree to 4 years (of practicing AT in the rural location), 12 months in a row each, to receive funds, correct?  Yes.

 

3) The bill mentions that the participants may receive up to $50k in matching student loan repayment. But it says that the community must agree to match funds. Who or what in that case is considered the community? And how is that worked out? The program, in law, requires the community to provide a $1 for $1 match to the state award.  Usually it's the employer that pays the match, but it can be another organization within the community.  If an employer is only willing to match $20,000 (over the 4 year period), the state award just gets reduced to $20,000 (still provides a loan repayment benefit of $40,000 in total).  The recipient negotiates that with their employer.

 

4) When does the graduate/participant receive the funds? Is it a yearly thing? Monthly? The loan repayment award in four separate annual payments, after we confirm completion of each of the four years of required service in the eligible area.  We pay the funds directly to the recipient's student loan servicer usually around July of each employment cycle, so it's a seamless process for the recipient.