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How NHSC Determines Scholarship Awards

Through funding priorities and selection factors, we evaluate eligible applicants. We use these to determine who receives scholarship awards.

Funding Priorities

First Priority

Current (or former) NHSC Scholarship Program (NHSC SP) scholars
You seek, and are eligible for, additional support for the 2018-2019 school year or through your date of graduation.

Federal Scholarship for Students of Exceptional Financial Need recipients
If you received a scholarship for students of Exceptional Financial Need (EFN) qualify for a funding priority (medical and dental students only).

  • If you claim EFN status, you must upload the EFN form (we make it available in our online application).
  • Your school’s financial aid official must complete the form to affirm your former participation in the EFN program.

Second Priority

Characteristics Likely to Remain in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)
You have characteristics that increase the chance that you will continue to serve in a HPSA once you complete your NHSC SP service obligation.

Third Priority

Disadvantaged Background
You are from a “disadvantaged background” and have characteristics that increase the chance that you will continue to serve in a HPSA once completing your NHSC SP service obligation.

How do you claim a disadvantaged background?

Upload the Disadvantaged Background form (PDF – 168 KB) after your school’s financial aid official completes it. 

Selection Factors

Factor #1: You honor legal obligations.

We will not select you if you have a history of not honoring prior legal obligations. To determine this, we review factors such as:

  • Default on any federal payment obligations or any non-federal payment obligations (e.g., court-ordered child support payments), even that creditor considers you to be in good standing.
  • Write-off of any federal or non-federal debt as uncollectible. Or a waiver of any federal service or payment obligation.
  • Default on a prior service obligation—to federal, state, or local government, or other entity--even if you subsequently satisfied that obligation.

Note: We will perform a credit check as part of the application review process.

Factor #2: You perform well academically.

You demonstrate the ability to excel and maintain good academic standing while in school.

Factor #3: You commit to providing primary care services in underserved communities.

We seek to recruit clinicians who demonstrate:

  • A strong commitment to the field of primary care;
  • An interest in providing care to underserved communities; and
  • Relevant work experience and/or activities (e.g., community service, research, and internships), which prepared you to work with underserved populations.

    We evaluate this final factor through:
    • Essay Questions
      Show your interest and commitment to primary care service in underserved communities.
    • Recommendation Letters
      Provide a detailed description of your
      • School performance
      • Education/work achievements
      • Community/civic or other non-academic achievements
      • Ability to work and communicate constructively with others from diverse backgrounds
      • Interest and motivation to serve underserved populations through work experience, course work, special projects, research, etc.

Factor #4: You do not have any judgment liens arising from a federal debt.

Factor #5: You are not currently excluded, suspended, or disqualified by a federal agency.

In your application, you must confirm that you're not excluded, suspended, or disqualified by a federal agency.

You must provide immediate written notice to us if you failed to make a required disclosure. You must also do so if your circumstances change in such a way that a disclosure is necessary.

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