New Mexico doling out more than $17 million in student loan debt forgiveness
(The Center Square) - The New Mexico Higher Education department is offering two separate student loan forgiveness packages to healthcare professionals, it announced last month.
New Mexico is giving 724 healthcare professionals a combined $14.6 million in conditional student loan debt relief. They will receive the funding in exchange for three-year commitments to working in high-need areas across the state; the program increased by $13 million from last year when it awarded debt relief to just 44 health professionals.
"We increased funding for the Health Loan Repayment Program by $13 million this year as part of a comprehensive strategy to recruit and retain more health care professionals in our state,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “This program ultimately moves us further toward our goal of accessible, affordable, and high-quality health care for every New Mexican.”
The recipients of relief from this program include: 335 nurses, 159 mental health professionals, 84 medical doctors, 79 nurse practitioners, 62 allied health practitioners, and five dental professionals. They had an average of $75,000 in student loan debt each.
Additionally, the state is offering $2.2 million through its Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) Loan-for-Service Program. It is taking applications from New Mexico residents who graduate from various out-of-state programs, including those in dentistry, optometry and veterinary medicine. The program offers partial debt forgiveness to licensed professionals who work in approved fields upon graduation.
Under this program, people can apply for debt relief for multiple years to forgive up to 100 percent of their student loan debt.
“New Mexico is fully invested in recruiting and maintaining qualified, licensed professionals to serve our communities in high-need fields, but there are some advanced degree programs that are only offered in other states,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez said in a press release. “The WICHE Loan-for-Service Program is a great way to grow our own workforce by providing New Mexicans with support to pursue these rewarding careers and then return to their home communities.”
Here is a list of the schools one must attend to potentially be eligible for debt forgiveness under this program, according to the release:
- A.T. Still University, Mesa AZ
- Midwestern University, Glendale Campus AZ
- Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
- University of California, Los Angeles, CA
- University of California, San Francisco, CA
- University of the Pacific, San Francisco, CA
- University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
- Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA
- University of Colorado, Denver, CO
- University of Missouri Kansas City, Kansas City, MO
- Creighton University, Omaha, NE
- Roseman University of Health Sciences, Henderson, NV
- Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
- University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
- University of Washington, Seattle, WA
- Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
- Midwestern, Glendale, AZ
- Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
- Washington State University, Pullman, WA
- Midwestern University, Glendale Campus, Arizona College of Optometry, Glendale, AZ
- Marshall B. Ketchum University, Southern California College of Optometry, Fullerton, CA
- Western University of Health Sciences. College of Optometry. Pomona, CA.
- Pacific University, College of Optometry, Forest Grove, OR
More information on the state's financial aid and student loan debt forgiveness programs, including how to apply for them, is available at hed.nm.gov.