Get Rid Of Your Student Loans!

By Pete Nielsen

LRP SUD student debt no more! An amazing opportunity has arisen from The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). They just released the FY 2021 Application and Program Guidance for the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery (STAR) Loan Repayment Program (LRP). This program is offering up to $250,000 in loan repayment for the educational loans of those who qualify and apply.

To qualify one must be working in a full-time substance use disorder (SUD) treatment job that involves direct patient care at a STAR LRP-approved facility located in either a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designated for Mental Health, or a county/municipality where the average drug overdose rate exceeds the national average. The purpose of the STAR Loan Repayment Program is to recruit and retain medical, nursing, behavioral/mental health clinicians and paraprofessionals who provide direct treatment or recovery support of patients with or in recovery from a substance use disorder. Therefore, participants will receive up to $250,000 in exchange for six years of full-time SUD employment (including fellowship) that involves direct treatment for recovery patients with or in recovery from a substance use disorder. The STAR Loan Repayment Program is open to master’s level social workers, psychologists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric mental health practitioners, occupational therapists, psychology doctoral interns, and behavioral health paraprofessionals and physicians, physician assistants, and nurses, who are involved full-time in SUD treatment employment (including fellowships). This STAR LRP program is greatly beneficial to the SUD workforce as it will expand access to SUD treatment through the inclusion of disciplines and treatment facilities that are not eligible for existing loan repayment programs.

“Anyone who has unpaid student debt and works directly with clients in the SUD field, needs to apply for loan relief today!,” said VP of Governmental Affairs, Sherry Daley.

“With up to $250,000 of loan repayment available, SUD professionals can finance their entire education, including advanced degrees. Now is the time to finish that degree and move up on the career ladder.”

This program for applicants will be helpful to not only current SUD students with loans to pay, but it will hopefully entice more students to join and therefore create a bigger SUD workforce. This will in turn significantly help treatment facilities with any shortages they may have. This will aid in the recruitment and obtaining process of professionals to provide direct treatment and/or recovery support of patients with or in recovery from a substance use disorder in addition to helping students move up in their career. CCAPP’s Vice President of Education and Strategic Development Kristina Padilla excitingly states, “The STAR Loan Repayment Program is an incredible opportunity for standing students and offers an enticing incentive to individuals wanting to enter into the SUD workforce. Student loans have long been a topic of frustration and stress, but with the STAR program, we are providing a doorway to recruit and retain professionals in a rapidly growing field, as this is our chance to match this growth by educating and equipping incoming professionals during this overwhelming time of need.”

To apply, a person must complete an online application and submit it by 7:30 p.m. ET on July 22, 2021. All supporting documentation must be uploaded before a person can submit their application. Notification of Award will be announced on or before September 30, 2021.

The HRSA anticipates making $28 million available to fund approximately 112 loan repayment awards in FY 2021. Link to the APG, eligibility requirements, and help with the application can be found here: