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National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

Program Descriptions

Program Number



National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program


Federal Agency




Public Health Service Act, Title III, Sections 338A and 338C-E, 338G.






To increase the supply of primary care physicians, dentists, behavioral and mental health professionals, certified nurse midwives, certified family nurse practitioners, and physician assistants and, if needed by the National Health Service Corps, other health professionals in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) within the United States by providing service-obligated scholarships to health professions students.


Types of Assistance

Direct Payments for Specified Use.


Uses and Use Restrictions

Service-obligated scholarships for full-time students of allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O.) medicine, dentistry, family nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, and primary care physician assistants. Other health disciplines may be included if needed by National Health Service Corps. Scholarships pay tuition and required fees to the school, a stipend to students and a single annual payment to the student to assist with other reasonable educational expenses. Reasonable expenses include books, supplies, equipment, uniforms, travel for the provision of clinical services, etc. The program requires a 1 year of service with a minimum 2-year service commitment post graduation. A maximum of 4 years of support may be awarded. Service is primarily a nonfederal salaried or contracted employee of a public or private non-profit entity, providing full-time primary health services. Services may also be in a fee for service private practice setting, or a Federal employee in Federal health systems such as the Indian Health Service, Immigration Health Service or Bureau of Prisons. Service sites are selected by the scholarship recipient from the list of high priority sites in HPSAs identified by the NHSC. Physicians receive their site list at the beginning of their last year of residency training; nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants receive their site list within 6 months of their graduation. Service sites are limited to the United States, territories, and successor States to the Trust Territories, the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. Deferments of service are granted to physicians to complete residencies in family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and obstetrics/gynecology.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

At the time of award, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen or national. The applicant must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited school in the U.S., in a course of study leading to a degree in medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, or other health professions. The applicant must be free of any Federal judgment liens or service obligation, have not defaulted on a Federal debt, and have no conflicting service obligation. The applicant must submit an application and a signed contract to the National Health Service Corps, Division of Applications and Awards, the Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service by the last Friday in March, agreeing to accept payment of scholarship and provide full-time primary health services in a Health Professional Shortage Area.

Beneficiary Eligibility

U.S. citizens or nationals enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a State in a course of study leading to a degree in medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry or other health profession.


Applicants should review the individual HRSA Guidance documents issued under this CFDA program for any required proof or certifications which must be submitted prior to or simultaneous with submission of an application package.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded for coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

Grant applications and required forms for this program can be obtained from Please visit the website at to both find and apply for all Federal grant opportunities. All qualified applications will be forwarded to an objective review committee which will make funding recommendations to the Associate Administrator for Clinicians Recruitment and Service. The Associate Administrator has the authority to make final selections for awards.

Award Procedure

NHSC scholarship awards are very competitive; the Program anticipates more applicants for scholarship awards than there are funds available. The applications of individuals who meet the eligibility criteria are scored numerically. All applicants will be notified if they are selected.


Contact HRSA at for deadline date(s).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Notification to successful and rejected applicants is made no later than 6 months after deadline from receipt of application.





Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Each award covers 1 to 4 years of support, as requested. No awardees may receive more than 4 years of support.


Post Assistance Requirements


Annual reports by schools indicating average student educational expenses. The academic institution where the student is enrolled must complete and submit a Verification of Enrollment Form each semester as a full-time student pursuing the program for which the scholarship was awarded. The employing facility must complete and send a semi-annual Employment Certification Form verifying that the participating health professional is involved full-time. The certification includes a signature by an appropriate official of the facility.






Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 15,000,000; FY 08 $14,805,558; and FY 09 est $14,200,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$40,000 to $320,000; $150,000.


Program Accomplishments

Total awards made for FY 07 was 85 and an estimate for FY 08 is 85.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

This program is subject to the provisions of 45 CFR Part 92 for State, local and tribal governments and 45 CFR Part 74 for institutions of higher education, hospitals, other nonprofit organizations and commercial organizations, as applicable.


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program, Division of Applications and Awards, Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service (BCRS), Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 8A-55, 5600 Fishers Lane,. Rockville, MD 20857. Telephone: (301) 594-4400. For 24-hour toll-free calls from outside MD: (1-800) 221-9393, use for requesting applications.

Headquarters Office

Grants Management Office: Rick Goodman, Director, Division of Grants Management Operations, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11A-16. Rockville, MD 20857. Health Services Branch: (301) 443-2385; Research and Training Branch: (301) 443-3099; Government and Special Focus Branch: (301) 443-3288.

Web Site Address


Related Programs

93.108, Health Education Assistance Loans;
93.162, National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
93.364, Nursing Student Loans
93.972, Health Professions Scholarship Program


Examples of Funded Projects

Scholarships covering tuition, monthly stipends and payments for other reasonable education expenses made to medical school students, dental students, as well as for students of family nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery and physician assistant programs.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

By statute, first priority will be given to any applicant for such assistance, who has previously received a scholarship under this section or under section 758 of the PHS Act. Priority for consideration will be given to all students who have characteristics which increase the probability they will continue professional practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area when they complete their service obligation. Third priority will be given to students who are from a "disadvantaged background."


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