Drowning in debt?
Federal loan-repayment programs can help recent graduates
pay back their increasingly massive student loans.
Here’s how the programs work and how to apply.
BY ALICE G. WALTON
It’s no secret that student loan debt is growing at an astronomical rate. In 2009, the median amount of student
debt for recent doctoral psychology graduates was an
astounding $80,000 and a quarter of students had amassed
$130,000 or more, according to the APA’s 2011 Doctorate
Repayment Program, which sends providers to work in
underserved areas and, in return, helps pay off their loans.
Researchers can consider the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) Loan Repayment Programs, which are aimed at drawing
young scientists to the research arena and keeping them there.
Here’s a rundown of how the two programs function and
how to apply. For more detailed information, visit their websites
at http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/index.html and http://
The National Health Services Corps
The NHSC program is part of the government’s Health
Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The program
will help pay off your entire debt over as many years as it takes,
provided you’re working in an NHSC-approved site. The
idea is that with your advanced degree, you’ll give back to the