Pennsylvania Student Loan Forgiveness For Nurses

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Updated on September 16, 2023

Are you a nurse in Pennsylvania struggling with the weight of federal student loans? You’re not alone. Many healthcare professionals face the challenge of balancing their passion for helping others with the financial burden of their nursing school education.

But what if we told you there’s a way to alleviate that burden and focus on what truly matters: your career and impact on patients’ lives in underserved communities?

Ahead we’ll explore various student loan forgiveness programs specifically tailored for Keystone State nurses and national programs that can help you achieve financial freedom.

Read on to discover the assistance programs available to you and learn how to take advantage of these valuable financial assistance resources.

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Pennsylvania Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Nurses

Pennsylvania has various state-specific student loan forgiveness programs designed to help nurses manage their student loan debt. These programs aim to attract and retain healthcare professionals in the state by providing financial assistance.

But some of these programs are currently inactive or closed. In this section, we will provide details about each program and its current status, whether open, inactive, or closed. Let’s dive into the details of these Pennsylvania-specific opportunities.

Related: State Programs for Student Loan Forgiveness

UPMC Tuition Loan Forgiveness Program for Nursing Students

UPMC has launched a new program to make it more affordable for student nurses to complete their education and join the workforce. The UPMC Schools of Nursing Tuition Loan Forgiveness program helps alleviate financial obstacles for nursing students.

Starting January 2023, students who enroll and complete their first semester at a UPMC School of Nursing location and meet academic requirements are eligible to receive up to $7,000 per semester in tuition loan forgiveness for all remaining semesters, with a commitment to work three years at a UPMC facility following graduation.

UPMC has six hospital-based nursing schools with campuses at UPMC Hamot, UPMC Harrisburg, UPMC Jameson, UPMC Mercy, UPMC St. Margaret, and UPMC Shadyside. Students interested in enrolling for the upcoming academic year should apply by the specified deadlines for each campus. Learn more and submit your interest at

Other UPMC initiatives to increase pathways for opportunities and growth include:

  • $10,000 graduate nurse sign-on bonus, with a two-year employment commitment

  • Monthly loan repayment program for inpatient/procedural, surgical services, and ED RNs graduating through 2023

  • Creation of UPMC Travel Staffing, an internal travel staffing agency to provide support for frontline caregivers in nursing, surgical technologists, and echocardiography sonographers

PA Student Loan Relief for Nurses Program (Closed)

The SLRN Program benefits nurses, nurse specialists, LPNS, and others who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in a qualifying nursing facility.

All eligible applicants were sent a letter on August 26, 2022, advising if they had been selected to receive loan forgiveness through the program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

The 6,936 Pennsylvania nurses selected were also provided instructions to complete the required final verification steps to ensure they would receive their loan forgiveness. Payments are set to be made to the loan servicers of eligible borrowers in the coming weeks.

To learn more about the SLRN Program, visit the PHEAA website.

Related: Pennsylvania Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program (Inactive)

This funding record is inactive. Please see the program website or contact the program sponsor to determine if this program is currently accepting applications or will open again in the future.

The Department of Health provides loan repayment opportunities through the LRP as an incentive to recruit and retain primary care practitioners willing to serve underserved Pennsylvania residents and commit to practicing in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).

Email or visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health LRP website for more information.

Related: Student Loan Forgiveness for Health Care Workers

National Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Nurses

There are several national student loan forgiveness programs available to nurses. These programs provide financial relief by reducing or eliminating student loan debt for eligible nurses who meet specific requirements.

Biden Administration’s Debt Relief Plan

  • In August, the Biden administration announced a plan to provide relief of up to $20,000 per federal borrower, with $10,000 for most borrowers and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.

  • This plan, overseen by the Department of Education, would apply to borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021.

  • The plan is currently awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court, and its fate is uncertain due to legal challenges.

  • The federal government has paused student loan payments and froze interest rates for borrowers until later this summer.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

  • PSLF is a federal program that forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after making 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

  • Full-time nurses, including those working in healthcare facilities and nursing homes, can qualify after ten years of service at a government, non-profit organization, or other qualifying public service employers.

  • Nurses must be employed full-time and make on-time payments under an income-driven repayment plan for ten years.

  • Where to Apply: PSLF Program

Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness

  • IDR plans offer reduced payments over 20 or 25 years, then forgiveness of the remaining balance.

  • The Biden administration announced the IDR Waiver, which adjusts the rules on which payments count, providing relief for millions of federal student loan borrowers.

  • For more information on the IDR Waiver, read our in-depth article: One-Time IDR Adjustment

Other National Programs

In addition to Pennsylvania-specific programs, nurses can explore various national loan forgiveness programs. Here’s a summary of some other options:

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (NCLRP)

The NCLRP provides loan repayment assistance to registered nurses, nurse practitioners, advanced practice registered nurses, and nurse faculty in exchange for a two-year service commitment at a Critical Shortage Facility or an accredited nursing school. Participants can receive up to 60% of their outstanding qualifying nursing education loan balance.

Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses

Nurses with Federal Perkins Loans may qualify for up to 100% loan cancellation after five years of eligible service in a qualifying role at a facility experiencing a shortage of nurses.

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program

The IHS Loan Repayment Program offers loan repayment assistance to healthcare providers, including nurses, who commit to working in American Indian and Alaska Native communities for at least two years. Participants can receive up to $40,000 in loan repayment assistance.

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program

The NHSC Loan Repayment Program provides student loan repayment assistance to primary care clinicians, including nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and mental health professionals who agree to a two-year commitment working in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), rural communities, and other underserved areas. Participants can receive up to $50,000 in loan repayment assistance.

Military Loan Repayment Programs

Nurses who serve in the military may be eligible for loan repayment assistance through various programs, such as the Army Nurse Corps, Navy Nurse Corps, or Air Force Nurse Corps. Each branch offers different benefits, so it’s essential to research each military branch’s specific programs and requirements.

These national programs offer additional avenues for nurses to reduce their student debt while serving in critical healthcare roles nationwide.

Bottom Line

Pennsylvania-based nurses have various state- and national student loan forgiveness programs available to them.

Taking advantage of these programs can help you achieve financial freedom while serving the healthcare needs of communities across the state and the country.

To stay updated on the latest news, tips, and insights on student loan forgiveness for nurses and other professionals, don’t miss out on our valuable resources. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive expert advice directly in your inbox.

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