National Health Service Corps

Students pursuing a career in primary health care are eligible to receive funding for their education in exchange for practicing in rural, urban, and frontier communities with limited access to care, upon graduation and licensure.

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship program is federally funded and administered by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). The scholarship pays tuition, fees, other educational costs, and provides a living stipend in return for a commitment to work at least two years at an NHSC-approved site in a medically underserved community. For each year of financial support (up to four years), the student agrees to serve one year (minimum two years) at an NHSC-approved site in a high-need urban, rural, or frontier community across the nation.

Service begins upon graduation (and completion of primary care residency training for doctors and dentists). The NHSC helps scholars find a practice site that's right for them. When in service, scholars earn a market-rate salary, paid by the employing facility.

Eligibility

Applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens (U.S. born or naturalized) or U.S. nationals.
  • Full-time student at an accredited school in an U.S. state or territory.
  • Enrolled or accepted in the following primary health care disciplines:
    • Primary Care Physician (DO or MD)
    • Primary Care Physician Assistant (PA)
    • Dentist (DDS or DMD)
    • Family Nurse Practitioner (NP)
    • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)

Financial Benefits

Funding for a maximum of four (4) years paid directly to PCOM:

  • Tuition
  • Required School Fees
  • Reasonable educational costs
  • Monthly living stipend (paid directly to student)

Scholarship payments other than the living stipend are federal income tax-free.

Service Commitment

One-year service commitment per scholarship year or partial scholarship year; two-year minimum and four-year maximum.

Service Sites

NHSC Scholars must practice at an NHSC-approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) that is determined annually. NHSC sites are located in 50 states, DC, and other territories and may be a:

  • Federal Qualified Health Center
  • Rural Health Clinic
  • State or Federal Correctional Facility
  • Community Outpatient Facility
  • Critical Access Hospital
  • School-based Health Program
  • and many more

Application Process

The Scholarship Program accepts applications once each year. The Scholarship Program application opens in Spring of each year and applications are usually due by late-April each year. Sign up to receive an email from the NHSC when the application program opens. Applicants chosen to receive the scholarship are notified no later than September 30.

The NHSC Scholarship application process is highly competitive; this year, there were more than 1,800 applications from hundreds of schools from across the country. Approximately 10 percent of the applicants received the scholarship award, and five of them are from PCOM.

In order to be considered for the scholarship, applicants must above all demonstrate a commitment to primary care and to delivering it in underserved communities, along with an interest to serve beyond completion of their NHSC service requirements. Other major selection factors are excellent academic performance; a history of honoring prior legal obligations; demonstration of financial need; and applicants being from a disadvantaged background.

To learn more about how NHSC reviews applications and determines who receives a scholarship, please watch the short video below:

 

NHSC Loan Repayment Program

In addition to the Scholarship Program, the NHSC also offers a Loan Repayment Program. Licensed health care providers may earn up to $50,000 toward student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment at an NHSC-approved site through the NHSC Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP). Accepted participants may serve as primary care medical, dental, or mental/behavioral health clinicians and can choose to serve longer for additional loan repayment support.

Fourth-year DO students can also consider the NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP). Medical (MD or DO) and dental (DDS or DMD) students may earn up to $120,000 in their final year of school through this program. Students must commit to serving at least three years at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need.

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