U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Your Health Career Starts Here - IHS Scholarship Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants

How do I apply?

Do I need to provide additional documentation to support my application?

Am I eligible for an IHS scholarship?

What is included in the financial aid package?

Are scholarship recipients required to complete a service commitment?

When will scholarship awards be announced?

Who can I call if I have any questions?

Recipients

Do I need to submit an application for an extension of my scholarship?

Am I guaranteed to receive an extension?

What happens if I am unable to complete my education or service commitment?

What is the IHS Extern Program?

 

Applicants

How do I apply?

Interested applicants can apply through our online application during the program's annual cycle. Read the Apply Now page for more information.

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Do I need to provide additional documentation to support my application?

Yes, applicants must mail an application packet to the IHS Scholarship Program branch office. Read the Apply Now page or the Application Handbook [PDF - 4,350KB] for detailed information.

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Am I eligible for an IHS scholarship?

IHS offers three scholarships to qualified American Indian and Alaska Native candidates:

  • Preparatory Scholarship — For members or descendents of federally recognized, state-recognized or terminated Tribes and Villages. Students must be enrolled in preparatory or undergraduate prerequisite courses in preparation for entry to a health professions school.
  • Pre-Graduate Scholarship — For members or descendents of federally recognized, state-recognized or terminated Tribes and Villages. Students must be enrolled in courses leading to a bachelor's degree in pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-podiatry and other subjects as needed by the Indian health programs.
  • Health Professions Scholarship — For members of federally recognized Tribes/Villages. Students must be enrolled in an eligible health profession degree program.

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What is included in the financial aid package?

The IHS Scholarship Program provides financial aid covering tuition, required fees, educational and living expenses for all scholarship recipients. Read the Application Handbook [PDF - 4,350KB] for a detailed explanation.

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Are scholarship recipients required to fulfill a service commitment?

Health Professions scholarship recipients are required to fulfill a minimum two-year service commitment at an Indian health facility. Read the Recipient Handbook [PDF - 3,724KB] for more information.

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When will scholarship awards be announced?

New awards will be announced by mid-July. You will receive an award packet from the Division of Grants Operations explaining your scholarship and related financial aid. You must return the required forms as soon as possible documenting your acceptance/denial of the award.

If accepted, your Program Analyst will send information detailing your responsibilities as a scholarship recipient.

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Who can I call if I have any questions?

New applicants should begin by contacting their Area Scholarship Coordinator with questions regarding the application process.

Contact the IHS Scholarship Program branch office if you require further assistance.

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Recipients

Do I need to submit an application for an extension of my scholarship?

Yes, all scholarship recipients must apply annually to request an extension of their scholarship. Read the Apply Now page or the Recipient Handbook [PDF - 3,724KB] for detailed information.

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Am I guaranteed to receive an extension?

No, recipients must meet program academic and reporting requirements to receive an extension. However, extension applicants are given priority over new applicants during the scholarship award process.

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What happens if I am unable to complete my education or service commitment?

Preparatory and Pre-Graduate scholarship recipients who determine that they will no longer be able to continue with their education will be terminated from the IHS Scholarship Program and will be liable for the return of any tuition and fees paid for school terms that were not completed (for example, withdrawing from classes mid-semester).

Health Professions scholarship recipients who determine that they will no longer be able to continue with their education or service commitment will be held in breach of contract and placed in default.

Read the Recipient Handbook [PDF - 3,724KB] for more detailed information.

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What is the IHS Extern Program?

The IHS Extern Program provides health professions students with an opportunity during non-academic periods to gain practical hands-on experience in a clinical setting for 30 to 120 workdays per calendar year.

Go to the IHS Extern Program page for more information.

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