Main Content

Pursue a career in mental health services — tuition free

An interest-free, forgivable loan which pays up to 100% of tuition

A program to increase the number of mental health professionals in Vermont

Funded by the Vermont Legislature, the Mental Health Professional Forgivable Loan Program covers up to full tuition, (which may also cover room, board, books and supplies) for qualified recipients enrolled in a program that leads to a master’s degree in a mental health field.

Funding is awarded to qualifying applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds have been depleted. 

Awards are in the form of an interest-free loan which is forgiven when the recipient signs a promissory note and has completed the following work obligations:

  • Agree to work full-time in Vermont as a mental health professional for a minimum of one year following licensure for each year of assistance received.


  • Vermont & non-Vermont residents
  • Enrolled at least half time
  • Maintaining good standing at your school
  • Enrolled in an accredited master's degree program in one of the following fields:
    • Social work
    • Mental Health Counseling
    • Marriage and Family Therapy
    • Psychology
    • Community Mental Health Counseling
    • Clinical Mental Health
    • Forensic Mental Health
  •  In a program that allows student to sit for and pass one of the Vermont licensure exams:
    • Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)
    • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
    • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) 


Full tuition charged up to $17,628. This award can be used to pay for tuition, fees, room, board, and the cost of books and supplies.


  1. For detailed information about the forgivable loan and the application process, review the Scholarships for Vermonters booklet.
  2. Complete the Unified Scholarship Application online through your MyVSAC account, click on Work with VSAC-Assisted Scholarships, look for “Submit Application” and “Unified Scholarship Application (USA)” and follow the instructions.
  3. Complete the FAFSA for the academic year you’re attending or planning to attend
  4. If selected as a recipient by the selection committee, recipients sign a promissory note when they accept funding that commits them to the following work arrangements. The loan will be forgiven when the work obligation is met:
    • Agree to work full-time as a mental health professional for a minimum of one year following licensure for each year of assistance received


Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all funds have been awarded.


The State of Vermont offers several forgivable loan programs to encourage students to enter the Vermont workforce in specific high-demand fields. These unique loans:

  • Are interest-free
  • Require awarded students to sign a promissory note committing to specific work obligations when they accept the funding
  • Do not require payment while the student is enrolled in the applicable degree or training program
  • Are “forgiven” — which means that the loan does not have to be paid back — when the student meets the work obligations outlined in the promissory note they signed
  • Must be repaid if the student doesn't complete the program, doesn't receive their license, or doesn't work in the field in Vermont following licensure

For example: Mary received $16,000 in a mental health forgivable loan program to study social work for one year as a graduate student. Upon completion of the program, Mary received her license and began working as a mental health professional in Vermont. One year later her employment was verified, and the loan was forgiven!


  • about the application or status? Contact VSAC or call 888-253-4819.

Education Professionals

promote the Mental Health Program to students