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FAQs

VA Scholarships

HPSP

VIOMPSP

VA-STEP

SELRP

FAQs

VA Scholarships

How do I submit an application for a scholarship program?

The VA utilizes an Application Management System (AMS) to facilitate the submission and review of each application package. Click “Apply” at the top of this page and you will be directed to set up your account and begin the application process.

What is required to submit for a scholarship program?

These are the required items to be submitted for the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Professional Scholarship Program (VIOMPSP).

  • Application
  • Academic Verification
  • Recommendations
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Declaration for Federal Employment
  • SF50 (for current or former VA employees)
  • DD214 (for current or former military service members)

It is the student applicant’s responsibility to ensure all required documentation is submitted. Failure to submit all required documentation will result in the application not being considered.

How are applications be evaluated?

After application packages are received (including all required documents) the packages are reviewed to ensure requirements are met.

Applications are evaluated for the scholarship programs based upon how well the student applicant meets the scholarship qualifications.

Veterans will be considered first among all equally qualified student applicants.

HPSP

How much is the stipend, and annual education expense payment for both full-time and part-time?

The monthly stipend is $1,184/month as long as you are in school at least one day during the month and not a full-time VA employee. The annual book stipend is $1,184/year.

What is the deadline to apply for the HPSP scholarship?

The VA receives applications year around for the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Professionals Scholarship Program (VIOMPSP). Current applications being received will not have a final selection notification till October 15, 2022, for scholarships, starting Spring 2023.

If I submit my application today and get the scholarship, how long would it take for the funds to be sent to my school?

My fall tuition payment is due August 1st and if I don’t pay it by that time, I will be charged late fees. The scholarship would not start till Spring 2023.

If it will take about a month or so for the funds to be sent to my school, should I apply for a loan to avoid the late fee? Would the HPSP cover my loan or would the HPSP only cover my spring semester?

HPSP is not retroactive.

Would it be possible to apply for the scholarship now before having a GPA registered?

Yes, but you would use your previous level of education, even if High School, as your CGPA and you must have a minimum CGPA of 3.00 to be eligible.

I am highly interested in learning more about the Veteran Affair Scholarships available. In the Fall, I am attending Florida Southern College School of Physical Therapy?

PT is not one of our offerings this year.

I have a BSN and am interested in doing a psych NP program and interesting in the HSPS scholarships. I was wondering what the scholarship coverage looks compared to the GI bill? And if the VA only hired DNPs or do they hire masters NP?

We will consider both MSN and DNP if they are in Psychiatric Mental Health.

Is there a specific PA Program I need to get accepted to be eligible for this scholarship?

The program only needs to have an ARC-PA Accreditation.

How soon after graduation are scholarship recipients required to start working at a VA site? How many years is the commitment for Psychologists?

Year for year with a maximum of 4 years. You will have a job offer within 90 days.

How does job placement work? I completely understand that the scholarship exists to improve recruitment for difficult to fill positions but does the VA decide where you are placed? Or do recipients have some say in location? Also, are these positions full-salary positions or considered volunteer positions without pay?

We work with you at the time of placement, but HPSP exists to fill the hardest to recruit and retain locations across the US. The locations are constantly changing. Being mobile at graduation is a key component of accepting the scholarship if accepted.

I am attempting to apply for the VA scholarship, but how do I turn in my resume, Academic Verification Form, Evaluation & Recommendation Forms, Academic Transcript, and Declaration for Federal Employment?

Once you submit your initial application, the system will send you an email with the additional instructions for submitting the additional requirements through the online system.

A question I have regarding the service obligation is whether or not recipients have a choice in VA placement. For instance, would a recipient be offered several service location choices, or have to accept the only placement available regardless of location?

While we work with you, VA HPSP exists to improve access to healthcare for veterans in the hardest to recruit and retain location across the US. Depending on your specialty at the time of residency completion will determine the number of options.

I just recently applied to the scholarship program. Today I received an email saying I was not picked. I was wondering if someone could tell me why I was not picked and when can I apply again?

