Federal Scholarship Programs
Students often assume that loans are the only financing option for medical school. While loans are indeed the primary funding source, scholarships are available from a number of sources to reduce or, in some cases, obviate educational debt altogether. This section describes a variety of scholarships that are available to medical students.
Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS)
Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) Program provides awards to students who come from an environment that inhibits individuals from obtaining the knowledge, skills and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a medical school. The SDS Program also considers students who come from families with annual incomes below low-income thresholds, according to family size, as published annually by the U.S. Bureau of the Census (The 2011 HHS Poverty Guidelines). There is no separate application for this scholarship; students who apply for institutional funding are automatically considered for it but must include income and asset data on the FAFSA and the Need Access Form.
National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, pays tuition, required fees, and some other education costs, tax free, for as many as four years. The program includes a monthly stipend in exchange for service in a federally-designated and medically underserved area of the United States. In addition, priority for selection is given to applicants who are committed to primary care specialties such as family practice, general internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics-gynecology.
The Office of Financial Aid office maintains a list of current and former NHSC recipients who would be happy to share their experiences in the program. If you wish to receive this list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information regarding the NHSC Scholarship Program may be obtained on their website.
NHSC Scholarship Program
The Indian Health Service Program (IHS)
The Indian Health Service (IHS) Program offers scholarships similar to the NHSC Program. IHS scholarships include tuition, supplies, a book allowance, and a monthly stipend. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are federally recognized American Indians or Alaskan Natives. Students interested in obtaining more information should check out their website.
View IHS Scholarship Program
Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)
The Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program offers scholarships through the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force. These one-, two-, three- and four-year scholarships cover all direct educational costs (i.e., tuition, fees, books, health insurance) and provide a monthly stipend for ten and one-half months per year. In return, there is a service commitment of one year of active duty service for each year of participation in the program, with a minimum commitment of three years.