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Healthcare Scholarship: Indian Health Service (IHS) Scholarship

Overview of the Indian Health Service (IHS) Scholarship

The Indian Health Service (IHS) Scholarship is awarded each year to American Indian and Alaska Native students enrolled in pre-professional health-related programs. The scholarship is meant to encourage and support American Indian and Alaska Native students who choose to pursue careers in healthcare upon graduation.

Since the program was founded in 1978, almost 7,000 students have received scholarship awards. The program is divided into three sections: the Preparatory Scholarship, the Pre-Graduate Scholarship and the Health Professions Scholarship. Generally, the requirements for each scholarship are quite similar. However, the Preparatory Scholarship is awarded to a student currently taking preparatory coursework, leading towards specific training in a health field. The Pre-Graduate Scholarship is for students currently enrolled in undergraduate programs leading to a degree in pre-dentistry, pre-podiatry or other health-related subjects. Finally, the Health Professions Scholarship is for both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in health-related programs.

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must submit proof of citizenship, proof of their tribal/village membership affiliation, and evidence of their good academic standing. For the last of the requirements, the application should include evidence of a minimum 2.0 GPA and of high school graduation.

Applicants for the Health Professions Scholarship must also sign a program contract, indicating that they will commit to two years of service within an Indian health facility, upon completion of their academic training.

The scholarship includes both tuition and living expenses component. The tuition payment is paid directly to the institution of higher learning. The living stipend amounts to at least $1,500 per month, intended to cover general living expenses. An additional one-time stipend is intended to cover school-related expenses, travel expenses, tutorial services and insurance expenses.

The deadline for The Indian Health Service (IHS) Scholarship was March 28th, as of 2014. The date may vary slightly from year to year. However, the application window is typically during the winter months, with a deadline in early spring.

In addition to evidence of strong academic performance in the form of transcripts, applicants must also submit recommendation letters and a personal essay, which reflects their career goals and their desire to address the needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The selection process for the IHS Scholarship Program is based on a 100-point ranking system. Applicants may receive up to 40 points for their academic performance, up to 30 points from faculty evaluations and up to 30 points from their essays.

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