Student Loan Programs

Student Loan Deferments

Most financial institutions will defer student loan payments upon verification of the length of your postdoctoral training.

  • Contact your lending institution and request a student loan deferment form.
  • Complete the form and email it to
  • Your status will be verified based upon the length of your postdoctoral contract, the form will be signed by an institutional representative, and it will be returned to you.
  • You are responsible for submitting the signed deferment request form to your lending institution.
  • If you are reappointed, or if you transfer to another postdoc position, a new student loan deferral form is required.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

  • If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
  • PSLF forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
  • Postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh meets qualifying employer criteria.
  • Complete the Employment Certification Form and email to to request that an institution representative verify your employment/training.

Student Loan Repayment

  • The NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP) is a set of programs established by Congress designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers.
  • In exchange for a two-year commitment to their NIH-mission related research career, NIH will repay up to $50,000 of their qualified educational debt.
  • Eligibility requirements for applicants include:
    • U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident;
    • Doctoral-level degree (except the Contraception and Infertility Research LRP);
    • Domestic, non-profit research funding (Extramural) or NIH employment (Intramural);
    • For new applicants, must have total qualifying educational debt equal to or in excess of 20% of their institutional base salary at time of award, for renewal applicants, satisfaction of the 20% is not required; and
    • Qualified research for an average of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly (13 weeks) service period of the award
  • Forms for institutional verification are provided after creating an account through the LRP application system ( Registration must take place during the open application period.
  • Complete these forms and email to