Federal Healthcare Scholarships are awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These are financial need-based scholarships, given to aspiring medical professionals attending a participating school.
There are three different federal programs: the Nursing Scholarship Program, the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program and the National Health Service Corps program.
How much does each award?
Both the NSP and the SDS cover the full cost of your education. Tuition, school-related fees and educational expenses (books, supplies, lab costs, etc.) are all included. Award winners are also given a small monthly stipend for living expenses.
The National Healthcare Corps is structured a bit differently. Instead of giving a scholarship prior to enrollment, they repay student loans on your behalf after graduation. The cap on loan repayment is currently set to $170,000. To receive the maximum amount, you have to commit to working for five years within the Corps program.
How do you qualify?
While every federal healthcare scholarship has distinct eligibility requirements, certain guidelines are common to all. To qualify for any of them, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or qualified national/legal resident
- Have a definite financial need (as demonstrated on a submitted FAFSA application)
- Study under certain programs, as outlined by each specific scholarship
For instance, the Healthcare Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students covers the following disciplines:
- Medicine (Osteopathic, Pediatric, Veterinary, General)
- Public Health
- Allied Health
- Physician Assistance
- Behavioral/Mental health (Graduate programs only)
- The Nursing Scholarship Program is designed specifically for those aiming to become a registered nurse. It covers any accredited RN training program.
- The National Health Service Corps Program is covers the following disciplines:
- Medical (Allopathic, Osteopathic)
- Physician Assistance
What should I be mindful of?
As mentioned, each scholarship may have additional eligibility requirements. It is recommended that you carefully read the program eligibility documentation before submitting an application.
Also, keep in mind that awards are given at the discretion of each school’s respective financial aid department. The federal government plays no part in determining award winners.
Winners of the Nursing Scholarship Program are obligated to work for 2 years at a facility deemed to have a shortage of nurses. Those joining the National Health Service Corps Program must also work at an approved facility.
The deadline for application for Federal Healthcare Scholarships is generally within the first week of March prior to the enrollment year.