Scholarships for Health Professions Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

Promotes diversity among health professions students and practitioners by providing scholarships for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Eligible health professions and nursing schools apply for funds to make scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who have financial need
for scholarships and are enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, as full-time students at the schools.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - Andrea Stampone, Division of Health Careers Diversity and Development, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Public Health Service, Parklawn Building, Room 8-42, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Telephone: (301) 443-4776.

Use the same numbers for FTS.
Website Address

Program Accomplishments

In FY 07 and FY 08 over 450 health professions and nursing schools received awards. In FY 06, over 15,000 students were assisted and estimate over 15,000 students will be assisted FY 07. In FY 09 estimate zero awards and zero students assisted.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Scholarships may only be expended for tuition expenses, other reasonable educational expenses, and reasonable living expenses incurred while in attendance for the year.

The Secretary is required to make available at least 16 percent of the funds to schools that will provide scholarships only for nursing students.

Schools are required to agree that, in providing scholarships under this program, preference shall be given to students from disadvantaged backgrounds for who the costs of attending the school would constitute a severe financial hardship and disadvantaged students.

The Secretary may not make a grant to a school unless the school is carrying out a program for recruiting and retaining students from disadvantaged backgrounds and have met the eligibility criteria of demonstrating the success of outcome measures.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Accredited public or private nonprofit schools of allopathic medicine, nursing, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, podiatric medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine, chiropractic, allied health, or schools offering graduate programs in public health, behavioral and mental health or physician assistants.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Students who are citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent residence of the United States or the District of Columbia, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico or the Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the American Samoa or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia; and enrolled full-time in health professions or nursing schools.


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.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Grant applications and required forms for this program can be obtained from Please visit the Web site 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 the Bureau of Health Professions. The Associate Administrator has the authority to make final selections for awards.

Award Procedures

Based upon the availability of funds, notice of awards are issued to the eligible schools which in turn select and issue the awards to the eligible students.



Public Health Service Act, Title VII, Section 737, 42 U.S.C. 293a; Health Professions Education Partnership Act of 1998, Public Law 105-392.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 3 to 4 months.




Annual applications are required for all schools.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Each scholarship award is made for 1 year.

Post Assistance Requirements


A financial status report must be submitted 90 days after the end of each budget period.

In addition a Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Performance Report must be submitted 45 days after the end of each budget period.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


All records must be maintained until expiration of 3 years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions remain following the 3-uear period, such as those raised as a result of an audit or an on-going enforcement action, recipients must retain records until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



In FY 07 $44,300,000; FY 08 $42,400,000 were awarded to health professions and nursing schools. In FY 09 est $0 awards.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$1,000 to $650,000.

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

Andrea Stampone, Division of Health Careers Diversity and Development, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Public Health Service, Parklawn Building, Room 8-42, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Telephone: (301) 443-4776. Use the same numbers for FTS.

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. Health Services Branch: (301) 443-2385; Research and Training Branch: (301) 443-3099; Government and Special Focus Branch: (301) 443-3288.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Applications will be reviewed for completeness, accuracy, and to determine if applicant schools meet minimum program requirements.

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