• Higher Education Department offering $14.6 million in debt relief for health care workers

    Health Professional Loan Repayment Program application open until May 1st  

    Click Here to Apply 

    SANTA FE – The New Mexico Higher Education Department is encouraging licensed health care professionals working in New Mexico to apply for its Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, which provides eligible applicants with up to $25,000 in student loan forgiveness.   

    Those interested in applying can do so here via the New Mexico Higher Education Department’s website until May 1st at 5 p.m

    Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham approved $14.6 million for the program this year. The funding could support more than 700 working health professionals in New Mexico.  

    “The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program continues to support record numbers of working health care professionals each year, encouraging more New Mexicans to enter careers in health care and attracting out-of-state professionals to our beautiful state. I am grateful to Gov. Lujan Grisham and the legislature for their continued support of this important program and our continued commitment to making New Mexico a debt-free higher education state,” said Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez.   

    The New Mexico Higher Education Department broke records last year, providing debt relief to 724 recipients, the highest number of health professionals ever to benefit from the program. Gov. Lujan Grisham approved a $13 million increase for the program in 2024 to meet growing needs, allowing the department to increase awardees by more than 1,500 percent. The governor continued expanded funding for the program this year. 

    While the New Mexico Higher Education Department and public colleges and universities offer scholarships for students pursuing degrees and certificates in health-related fields, many working professionals carry college debt, especially those with advanced medical degrees. The average debt of program recipients in 2023 was over $75,000.  

     The program covers more than 25 health occupations and licenses in allied health, dental, medical and mental health fields. Included are medical doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses, mental health counselors, licensed clinical social workers, speech language pathologists and occupational therapists. A full list of eligible professions is available at


    Recipients must commit to practicing in an area of the state designated by the Health Profession Advisory Committee as a health professional shortage area for a minimum of three years. Currently, 28 out of the state’s 33 counties are designated as whole county shortage areas and four are listed as partial shortage areas.  

    Practitioners must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents, established New Mexico residents for at least 12 consecutive months, licensed or certified in the State of New Mexico as of July 1, 2024, and employed at least 36 hours per week.  


    According to the 2022 New Mexico Health Care Workforce Committee Report, there will be a shortage of nearly 37,500 primary care physicians by in the United States by 2034.  About 1,300 total job openings for registered nurses will exist every year.


    New Mexico public colleges and universities award over 5,300 degrees and certificates in medical education on average each year, with the greatest number of graduates in the fields of registered and practical nursing, allied health, and intervention and treatment.   


    Program applications will be accepted until May 1, 2024, and can be completed online at Interested health professionals can also contact the Financial Aid Division at or 1-800-279-9777.