Health Professions Scholarship Program


To provide scholarships to American Indians and Alaska Natives at health professions schools in order to obtain health professionals to serve Indians. Upon completion, scholarship recipients are obligated to serve in the Indian Health Service or an Indian health organization for each year of support with a minimum of 2 years.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Indian Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
M - Training
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Indian Health Care Improvement Act, Public Law 94-437
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Individuals of American Indian or Alaska Native who are enrolled members of a Federally-recognized tribe are eligible. Applicants for new awards: (1) must be accepted by an accredited U.S. educational institution for a full-time or part-time course of study leading to a degree in medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, or other participating health profession which is deemed necessary by the Indian Health Service; (2) be eligible for or hold an appointment as a Commissioned Officer in the Regular or Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service; or (3) be eligible for civil service in the Indian Health Service.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Individuals of American Indian or Alaska Native who are enrolled members of Federally-recognized tribe; full-time students of medicine or other health professions; prospective or currently Commissioned Officers in the Regular or Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service; or eligible civilians of the Indian Health Service.
Students claiming Indian priority must submit proper certification and documentation as specified in the application. All applicants must provide transcripts of their latest academic work. All incoming freshmen are to provide copies of acceptance letters for enrollment in school. Students must submit proper documentation of Indian eligibility verification from the college advisor that the courses or curriculum to be taken are required to meet the applicant's deficiency and compensatory needs at the professional level and represent the number of credit hours which the school considers as full-time or at least 6 credit hours per semester for part-time.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Application form OMB No. 0917-0006 and instructions are provided by the Indian Health Service and are usually available to interested individuals in December ( An application form and required documentation (official transcripts, letter of acceptance by college, curriculum verification, Indian eligibility, tuition verification, faculty evaluations) are submitted to IHS Headquarters for review and approval/disapproval.
Award Procedure
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Priority will be given to applicants who are prior recipients. Special consideration is given to junior and senior level students whose specialty plans are in primary care fields. Criteria which determine competitive ranking awards may include: (1) work experience, preferably health-related in communities of health care need; (2) personal background from a community of health care need; (3) career goals of primary care practice in service to Indians; and, (4) academic performance. Student financial need does not affect selection. Funding covers only Tuition and Fees, other reasonable costs and a monthly stipend. Tuition and fee payments are made to the recipient's college or university.
The application cycle opens in mid-December and closes on February 28 for current scholarship recipients interested in extending their scholarship for another year. The application deadline for new scholarship applicants is March 28.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days. Grants are approved or disapproved by July 1, by the Indian Health Service, Division of Grants Management.
Not applicable.
Continuation applications must be submitted annually. Continued funding subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance.
How are proposals selected?
Applications are scored based on Academic performance, Faculty/Employer Evaluations and Applicant Essays. Complete information on the applicant selection process is available in the IHS Scholarship Program Application Handbook at
How may assistance be used?
Scholarships support students who pursue full-time or part-time courses of study in health professions needed by the Indian Health Service (IHS). Disciplines have included allopathic and osteopathic medicine, addiction counseling, clinical psychology, dentistry, environmental engineer, medical technology, nursing (baccalaureate and graduate), nurse practitioner, physical therapy, pharmacy, physician assistant, public health nutrition (graduate), optometry, social work (graduate), sanitarian, speech pathology/audiology (graduate), x-ray technology and health records. Not all disciplines participate each year.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
The Indian Health Service Scholarship Program maintains records for 6 years following completion of obligated service or other disposition of the scholarship obligation.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Maximum length of funding is a total of 4 years full-time and 8 years part-time. Tuition payments and fees are paid upon receipt of invoices from the universities. Stipend payments are paid monthly for the 12-month academic period. An amount for books and other necessary expenses is provided to the student.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See listing of Area Scholarship Coordinators at Program Contact: CAPT Michael Bartholomew, Chief, Scholarship Branch, Division of Health Professions Support, Indian Health Service, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop: OHR 11E69B, Rockville, MD 20857. Email:, Telephone: (301) 443-2349. Grants Management Contact: Marsha Brookins, Director, Division of Grants Management, Indian Health Service, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop 09E70, Rockville, MD 20857. Telephone: (301) 443-5204.
Headquarters Office
Division of Grants Management,
5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop: 09E70
Rockville, MD 20857 US
Phone: (301) 443-5204
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Training) FY 22$15,842,982.00; FY 23 est $18,000,000.00; FY 24 est $18,000,000.00; FY 21$16,000,000.00; FY 20$13,546,366.00; FY 19$13,145,030.00; FY 18$27,062,422.00; FY 17$12,282,445.00; FY 16$12,576,285.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$11,237 - $126,920; average $48,004
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
42 CFR 136.330-334. Final Rules and Regulations, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, Public Law 96-537 (which amends Public Law 94-437, Section 104), published in the Federal Register on February 29, 1984, redesignated May 17, 2002.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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