Other Scholarship/Financial Incentive Programs
Important Note: Students who receive awards from state-funded programs with service obligations may qualify for other financial incentive programs to practice in West Virginia. In some cases, the service obligations can be met concurrently. However, federally law prohibits concurrent service obligations with most state loan repayment programs, such as the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program. Be sure to check with the programs if you are applying for multiple programs.
Scholarships/Financial Incentives While You Are In School
The Health Sciences Service Program is a loan repayment program (not a financial aid scholarship) for health professions students interested in practicing in underserved communities in West Virginia. The program includes 12 different health-care disciplines.
The program makes approximately 15 awards each academic year to students in the state's higher education system. Awards of$15,000 for students training to become nurse educators, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners are available. Awards are made based on a competitive application process and the recommendations of an advisory committee. Funds are provided to participants once they begin practicing and provide documentation regarding their educational loan balances.
When applying, students must be entering the final year of their training program at an in-state eligible institution.
The service obligation is either two years of full-time (a minimum of 40 hours per week) or four years of half-time (a minimum of 20 hours per week) employment at an eligible practice site. All service sites must be within West Virginia. Participants are responsible for securing a practice site within six months of completing their training. Ineligible service obligation sites include emergency rooms, hospital inpatient positions, and walk-in clinics.
The eligible service sites for nurse educators are any nursing program in West Virginia that is accredited by a national accrediting body. The eligible service sites for nurse practitioners and nurse educators include out-patient primary care site or residential care facility for older adults located within a geographically eligible area, outpatient primary care sites anywhere in West Virginia with a facility-based HPSA designation, or a free clinic located anywhere in the state.
The penalty for not fulfilling the service obligation is repayment of the award with 15 percent interest. Interest begins accruing from the date of default if training or the service obligation is not completed.
For more information about the West Virginia Health Sciences Service Program, click here.
Loan Repayment/Finanancial Incentives After You Graduate
The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program is a federally funded program that offers primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health care providers the opportunity to have their student loans repaid in exchange for service at an eligible site. Nurses who qualify include:
- Nurse Practitioners (adult, family, pediatric)
- Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioners
- Geriatric Nurse Practitioners
- Women's Health Nurse Practitioners
- Certified Nurse-Midwives
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Specialists
The program offers funding at two levels, based on the needs of the community where the provider serves as defined by a HPSA score. The two levels of funding are dependent on how much the provider works: full-time or half-time. Full-time practitioners who work at sites with HPSA scores of 14-26 can receive up to $50,000 for a two year service commitment and practitioners at work sites with HPSA scores of 0-13 can receive up to $30,000 for a two year service commitment. Half-time practitioners who work at sites with HPSA scores of 14-26 can receive up to $25,000 for a two year service commitment and practitioners at work sites with HPSA scores of 0-13 can receive up to $15,000 for a two year service commitment.
Eligible work sites include:
- Federally Qualified Health Centers
- FQHC Look-Alikes
- Rural Health Clinics
- Hospital-affiliated Primary Care Outpatient Clinics
- Private Practices
- State or Federal Correctional Facilities
- Other Health Facilities including: Community Mental Health Facilities, Community Outpatient Facilities, Critical Access Hospitals, Free Clinics, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Health Service Corps, Mobile Units, School-based Health programs, and State and County Department of Health Clinics.