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PRIMO Student Loan Program
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Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Primary Care Resource Initiative for Missouri (PRIMO)


  • care delivery services for all Missourians. The PRIMO Student Loan Program is a competitive state program that awards forgivable loans to students pursuing health care training leading to Missouri licensure.
  • The four components of PRIMO are student loans, recruitment/placement, health professional loan repayment and health care delivery systems.
  • Loans are available beginning in the undergraduate level through medical school. Residency stipends are also available. Debts are forgiven in exchange for practicing in a health professional shortage area.

Who can apply?

  • Applicants must be a Missouri resident attending a Missouri institution as a full-time student. Applicants must have been accepted by, or currently attending, a school offering a course of study leading to a degree as specified in eligible health disciplines.

What are the eligible health disciplines?

  • Primary care physicians (internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, family medicine)
  • Primary care dentists (general dentistry, pediatrics)
  • Dental hygienists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists

When is the deadline to apply?

  • Applications submitted prior to April 30 are reviewed in May of each year

How much funding is available?

  • The amount of funding provided depends upon the student’s chosen discipline and educational status. Loan amounts are based on discipline and level of degree. Amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000 per year.

What are the repayment/scholarship terms?

Repayment of loans can be completed either through cash repayment or through obtaining qualifying employment to earn forgiveness.

  • Cash Repayment: Loans accrue interest at the rate of 9.5% from the date the payments are issued.
  • Forgiveness: Recipients repay their PRIMO loans by working as a primary care provider in an area of defined need upon completion of training and licensure. The number of years a PRIMO participant will need to work to repay a debt through forgiveness is determined by the number of PRIMO loans they have received (year-for-year basis). If number of loans exceeds five, 20% of the entire borrowed amount and interest is forgiven per year.
  • Qualifying Employment: Qualifying employment is capped at five years even in the event a PRIMO participant receives more than five loans. Qualifying employment is considered as full-time, direct patient care at a facility located in an area of need which is also referred to as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). The licensed PRIMO participant must accept Medicaid/MC+ and work at an employment site which operates on a sliding fee scale basis. Professional health services must be provided to the general population.

How do I apply?

Who do I contact with my questions?

  • The Office of Primary Care and Rural Health at (573) 751-6219 or (toll-free) 800-891-7415 or via email to
  • Postal inquiries should be sent to the Missouri Department of Health/Primary Care and Rural Health Unit, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

Where can I go for more information on PRIMO?

Are there other scholarship/repayment opportunities?

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