Grants That Can Help Reduce Student Loan Debt

Paying off student loans completely can be very frustrating. It can take many years of saving money and juggling finances just to afford the monthly repayments. And even then, it can seem like you’ll never ever be debt-free. One way to reduce the burden of student loan debt is by availing of grants established for this very purpose.

Most grants to reduce student loan debt are established to help professionals in specific fields. They may include healthcare, the public sector, military vets, and others. Each of these grants comes with its own service obligation. They generally require you to work more than a certain number of years in a quality role. 

Check out these health-related scholarships.

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Check out the list of grants below and see if you meet the eligibility criteria. Getting a grant can provide much-needed financial help to reduce your student loan debt. 

Grants For Healthcare Professionals

With additional years of study to become get a license to practice, healthcare professionals tend to have the highest student loan debt. To pay off this debt, they set aside a higher percentage of their monthly income as compared to most other professionals. Fortunately, there are several generous grants to help healthcare professionals reduce their student loan debt. 

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program is a loan repayment program for nurses. It is funded by the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration). 

You must have attended an accredited nursing school in the U.S. to qualify for this grant. You must also have completed two years of work in a critical shortage healthcare facility or an accredited nursing school. Advance practice nurses, registered nurses, and nurse faculty members who qualify will receive grants of up to 85% of their outstanding student loan balance. 

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National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program

Funded by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), this grant aims to help a wide range of healthcare professionals lower their student loan debt. Eligible healthcare professionals receive up to $50,000 to pay off their education loans. 

Doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, and mental health providers are among the many healthcare professionals who can avail of this grant. The eligibility requirements for this program are very straightforward. To receive this grant amount, you must complete 2 years of full-time service in an under-served area. An underserved area is one that has limited healthcare resources. 

NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program

The Rural Community Loan Repayment Program (LRP) is another grant funded by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). This program is designed to help providers working to combat the opioid epidemic in America’s rural communities. Eligible professionals working full-time may receive up to $200,000, while those working half-time receive up to $50,000 to repay outstanding student loans. 

To qualify for this grant, you must meet very specific requirements. You must be a fully trained health professional in an eligible discipline and licensed to practice in the state in which you’re applying to serve and be a provider or eligible to participate as a provider in the Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

In addition, you must be working at a rural NHSC-approved Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment facility. You can apply for a grant immediately after accepting a position at an eligible facility. 

NIH Loan Repayment Programs

Established by Congress, the National Institute Of Health funds a set of programs that aims to support and promote scientific discovery. These programs are designed to lower the high costs of advanced education and training in the fields of medicine and clinical specialties. Eligible professionals receive up to $50,000 annually to pay off their student loan debt. 

To qualify for this grant, you must commit to engaging in research in specific niche areas such as contraception and infertility, health disparities in minority populations, and medical research focused on individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Students to Service Loan Repayment Program

The Student to Service Loan Repayment Program is different from most other grants designed to reduce student loan debt. You can apply for this loan repayment grant while you’re in your final year of medical, dental, or nursing school. Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, this program offers up to $120,000 to eligible applicants. 

Grant recipients must commit to providing at least 3 years of full-time service at an approved site in a designated Health Professional Shortage Area. These may include critical access hospitals, community outpatient facilities, state and local health departments, rural health clinics, and community mental health centers. Physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives also qualify for this grant.  

Grants For Legal Professionals

DOJ Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program

The Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program established by the Department of Justice (DOJ) offers up to $6,000 per year as repayment grants. To qualify for this program, you must commit to serving as a DOJ lawyer for a minimum of three years. This is a highly competitive program where prospective candidates must meet specific requirements and submit an application. 

John R. Justice Student (JRJ) Loan Repayment Program

The John R. Justice (JRJ) Student Loan Repayment Program aims to reduce student loan debt of state public defenders and prosecutors. This program offers up to $10,000 per year to eligible applicants with a lifetime maximum of $60,000. The grant can be used to pay off the outstanding balance of all federal student loans except parent PLUS loans.

To qualify for the JRJ Student Loan Repayment Program, you must commit to working as a public defender or state prosecutor for a minimum of three years. 

Military College Loan Repayment Programs

The U.S. Military offers different types of grants to meet the needs of individuals serving in different branches. 

My Army Benefits College Loan Repayment Program

The U.S. Army established he College Loan Repayment Program (LRP) as an incentive designed to attract highly qualified applicants to the Army. This program repays part of a Soldier’s education loans and is available only for specified Military Occupational Specialties listed here. 

Active-duty soldiers could receive up to $65,000 to pay off their federal student loans. To qualify you must have a score of 50 or higher on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, and you should have enlisted for a minimum of 3 years.  

At the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ website, you can find details of other grants to reduce student loan debt including the GI Bill. 

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