- Dentist (DMD/DDS)
- Medicine (MD/DO)
- Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (NP)
- Primary Care Physician Assistant (PA)
- Family Medicine
- General Internal Medicine
- General Psychiatrics
California has several state-specific loan forgiveness programs that can help eliminate your student loans. Most of these programs are geared toward medical and healthcare professionals. However, federal student loan forgiveness may be available for California residents who work in other fields.
All currently available loan forgiveness programs are for medical or healthcare professionals. While there used to be a program for teachers, it has been unfunded since the 2011-12 academic year.
If you're an allopathic or osteopathic physician or surgeon practicing in California, this program is for you. One of the qualifications, according to California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), is that applicants must work in a "shortage area" for three years.
You can receive this award, worth $105,000 in student loan forgiveness, up to two times.
How to apply: Check the OSHPD website for details and application deadlines.
Offering up to $50,000 in student loan forgiveness, this program is aimed at primary health professionals in the state in exchange for practicing in medically underserved communities as defined by the state. There is a two-year service obligation for those accepted under this program.
Eligible positions for this program include:
How to apply: You can check your eligibility and apply on the OSHPD website.
This award is for professionals working in the mental health field. According to the OSHPD, awardees receive up to $10,000 for student loan repayment in exchange for a one-year commitment in a hard-to-fill position, or a one-year commitment to retain their current position, within the County PMHS.
Eligible positions for this program include:
How to apply: This program is not currently accepting applications, but check the website for upcoming application dates.
Recent dental school graduates can receive up to $35,000 in forgiveness benefits per year (with a cap at $150,000 over three years) with this program. Applicants must have graduated from an American Dental Association accredited school within three years or expect to graduate within three months of applying.
You must commit to practicing in a medically undeserved area to be eligible.
How to apply: Visit the CDA Foundation website for application details.
This program offers up to $16,000 in loan forgiveness aims to increase the number of healthcare professionals in medically underserved areas in the state.
To be eligible you are required to commit to practicing direct patient care at a state facility for one year.
Eligible allied healthcare professions include:
How to apply: Learn more and apply here.
Offered through the Health Professions Education Foundation, this program awards up to $10,000 for student loan repayment. You may receive this award up to three times.
This award is specifically for those who are currently licensed as a Registered Nurse in California and have a BSN degree.
To be eligible, you must be willing to practice direct patient care for two years at a qualified facility in the state, such as a designated medically underserved area, shortage area, state prison or veteran's facility.
How to apply: The application is available on the OSHPD website.
This program is for qualifying primary healthcare providers, including those working in family medicine, general internal medicine, general psychiatrists, and OBGYN, at certain sites in 35 designated counties.
The eligible disciplines and approved primary care specialties are:
How to apply: Submit your application online. Application cycles usually start at the beginning of the year.
Interested in other student loan forgiveness options? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Grants to Pay Off Student Loans.
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