Some Money Left in PELRP

Although the legislature cut funding for the underserved area Physician Education Loan Repayment Program (PELRP) by 78 percent to $5.6 million in this year's session, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board says it has enough money to provide loan repayment to physicians currently in the program for at least three of their four-year service commitments. That assumes maximum annual loan payouts and no dropouts.

According to information on the THECB website, the agency will use current biennium funds to make repayment awards in fiscal years 2012 and 2013. That is possible because lawmakers actually appropriated more money for the program in 2011-12 than was needed. The agency will continue to explore options for issuing loan repayment awards for service periods ending after Aug. 31, 2013.

"In the event that funds are not appropriated for this purpose in the 2013 legislative session, current participants will be released from their service obligations," the board stated.

The board will not accept new applications for PELRP participation during the next two years, officials said.

Action, July 19, 2011