The Virginia Tobacco Commission has approved a student loan repayment program that provides for a return of $24,000 over two years to people willing to live in Southwest Virginia and work certain jobs. Participants can apply for an additional two years and receive another $24,000. The commission has also partnered with the Virginia Department of Health, which already runs a program awarding people up to $140,000 over four years to work in underserved areas. The department’s program is supported by state and federal funds as well as a match from health care employers. The tobacco commission will start accepting applications this summer. For more information, visit the commission’s website at