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How to Apply for a Scholarship

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To apply for the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program (NHSC SP), you must follow each of our requirements.

Before You Apply | Application Sections | After You Apply
Award Notification | Contract & Service Commitment

What to know before you apply

Start the application process early. Allow time to collect all required and supplemental documentation.

The answers in your application must match your supporting documents.

You must submit a complete online application by the application deadline.

We will not:

  • Accept requests to update a submitted application.
  • Permit you to submit materials after the deadline.
  • Fill in any missing information or contact you regarding missing information.

What is a complete application?

A complete application consists of:

  • Online application;
  • All required supporting documents; and
  • Additional supplemental documentation (if applicable)

Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) Customer Service Portal

When you apply, you will do so within the BHW Customer Service Portal. So, you must first create a profile.

Review the application sections

The following provides an overview of the application requirements. Refer to the NHSC Scholarship Program Application and Program Guidance for the complete set of requirements and instructions.

Online Application

In the BHW Customer Service Portal, you will complete each of the following sections:

  • Eligibility Screening
    If you do not pass this initial screening portion of the application, you cannot continue with the application.
  • General Information
    Provide your name, social security number, mailing and email addresses, and other contact information.
  • Degree Information
    Provide information pertaining only to the degree or certificate program for which you are applying for an NHSC Scholarship.
  • Background Information
    Provide answers relating to your educational background, individual and family background, and emergency contact information.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Submit two letters of recommendation, each on letterhead with a handwritten signature:
    • One letter from the Department Chair, faculty advisor, or faculty member of your current health professions program or most recent academic program; and
    • One additional letter of recommendation from an individual—but not a family member—who is familiar with your professional, community, and/or civic activities, especially related to underserved communities.
    Recommendations should include a description of the recommender’s relationship to you, and a discussion of your Note: You must certify to the accuracy, truthfulness, and completeness of your application and information you enter in the online application.

Required Supporting Documentation

You must upload all supporting documents at the time of the online application submission. Each document must include your name, discipline and the last four digits of your social security number.

  • Proof of status as a United States citizen or United States national
    Acceptable documents: birth certificate, current U.S. passport’s ID page, or a certificate of citizenship or naturalization.
    Unacceptable documents: driver’s license, permanent resident card, marriage license, or social security card.
  • Authorization to Release Information Form
    Authorizes entities to disclose information about you, should we select you, and you accept, a scholarship award. It must be dated and include your handwritten signature.
  • Acceptance Report/Verification of Good Standing
    You must submit a report from your school verifying your acceptance or enrollment in a fully accredited program and stating you are in good standing. You and the school official must sign the report by hand.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    Outline relevant work/volunteer experience in five pages or fewer.
  • Essays
    Respond to three essay questions, and uploaded in three separate documents. Each essay must be 500 words or less.
  • Transcript
    Submit a transcript from the last degree you earned, and from your current degree program. An unofficial transcript is acceptable as long as it includes your name, school name, and grade point average (GPA) (may be pass/fail).
  • Current Tuition and Fee Schedule
    Provide the current, or most recent, tuition and fees schedule published by the school.

Additional Supporting Documentation (if applicable)

We may require you to submit additional documents if your responses on the online application indicate that they're relevant.

Only submit these if we list them on the “Supporting Documents” page of the online application.

  • Verification of Exceptional Financial Need (EFN) Status
    You qualify for a funding priority if you received a scholarship for students of Exceptional Financial Need (medical and dental students only). This document certifies your participation in the EFN Program; your school’s financial aid official must complete it.
  • Verification of Disadvantaged Background
    A school official must complete the Verification of Disadvantaged Background (PDF - 407 KB).
    Learn more about disadvantaged background qualifications.
  • Statement Regarding Existing Service Obligation
    Statement from the entity for which you have an existing service obligation stating that:
    • There is no potential conflict in fulfilling the NHSC SP obligation; and
    • You will serve the NHSC SP obligation first.

What to know after you apply

You will receive a receipt of submission once you submit the online application.

You'll be able to view the overall status of your application and download a copy of your submitted application, including supporting documents.

Can you make edits to your application?

You may only make edits to your application, and resubmit it, prior to the application deadline. If you don't resubmit your application by the final deadline, we won't consider you for a scholarship award.

Can you withdraw your application?

You may withdraw your application at any time prior to the Secretary of HHS (or their designee) countersigning your contract.

How can you check the status of your application?

The application review process occurs over several months. During this time, we will provide updates via email and on the online application status page, as applicable. It is your responsibility to ensure your contact information is correct.

How do we evaluate you?

We use various selection factors and funding priorities to evaluate applicants of NHSC SP, and eventually determine who receives awards.

Note: We do not consider the number of years of scholarship support you request when determining whether you will receive a scholarship award.

How we notify you about awards

If we select you for a scholarship award, we will notify you via email or letter no later than September 30.

To accept the award, you must respond by the deadline in the notice of award email/letter. If you don't respond by the deadline, your offer of award expires and we we'll offer it to someone else.

For those that respond by the deadline, we will ask you to:

  • Sign the NHSC SP contract;
  • Complete the online banking form for direct deposit; and
  • Complete the W-4 form.

Note: You must decline the award if you will not begin classes on or before September 30, 2020, or you will be on a leave of absence from school through September 30, 2020.

What happens if you decide not to accept an award?

If we select you for an award and you decide not to accept it, you may decline the scholarship support without penalty.

Note: A decision to decline the scholarship award is final and cannot be changed under any circumstances.

When will you notify those who did not receive an award?

If you don't receive a scholarship award, we we'll notify you no later than October 31.

Understand your contract & service commitment

Your NHSC SP service begins once you sign the contract and the Secretary of HHS or their designee countersigns it.

Can you terminate your contract?

The Secretary of HHS (or their designee) may terminate your initial contract or an optional contract for subsequent years if you meet a set of requirements. Review them in the application and program guidance.

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