Mental Health Loan Repayment Program 2020-2021

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Program Overview

The purpose of this program is to provide an incentive for practicing mental health professionals to deliver therapy or counseling services in underserved areas of West Virginia. Applicants must certify that they possess educational debt in an amount equal to or exceeding $10,000. They must be a graduate of an accredited program and be licensed in a mental health field. Successful applicants will be employed full time or part time in an underserved area in West Virginia, providing individual and group counseling or therapy for a majority of their practice. For more details on eligibility, service obligation and qualifying practice sites, see Mental Health Loan Repayment Program Application Guidance.

Submission Guidelines

Your application, two recommendation forms, and proof of degree must be postmarked by January 4, 2021. Items clearly postmarked by the due date will be accepted.

Mental Health Loan Repayment awards are made through a competitive process, so please provide complete information. You can obtain a link to application materials in electronic format by contacting or visiting under Financial Aid Planning> Scholarships.

Awards will be announced in February 2021. The following materials are posted:

Loan Repayment Award

The program allocates approximately 30 awards for loan repayment each year to Mental Health practitioners in West Virginia. The award amount will be at least $10,000 (depending on outstanding debt) for one (1) year of full-time service or two (2) years of part-time service for eligible mental health professionals. The award shall be renewable up to three (3) years based on availability of funds and continued eligibility for the loan repayment program.

The full amount of the award shall be disbursed to the participant upon the receipt of verification of one (1) year of full-time employment or two (2) years of part-time employment in an approved site, beginning from the date of the award agreement. The Senior Director of Health Sciences shall approve the disbursement of the funds.

Service Obligation Information

  • The service obligation is either one year of full-time (a minimum of 40 hours/week) or two years of part-time (a minimum of 20 hours /week) practice. All eligible service sites must be in West Virginia.
  • Eligible Sites for Service Obligation can vary county to county. Please use the links below to help determine if your site is eligible. If you have any questions about site eligibility please email Please note some of these listings are housed outside of the Commission and may be updated at any time.

    Eligibility for Other Financial Incentives:

    You may be able to concurrently serve your Mental Health Loan Repayment Program service obligation with some other financial incentive programs and with the permission from the Senior Director for Health Sciences.

    Eligibility Guidelines:

    • Certify that the applicant possesses educational debt in an amount equal to or exceeding the proposed award amount
    • Be a graduate of an accredited program at an institution of higher education, having obtained a degree preparing them for licensure and is currently licensed as one of the following:
      • Licensed doctoral clinical psychologist
      • Master's level licensed psychologist
      • Licensed independent clinical social worker
      • Licensed certified social worker
      • Licensed professional counselor
      • Licensed marriage and family therapist
      • Other mental health disciplines identified by the Senior Director of Health Sciences as experiencing a shortage of practitioners
    • Be employed in an underserved area in West Virginia, providing individual and group therapy or counseling for a majority of his, her or their practice.
    • Be a West Virginia Resident
    • Be employed full-time or part-time at an eligible practice site


    If you have any questions, please see our FAQ or contact:

    Michelle Ruppert M.A.
    Health Sciences Program Administrator
    Health Sciences Service Program
    West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
    1018 Kanawha Blvd. East, Suite 700
    Charleston, WV 25301
    Phone: (304) 558-0530 x289
    Fax: (304) 712-9343