The Student Loan Relief Program for Nurses reached a milestone as the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has started notifying applicants of its selection for the initial round of loans. Robert Swift administered a dose of journalistic skill in bringing the story to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The student loan program for nurses was created a year ago and received an infusion of $35 million in federal pandemic relief funds as part of the new state budget. The program provides qualified applicants with loan relief of up to $2,500 for each year of work, beginning in 2020. Applicants can receive a maximum of three years’ worth of loan relief, or $7,500.
More than 20,000 loan applications were submitted to PHEAA by the deadline, which is more than can be covered by the available funding. The administrative agency decided to select applicants randomly from a geographically diversified final pool to ensure that the loans would be spread to nurses statewide.
The program was implemented owing to concerns over a Pa. nursing shortage in recent years, which was further amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a successor to COVID-19 Nursing Workforce Initiative.
Read more about the Student Loan Relief Program in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.