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Healthcare Scholarship: National Health Service Corps (NHSC)

Overview of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program is intended to reward and encourage exceptional students who are training in pre-professional medical programs, to become physicians (either M.D. or D.O. degrees), dentists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives or physician assistants. While the number of scholarships awarded varies from year to year, typically around 200 awards are granted and 10 to 15 awards are renewed for the following year.

The scholarship is intended to cover the student’s costs associated with the training, including tuition, other fees and educational costs, as well as a living stipend. In return, scholarship recipients agree to work for at least two years, upon graduation, at an approved outpatient facility. Approved facilities provide healthcare to underserved communities. Scholarship recipients may receive coverage for their tuition and other study-related costs for up to four years. Recipients also receive a living stipend. For each year of scholarship monies received beyond the first year, the recipient agrees to an additional year of work service following graduation. (No recipient will be required to provide more than four years of service, however.) The scholarship payments, but not the living stipend, are free of federal income tax.

For the service component of the scholarship, the NHSC will provide help for recent graduates to find an agreeable site. These placements may be in urban, rural or frontier communities, anywhere in the United States. The placement positions are paid, with a market-rate salary.

In order to qualify for the scholarship, you must be a U.S. citizen or national. You must be studying full-time within an NHSC-eligible program. You must submit a complete application, including a resume, two letters of recommendation and a school transcript. The letters of recommendation should come from one academic and one non-academic advisor, superior or other relevant figure. These letters should reflect the applicant’s achievements as well as his or her interests, personal strengths and dedication to populations in need. Winning applicants can demonstrate a history of honoring past legal obligations, excellent academic performance, and commitment to a career in primary care, especially in underserved communities.

The application window for the scholarship is typically between early March and May 15th, the deadline as of 2014. Note, however, that due dates varies slightly from year to year. Therefore, it’s worth checking on the NHSC for all up-to-date information. The application should be submitted electronically, with all documents uploaded through the NHSC submission portal.

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