Through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship program, students pursuing a career in primary health care are eligible to receive funding for their medical education in exchange for practicing in underserved communities upon graduation.
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship program is federally funded and administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The scholarship pays tuition, fees and other educational costs as well as 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 is right for them. When in service, scholars earn a market-rate salary, paid by the employing facility.
Applicants must be:
Funding for a maximum of four (4) years paid directly to PCOM:
Scholarship payments other than the living stipend are federal income tax-free.
One-year service commitment per scholarship year or partial scholarship year; two-year minimum and four-year maximum.
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:
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. Each year, there are more than 1,800 applications from hundreds of schools from across the country. Approximately 10 percent of the applicants receive the scholarship award.
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.
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 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.LEARN MORE