Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

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To increase the diversity of the health professions workforce and the number of providers working in underserved communities, HRSA provides funds to accredited U.S. health professions schools. The schools in turn provide scholarships and low-interest loans to students with financial need. Many of the students who benefit from these programs are from racial and ethnic minorities under-represented in the health workforce, including African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians and Alaska Natives – groups that comprise 25 percent of the U.S. population, but less than 10 percent of many health professions.


  • Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students. Eligible schools apply for funds by competing using the objective review application process.  Applicant schools must have a proven track record of graduating students from disadvantaged backgrounds.



Loan programs provide funds to accredited health professions schools located in the U.S. to establish revolving funds that support long-term, low-interest loans for eligible students.
  • Health Professions Student Loans. Accredited schools of dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine are eligible.

  • Loans for Disadvantaged Students. Accredited accredited schools of allopathic or osteopathic medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine are eligible.

  • Nursing Student Loans. Accredited schools leading to a diploma, associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing are eligible.  

  • Primary Care Loans. Accredited schools of allopathic and osteopathic medicine are eligible for this program which requires loan recipients to serve in primary care.

  • Health Education Assistance Loans were made by participating lenders to eligible health professions graduate students from FY 1978 through FY 1998.

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