The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced last week that PA students can now participate in the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP). The VA awards scholarships to students receiving education or training to become a health professional.
Denni Woodmansee, the director of PA services for the VA, says word has spread quickly about this scholarship opportunity. The application period ends April 30, 2017; applications will be reviewed as they come in so the sooner a student applies for one of the 25-30 scholarships the better.
• U.S. citizenship (U.S. Veterans will be considered first among all equally qualified candidates);
• Acceptance to or current enrollment in a qualifying degree program (priority consideration will be given to applicants entering their final year of education and/or training);
• Selection criteria includes academic performance, work experience, faculty and employer recommendations, and career goals;
• All candidates will be subject to a background/suitability investigation;
• To officially accept the scholarship, selected applicants must sign a mobility agreement as well as an agreement to complete a service obligation of at least two years at a VA healthcare facility after graduating and obtaining necessary licensure/certification.
Modeled after a similar Department of Defense scholarship program for PAs, the VA version will be a great scholarship for the right student, according to Todd Doran, EdD, PA-C, DFAAPA, division chief and PA program director at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.
“I and others have been advocating for a program such as this to be available for PAs to address the VA personnel shortfall for a long time,” he says. “Kudos to Denni Woodmansee and his staff for pulling this off.”