The Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) is a subsidized 5% interest rate loan limited to Optometry graduate students at the UC Berkeley campus. To be considered for the HPSL Loan, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Students must include parent information on their FAFSA, regardless of their independent status for all other programs.
HPSL Loans are not automatically renewed every year. If you receive an HPSL Loan for one year, you must complete the FAFSA each subsequent year and include parent information to be considered again for the HPSL Loan.
The loan servicer Heartland ECSI manages HPSL Loans from UC Berkeley. Annual funds for HPSL are limited and dependent on collections from previous borrowers. Due to limited funding, completing requirements by the priority deadline of June 30 is essential, as funding may be exhausted if you satisfy requirements after the priority deadline.
Students typically receive around $10,000 in the HPSL Loan per academic year. Annual loan amounts can vary and are determined yearly based on fund availability.
Please note that HPSL is not a Title IV program. It is a program offered through Health Resources and Services Administration. The HPSL Loan does not appear on National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
- Applying for an HPSL Loan
To receive the HPSL Loan on time, we recommend students file their 2023-2024 FAFSA early and submit their HPSL Verification Form by June 30.
Step 1: File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and include parent information.
Step 2. If you and your parents’ total income and assets are eligible for the HPSL program, you will be assigned a task in CalCentral that contains an HPSL Verification form that you need to download, complete, and upload. If you do not see a task in CalCentral, you do not meet the initial criteria for the HPSL Loan.
Step 3: If you meet the initial criteria, please submit an HPSL Verification Form. You may access the form through the My Finances section of CalCentral.
Step 4. When you submit the HPSL Verification Form, you will be asked to submit copies of your and your parents’ 2022 federal tax return (if applicable). Please upload all documents as one file.
Step 5: Once the HPSL Verification Form has been approved, you will be offered an HPSL Loan and notified of this offer via email.
The HPSL Loan will be included in your academic year financial aid package. You can view your financial aid package in CalCentral.
- Accepting an HPSL Loan
Step 2. One to 2\two business days after you accept your loan, you will receive an email from Heartland ECSI advising you to complete the required online process (Entrance Loan Counseling and Master Promissory Note). The email will contain a Heartland ECSI PIN necessary for successful login and authentication. Check all email folders, including the spam folder, for this email.
Step 3. After receiving the email, complete your Entrance Loan Counseling and Master Promissory Note through Heartland ECSI’s electronic promissory notes.
If you cannot locate the email, and it has been a few days since you accepted your HPSL Loan via CalCentral, you can contact Heartland ECSI (at 1-888-549-3274). You will need to provide your full legal name, permanent address, and date of birth to obtain your Heartland ECSI PIN and continue with the online process. Note: Your identifying information must match the information provided in CalCentral.
Step 4. Select the entrance loan counseling/master promissory note process to proceed.
UC Berkeley will receive an electronic confirmation from Heartland ECSI after the student has completed the online process and the mandatory three-business day rescission period is over. After UC Berkeley gets this data, your loan requirement checklist will be updated to “complete” in CalCentral.
To receive reimbursement from this loan before the end of the fall term, whether or not you will be attending the spring term, please complete your loan requirements by November 30. HPSL Loan processing will be on hold between December 15 and January 2. If you accept the loan during this period, you may need to begin the online process after January 2. Loan requirements completed after November 30 will result in refunds issued in January.
- Loan Disbursements
- UC Berkeley will receive an electronic confirmation from Heartland ECSI after the student has completed the online process and the mandatory three-business day rescission period is over.
- The Loan Requirement checklist in CalCentral will be updated to "complete" within 1–2 business days after UC Berkeley has received the confirmation from Heartland ECSI.
- If you meet all the eligibility criteria, the loan will disburse 1–2 business days later to your student account and pay any outstanding charges for the current academic year.
- You will receive a refund if there are no outstanding charges when the loan is disbursed or if your loan disbursement is larger than your total balance.
- You will receive a notification from Billing and Payment Services If you are eligible for a refund.
- Sign up for Direct Deposit if you want your refund deposited directly into your bank account.
- Please notify the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office by opening a case with Cal Student Central if you would like your HPSL Loan, Federal Unsubsidized Loan, or Federal Graduate Plus Loan reduced or canceled.
- Loan Repayment Terms
- The repayment period begins one year after the student ceases to be full-time. Interest will accrue from the beginning of the repayment period. Periods of authorized deferment are not included in the repayment period.
- Interest is fixed at 5%, and the standard repayment period is ten years.
- You can make payments on your HPSL Loan with UC Berkeley to loan servicer Heartland ECSI.
- Before leaving school or graduating, complete your Exit Loan Counseling with Heartland ECSI.
- Keep your contact information up-to-date with UC Berkeley and Heartland ECSI to receive essential information about your HPSL Loan.
- You will receive information regarding beginning repayment toward the end of your grace period. If you do not receive notification, don't hesitate to contact UC Berkeley at email@example.com or open a case online at Cal Student Central.
- You can repay your loan without penalty at any time. The faster you pay your loan, the less interest you pay over time.
- Contact - Financial Aid and Scholarships
- Cal Student Central is the destination for student university business related to financial aid, fees and billing, disbursements, registration, and enrollment.
- Please notify the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office by opening a case if you would like your HPSL Loan, Federal Unsubsidized Loan, or Federal Graduate Plus Loan reduced or canceled.