FY24 Behavioral Healthcare Provider Loan Redemption Program Opens October 1

August 17, 2023

On October 1, 2023, New Jersey’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) will launch the FY24 application for its Behavioral Healthcare Provider Loan Redemption Program.

For the second year in a row, the state budget includes $5 million to address the critical shortage of behavioral healthcare providers across the state.

Under this program, eligible providers will be able to receive up to $50,000 to redeem a participant’s cumulative outstanding student loan balance in exchange for every two full-time years of service at an approved site. Participants can redeem a total of $150,000 in loans payments in exchange for up to six years of service.

The FY23 program was extremely popular. HESAA received more than 600 applications within a couple weeks of announcing the program. During the inaugural funding round, HESAA made 50 awards on a ‘first come, first served’ basis (26% of those awards were given to BCBAs). The FY24 program expands the eligible provider pool and changes the review criteria from the ‘first come, first served’ model to a weighted scoring rubric based on workforce demand data.

As the autism community well knows, there is tremendous demand for high-quality behavior analytic treatment for individuals with autism. Continued support for loan redemption programs and other workforce development initiatives remains an Autism New Jersey public policy priority as they are vital to the advancement of a robust behavior analytic workforce infrastructure. Autism New Jersey is grateful to HESAA for the opportunity to inform the rollout of this program.

Here’s what you need to know about the Behavioral Healthcare Provider Loan Redemption Program

Online application window: October 1 – October 31, 2023
Eligible providers:
  • Psychiatrists
  • Licensed psychologists
  • Licensed social workers
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialists
  • Board certified behavior analysts
  • Licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselors
  • Licensed professional counselors
  • Licensed associate counselors
Eligible applicants must:
  • Be a New Jersey resident and maintain residency during program participation.
  • Be employed full-time, or plan to employed, as a full-time eligible behavioral healthcare provider at an approved site (see eligible providers above).
  • Maintain a license, as applicable, to practice as a behavioral healthcare provider in the State of New Jersey throughout participation in the program.
  • Agree to engage in the clinical practice of mental or behavioral healthcare for at least two years at an approved site pursuant to the terms of a contract with HESAA.
  • Not be in default on any eligible qualifying loan.
    Not previously have been selected for participation in the Program.
  • Not currently be participating in any other state tuition or loan redemption program or in the federally administered National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, section 338B of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. s.254 1-1).
Applications will be reviewed, scored, and ranked using the following weighted criteria, based on New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development occupational demand data:
  • In-demand occupation/title (35%)
  • Geographic location of the applicant’s place of employment (25%)
  • Applicant’s salary in the current occupation (20%)
  • Applicant’s work serves primarily children or adolescents (20%)
Awards announcement: On or after January 15, 2024
  • There is no set number of awards, it will depend on the award amounts of the highest ranked applications based on the weighted criteria.

Any individual whose application was denied in the inaugural funding round in FY23 may reapply for FY24 funding using HESAA’s new online application.

For more information about HESAA’s Behavioral Healthcare Provider Loan Redemption Program, please see HESAA’s program one-pager, FAQ, and website. Specific questions should be directed to LoanRedemption@hesaa.org.