Mental Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program

If you are a qualified mental health professional practicing in a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (MHPSA) and providing services to recipients under a medical assistance program, you may be eligible for a loan repayment award between $10,000 and $160,000, depending on your practice specialty.

To find out if your site is located in an MHPSA, go to the Health Resources and Services Administration Shortage Areas search page. The site address is where you are physically working, not where the headquarters or administration office is located.

Note: Veterans Affairs clinics and military bases are NOT eligible for the program as they are not open to the public and do not provide direct patient care to Medicaid and/or Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees. 

 

Am I Eligible?

To qualify for this program, you must:

 

Eligible Practice Specialties

 

When Can I Apply?

The application is available year-round.

 

How Do I Apply?

To applyfirst create an account by going to the Coordinating Board's secure portal called CBPass at https://www1.highered.texas.gov/cbpass/ if you have not done so previously. Once you have created an account, click on the “Mental Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program” hyperlink. You will need: 

 

PLEASE NOTE: Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis. For example, if you submit an application between September 1 - November 30, we will begin the application review process in December; if you submit an application between March 1 - May 30, we will begin the review process in June. 

 

How Much Can I Receive?

You may receive up to the following award amounts over a three-year period:

 

If your verified loan balance is less than the maximum award amounts above, you will be awarded a lower amount:

 

Are My Student Loans Eligible?

To qualify for repayment through this program, a loan must:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to apply each year?
Yes, you will have to reapply each year, and we will also need verification of your eligible service and updated loan information each year. 

Are all school counselors eligible for the program?
No, a counselor must be a licensed specialist in school psychology who performs specific services within the profession for a school district and must hold the appropriate credential from the appropriate state agency. The school district must be located partially or completely in an MHPSA; an open enrollment charter school located in an MHPSA; or a Title I school. Under the statutory authority for this program, professionals who are employed as contract employees are not eligible.

I am a psychiatrist. Do I need to be board certified before I can participate in the program?
No, you do not need to be board certified initially, but you must be eligible to take the board certification exam by the second year of participation and have earned certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or the American Osteopathic Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to qualify for your final year of loan repayment assistance

I am currently an intern/associate. Am I eligible for the program?
No, with the exception of psychiatrists as noted above, you must be fully licensed/certified and have completed a year of service to be eligible to apply.

I will not be licensed until after the application deadline. Am I eligible for the program?
No, you must be fully licensed and have completed a year of service to apply. 

What if I want to change practice sites?
Before changing practice sites, please contact our office to discuss the impact of such a change. If you wish to change practice sites, the new site must be in an MHPSA for you to continue to be eligible for the program.

Do I have to only see Medicaid and CHIP patients?
No, you do not have to provide services only to Medicaid and CHIP patients. However, you must accept all forms of payment and not turn away patients due to their inability to pay.

What is considered full-time employment?
Full-time employment is a minimum of 32 hours per week.

Can I receive payment for part-time employment?
Yes, you may receive a pro-rated award for part-time employment if you provide a minimum of 20 hours of mental health services per week in an MHPSA. 

I am participating in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Does this disqualify me from any loan repayment program?
No, since the PSLF Program requires a borrower to make 120 payments before the loan is potentially forgiven, it could be possible for a participant to qualify for both programs

I am a psychiatrist. Can I apply for funding under both the Physician Education and Mental Health Loan Repayment Programs?
No, it is not possible to apply for and receive funding under both programs. You will have to fulfill the obligation for one of the programs before applying to another program.

Is the percentage of the award amount based on my original loan balance or my current loan balance?
The percentage is based on the verified loan balance at the time your application for enrollment is reviewed. If you owe less than the aggregate maximum award amount, the annual payment amounts will be the amounts needed to repay the loan over a period of three years.

When will I receive my award?
The annual award will be mailed to the lender after you have completed each year of service, and all documentation has been received and reviewed. We cannot send payments electronically or via ACH, so please allow time for the check to be mailed and processed by your lender. 

 

What's Next?

After you submit your application, it will be held in a pending status until we receive the completed service verification form from your facility’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Once we receive all documentation, please allow up to four weeks for our team to review your application.

If we have questions or need additional information, we will contact you at the email address you provided on your application. If your application is approved, we will mail a paper check to your lender and email an award notification to you. If your application is not approved, we will notify you by email, and you may re-apply in future years.

 

Want to Learn More?

 

Contact Us

Email:   LoanRepaymentPrograms@highered.texas.gov
Phone: (833) 597-0454