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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

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Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students

Apply at a participating school. Check with your financial aid office to see if your school participates in the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program.

The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program provides funds to schools. In turn, the schools make scholarships to full-time, financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds, enrolled in health professions and nursing programs. 

Participating schools are responsible for selecting scholarship recipients, making reasonable determinations of need, and providing scholarships that do not exceed the cost of attendance (tuition, reasonable educational expenses and reasonable living expenses).

Eligible Applicants

You are eligible to apply for this scholarship at a school that participates in the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program if you are

  • From a disadvantaged background as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
    An individual from a disadvantaged background is defined as one who comes from an environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill, and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a health professions school, or from a program providing education or training in an allied health profession; or comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau of Census, adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary, HHS, for use in health professions and nursing programs.
  • A citizen, national, or a lawful permanent resident of the United States or the District of Columbia, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico or the Marianas Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated State of Micronesia.

Eligible Disciplines

Under this program, funds are awarded to accredited schools of

  • medicine
  • osteopathic medicine
  • dentistry
  • optometry
  • pharmacy
  • podiatric medicine
  • veterinary medicine
  • nursing (associate, diploma, baccalaureate and graduate degree)
  • public health
  • chiropractic
  • allied health (baccalaureate or graduate degree programs of dental hygiene, medical laboratory technology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, radiologic technology, speech pathology, audiology, and registered dietitians)
  • graduate programs in behavioral and mental health practice (includes clinical psychology, clinical social work, professional counseling, or marriage and family therapy)
  • programs providing training of physician assistants
For Schools

Information for Schools on campus-based financial aid programs administered by participating schools, including Scholarships and Loans for Disadvantaged Students, Health Professions Student Loans, Nursing Student Loans, and Primary Care Loans.