National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

Purpose of this program:

To assure an adequate supply of primary care physicians, certified nurse midwives, certified family nurse practitioners, and physician assistants; and, if needed by the National Health Service Corps, an adequate supply of other health professionals in the Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) of the U.S.A. by providing service-obligated scholarships to health professions students.

Possible 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. Scholarship pays tuition and required fees for the year to the school, pays a monthly stipend to student ($1,128 for 12 months of the 2004-2005 school year) and a single annual payment to the student to cover the cost of all other reasonable educational expenses (books, supplies, equipment, uniforms, clinical travel, etc.) based on costs by school and class year. Awards are limited to U.S. citizens due to potential for Federal employment during service. Applicant must be enrolled in a U.S. accredited school. Each year of support incurs 1 year of service. A 2-year minimum service commitment is required. 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 National Health Service Corps. Physicians receive their site list at the beginning of their last year of residency training; nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physicians 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 physicians to complete residencies in family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and OB/GYN.

Who is eligible to apply...

At the time of award, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen or national. At the time of award, the applicant must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in accredited school in U.S,in a course of study leading to a degree in medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, or other health profession. The applicant must submit application and signed contract to the Division of National Health Service Corps 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.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Verification of specific program acceptance or enrollment at time of application. Proof of U.S. citizenship at time of application. Certificate of "Disadvantaged Background" (if claimed) from medical or nursing school financial aid officials if from low-income family or experienced inhibiting educational environment.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Application, a signed contract, and other information required (as listed in the application packet) are submitted to the administering Program Office.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

NHSC scholarship awards are very competitive; the Program anticipates more applicants for scholarship awards that there are funds available. The applications of individuals who meet the eligibility criteria are scored numerically. Where the application scores fall within the competitive range, the applicants will be invited to a personal interview. Applicants will be notified by mail of dates, times and locations of the interviews. Applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria or whose scores do not fall within the competitive range will not be invited for an interview and will be notified of non-selection.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Deadline for receipt of applications for each new academic year is the last Friday in March.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

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

Preapplication Coordination

Students must be given a fair summary of the rights and liabilities of student applicants prior to application. This summary is included in the application packet. Applications are available directly from the program up to 2 weeks before the application deadline. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.



Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Renewal applications are not necessary for students in compliance; contracts may be multi-year funded through graduation (1 to 4 years) from the respective fiscal year appropriation, if the applicant signs the contract through the graduation date.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

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.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Monthly stipend payment for the 2004/2005 school year is $1,128 plus tuition, fees and other reasonable costs.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 03 $22,888,284; FY 04 est $22,900,000 and FY 05 est $26,879,400.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Scholarships covering tuition, monthly stipends and payments for other reasonable education expenses made to medical school students, dental students (3rd & 4th year), as well as for students of family nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery and physician assistant programs.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

In fiscal year 2003, there were 147 new awardees and 78 continuations. In fiscal year 2004 we estimate issuing 147 new and 78 continuing scholarships. In fiscal year 2005, it is estimated that there will be 176 new and 78 continuing awards.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

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. (This includes a primary care specialty preference.) Third priority will be given to students who are from "disadvantaged backgrounds.

Assistance considerations...

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.

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula or matching requirements.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Annual reports by schools indicating average student educational expenses.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.



Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


The files of unsuccessful applicants are retained for 6 months after the application deadline. The files of successful applicants are retained for 15 years following completion of obligated service (19 to 27 years: 2-year award + 2-year service + 15 years = 19 years; 4-year award + 4-year deferment + 4-year service + 15 years = 27).

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



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

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

The most recent regulations, 42 CFR 62.1-14, were published on August 20, 1980. Information Bulletin published annually and Program Fact Sheets are available at no charge.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

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

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: