Whom should Alaskans contact if they are interested in information about the WWAMI program?
Health professions advising is available at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) through the WWAMI Biomedical Program. Students interested in entering medical, dental, optometry, pharmacy, and physician assistant programs are urged to meet with Dr. Quentin Reuer, Pre-Health Professions Advisor for UAA. Dr. Reuer encourages students to meet with him to discuss course schedules, preparation for entrance exams, completion of applications, coordination of letters of recommendation, and other topics applicable to the development of a suitable undergraduate program and effective applications to professional schools.
Dr. Quentin Reuer
Pre-Health Professions Advisor
ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building, room 301M
UAA WWAMI School of Medical Education
3211 Providence Drive HSB 301M
Anchorage, AK 99508
For more information, visit the Health Professions Advising website.
How are new participants selected for participation in the WWAMI program?
Each year the Alaska WWAMI and the UWSOM Admissions Committees work together to interview and select 20 Alaskans for the program. The Alaska WWAMI office at UAA certifies an applicant’s eligibility for the program based on responses to an Eligibility Questionnaire. Once an Alaska applicant is admitted, ACPE is prompted to send the individual the WWAMI service obligation Master Promissory Note (MPN) and a related cover letter. Individuals who accept the offers of admission must sign the MPN and return it to ACPE by July 30, prior to beginning their program of study.
What is the annual WWAMI repayment obligation based upon?
During the first year of medical school at University of Alaska Anchorage, the principal balance of the loan will be zero. However, by signing the WWAMI Master Promissory Note, each participant has entered into a loan contract and will have a loan repayment obligation for their second, third, and fourth years of medical school at UWSOM. In accordance with state statute governing the WWAMI program, the financial support to be repaid is equal to 50 percent of the amount the State pays to UWSOM, on behalf of the participant, plus interest.
What is my financial obligation for the WWAMI Program?
A participant’s loan obligation is equal to 50% of the annual support fee paid by the state, plus interest. During the first year of medical school, the principal balance of the WWAMI loan will be zero. By signing the WWAMI Medical Education Loan Program MPN, participants will have a repayment obligation for their second, third and fourth years of medical school support fees. An annual Notification of Award letter is sent to each participant advising them of the amount of their financial obligation for the related program year.
How does the service obligation discharge a WWAMI participant’s financial obligation?
The participant who successfully completes the graduate education program for which the financial support was provided and is employed within Alaska in a qualifying medical residency program or other qualifying professional medical practice and who is otherwise qualified may have the outstanding principal1 and accrued interest forgiven and considered a grant in accordance with the following percentages:
A. for employment in rural2 areas of the state, up to three years of employment, 33 1/3 percent for each year;
B. for employment in areas of the state that do not qualify under the program definition as rural, up to five years of employment, 20 percent for each year.
Participants employed as physicians in the state must immediately notify ACPE of the date their qualifying employment began. ACPE will make available to the participant the necessary forms for documenting completion of each annual period of documented employment until the obligation is fully discharged.
Are participants required to make payments while engaged in employment that satisfies their WWAMI service obligation?
Generally not. However, it is critical for a participant to immediately advise ACPE of qualifying employment. Once ACPE is in receipt of documentation the participant is in full-time, qualifying employment in Alaska, the repayment requirement will be deferred. The deferment continues until either the entire period of service is completed or the participant ends the full-time employment or leaves the state, whichever occurs first. However, if a participant enters otherwise qualifying employment after the start of repayment and has past due payments, that participant must pay the loan obligation current before the employment will be considered part of the qualifying period. Additionally, those payments made prior to entering into qualifying repayment will not be subject to forgiveness.
Who is required to repay a WWAMI loan?
Any participant who fails to fully satisfy the terms of their service obligation is required to repay their outstanding WWAMI financial obligation plus accrued interest. The obligation converts to a regular loan status at the time the participant fails to qualify for a permitted deferment and the active repayment period begins. In the event a participant is in active repayment for a period of time and thereafter enters qualifying employment, any amount of the loan obligation which was not yet due and payable may be deferred and subsequently be subject to forgiveness in the increments noted above.
What if a WWAMI participant is in a medical education residency program in Alaska?
WWAMI participants in an Alaska medical education residency program can claim that period of service as qualifying under their WWAMI obligation so long as they hold an Alaska medical license or residency permit and have proof of full-time employment for the relevant period.
1 No amount due and payable prior to the participant entering deferment or forgiveness-qualifying employment is subject to forgiveness.
2 “Rural” is defined in Alaska law as a community with a population of 7,500 or less that is not connected by road or rail to Anchorage or Fairbanks or with a population of 3,500 or less that is connected by road or rail to Anchorage or Fairbanks.