Mental Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program
The purpose of the Mental Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program is to encourage mental health professionals to practice in a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (MHPSA) and provide services to individuals, groups, and families to help them manage and overcome their mental health challenges. For more details, review Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 23, Subchapter D.
How to Apply
To apply, participants must first complete an application for program participation and verification of employment. You will need a copy of your current license/certification, National Provider Identifier (NPI), and student loan account information.
To submit an application, you must create an account by going to CBPass at https://www1.highered.texas.gov/cbpass/. Once you have created an account, click on the “Mental Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program” hyperlink.
Eligible Practice Specialties
- Advanced Practice Nurses board certified in psychiatric or mental health nursing
- Licensed Professional Counselors
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
- Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors
- Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
To qualify for this program, applicants must meet the following primary requirements:
- be a US citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident
- provide direct mental health services to:
- Medicaid recipients;
- Texas Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees;
- Persons commited to a secure correctional facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department;
- Persons confined in a secure facility operated by or under contract with any division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or
- Students in a school district which is located partially or completely in a MHPSA; an open enrollment charter school located in a MHPSA; or a Title I school.
- not be currently fulfilling another obligation to provide mental health services as part of a scholarship agreement, a student loan agreement, or another student loan repayment program
- agree to provide three consecutive years of service at an eligible practice site
Participants cannot exceed the following award amounts over a three-year period:
- $160,000 - psychiatrists
- $80,000 - psychologists and licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists who hold doctoral degrees
- $60,000 - advanced practice nurses
- $40,000 - licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, licensed specialists in school psychology, and licensed marriage and family therapists who do not hold doctoral degrees
- $10,000 - licensed chemical dependency counselors who hold associate degrees
If the verified loan balance is less than the maximum aggregate award amount, the following percentages apply:
- 33.33% of the original verified loan balance awarded in year one
- 33.33% of the original verified loan balance awarded in year two
- 33.34% of the original verified loan balance awarded in year three
To qualify for repayment through this program, a loan must:
- be evidenced by a promissory note which required the loan proceeds to be used to pay for the cost of attendance for the undergraduate, graduate, or professional education of the individual applying for repayment assistance
- not have been made during residency or to cover costs incurred after completion of a graduate or professional education
- not be in default at the time of the application submission
- not have an existing service obligation
- not be subject to repayment through another student loan repayment or loan forgiveness program or as a condition of employment
Frequently Asked Questions
I am a school counselor. Am I eligible for the program?
To be eligible, you must be a licensed specialist in school psychology, who performs specific services within this profession for a school district and holds the appropriate credential from the appropriate state agency. The school district must be located partially or completely in a MHPSA; an open enrollment charter school located in a MHPSA, or a Title I school.
I am a Psychiatrist, do I need to be board certified?
Psychiatrists must be eligible to take the exam for board certification to receive their final year of repayment assistance.
I am currently an intern/associate. Am I eligible for the program?
If you are not fully licensed by the end of the application period, you are not eligible to apply.
I will not be licensed until after the application deadline. Am I eligible for the program?
No. If you are not fully licensed by the end of the application period, you are not eligible.
I am currently enrolled in the program, do I have to commit to three years?
Participants who enrolled in the program before September 1, 2023, must commit to providing five years of service. However, if you applied to the program after September 1, 2023, you must commit to three years of service at an eligible practice site.
Do I have to apply each year?
No. If you have been accepted into the program, you will be notified regarding a required end-of-service period employment verification form approximately 30 days before the end of your service period.
What happens if I leave the program? Do I have to pay back any money I received?
If you change locations and the new location is not in a MHPSA, you move out of the state, or you fail to meet any of the program requirements, you will be removed from the program. You will not be required to pay back any state funds received. To determine if a site is located in a MHPSA, go to the Health Resources and Services Administration Shortage Areas search page. The site address that needs to be verified is the site where you are physically working, not where the headquarters or administration office is located. Please note: Veterans Affairs clinics and military bases are not eligible for the program as they are not open to the public.
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 a MHPSA for you to continue to be eligible for the program.
Do I have to only see Medicaid and CHIP patients?
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?
Full-time is a minimum of 32 hours per week.
Can I receive payment for part-time?
You can receive a pro-rated award for part-time employment as long as you are providing a minimum of 20 hours of mental health services per week in a MHPSA.
I am participating in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Does this disqualify me from any loan repayment program?
No. This program requires a person to make 120 payments before the loan is potentially forgiven. The verification process does not take place until after all 120 payments have been made.
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 the 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 five years.
When will I receive my award?
Approximately 30 days before the end of the service period, a link to the application for payment will be emailed to you. 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.
To speak to a Customer Service Representative regarding loan repayment programs, call 833-597-0454, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.
Online Inquiries: CONTACT US (select “Financial Aid Question” as the Contact Reason)