Office of Student Financial Aid

Primary Care Loan Program (PCL)/Health Professions Student Loan Program (HPSL)

Eligibility - A student must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment full-time into a health professions school, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and demonstrate exceptional financial need. Parent information must be considered in determining whether a student meets the exceptional financial need requirement. In addition, new recipients must make a commitment to complete a primary care residency and, in some cases, participate in a clinical practice oriented toward primary care and serving a medically-underserved community. The primary care areas include Family Medicine, Preventive Medicine, General Internal Medicine and General Pediatrics. Students who received an HPSL prior to the 1993-94 year are not required to meet the primary care residency/practice restriction.

Maximum Amount - The maximum amount students may borrow is the cost of education for the student's period of enrollment.

Interest - The interest rate for the PCL/HPSL is 5% with interest being deferred until the student begins repayment that commences one year after the student is no longer enrolled or completes his/her studies.

Grace Period - The grace period, during which time no interest accrues and no repayment begins, is one year after the student is no longer enrolled or completes his/her studies.

Deferment - Students who enter advanced professional training will qualify for deferment if the training will enhance the borrower's knowledge and skills in the health professions discipline for which the loan was received and the training is one of the following:

- internship or residency program,

- full-time training beyond the first professional degree,

- training fellowships offered by hospitals affiliated with health professions schools.


Eligibility for a deferment requires annual completion of the "Request for Deferment" form. Students are eligible to apply for a deferment throughout the duration of their residency program.

Repayment - Installment payments are to be made during the ten-year period immediately following the expiration of the grace period and any allowable period of deferment. Installment payments must be made monthly in accordance with the terms of the schedule provided by the school and agreed to by the borrower at the time of his/her exit interview. The repayment period may not exceed ten years.  The loan may be repayable in less than ten years and there is no pre-payment penalty.

Penalty - If a PCL recipient fails to enter and complete a primary health care residency training program within four years of graduation and to practice primary health care until the loan is repaid in full, the following penalties will be imposed:

- The unpaid balance due on the loan will be immediately recomputed from the date of issuance at an interest rate of 18% per year, compounded annually, and

- The recomputed balance must be repaid not later than ten to twenty-five years after the date on which the borrower fails to comply with the agreement (institutional decision).

Last Updated: 5/7/15