A selection committee of three evaluated your application in many distinct areas: Recommendations, Cumulative GPA, Awards, Professional Activities, Organizational Memberships, Responses to Essay Questions, Veteran Status, Graduation Date, University/College, and Total Required Funding. All these items are rolled into a scoring matrix and then you were Not Selected.

First, how much of a say do HPSP recipients have in where they work during the repayment period? I have family in this area and would prefer to find a position at a hospital nearby. Is there a list of VA hospitals that we would apply to or would we be assigned a hospital through some sort of placement system?

We work with you when it is time for placement but ultimately the needs of the VA will be first. HPSP exist to fill the hardest to recruit and retain locations across the US. This requirement may or may not align with your desires, but we will work with you within these confines. We support Fellowship attendance and will defer service obligation start till Fellowship is complete. Other loans you obtain on the outside are up to you. Just be advised that loans taken that directly have to be applied to tuition will lower the amount we can actually pay as HPSP is a top off type of scholarship.

I see in the requirements a mandatory recommendation from an academic or faculty reference. However, I have been out of an academic environment for a long time (nearly 10 and 15 years since my first graduate experience and undergrad, respectively). As such, I'm wondering if it would be acceptable to submit two recommendations of the types 'Employer (non-VA) Reference' and/or ''Other Reference'?

You can do that but the selection committee is expecting to see a recommendation from someone in academia. It may const you some points I the overall scoring. and I would encourage you to seek out an Academic Reference from anyone you may know who works in the world of academia. Doesn’t have to be someone who trained/educated you. The reference score could have up to a 5 point deduction out of 100 points.

VIOMPSP

How can I submit and apply for the VIOMPSP program?

The VA utilizes an Application Management System (AMS) to facilitate the submission and review of each application package. Click “Apply” at the top of this page and you will be directed to set up your account and begin the application process.

What is required to submit for a scholarship program?

These are the required items to be submitted for the Visual Impairment and Orientation & Mobility Professionals Scholarship Program (VIOMPSP):

  • Application
  • Academic Verification
  • Recommendations
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Declaration for Federal Employment
  • SF50 (for current or former VA employees)
  • DD214 (for current or former military service members)

It is the student applicant’s responsibility to ensure all required documentation is submitted. Failure to submit all required documentation will result in the application not being considered.

How are applications be evaluated?

After application packages are received (including all required documents) the packages are reviewed to ensure requirements are met.

Applications are evaluated for the scholarship programs based upon how well the student applicant meets the scholarship qualifications.

Veterans will be considered first among all equally qualified student applicants.

VA-STEP

Are VA-STEP students paid?

Yes. VA-STEP students are paid as hourly, intermittent employees. VA-STEP students are not eligible for overtime pay, holiday pay, or shift differentials. The rate of pay changes each year.

Can VA-STEP students choose the unit where they work?

No. VA-STEP students may express a preference for a unit, but they will be placed according to preceptor availability and unit needs. VA-STEP students may rotate to other units for observational experiences.

I am in an accelerated BSN program. Can I apply for the VA-STEP program?

Students in an accelerated BSN program can apply for the VA-STEP program IF they meet the program requirements and are available to work full time from June – August of the program start year.

How can I make my application competitive?

First, assure you have submitted all the required materials. Seek recommendations from faculty or instructors who will give positive feedback about your performance in nursing school. Assure your resume reflects not only your clinical and health care experience, but also other paid employment, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities.

SELRP

How can I submit and apply for the SELRP program?

The VA utilizes an Application Management System (AMS) to facilitate the submission and review of each application package. Click “Apply” at the top of this page and you will be directed to set up your account and begin the application process.

Am I eligible for SELRP in my final year of residency?

No, to qualify for SELRP you must have 2 training years remaining.  If you are in your next to last year of training, we will count that as one year, and final year will count as your second year.  However, should you become a Chief Resident or attend a Fellowship we may consider those training years as well.

If I graduated from a medical school outside of the U.S. am I eligible for SELRP?

No, to qualify for SELRP you must have graduated from a LCME or COCA accredited medical school.

My residency is 4 years long. How much money can I receive?

Under SELRP a physician can receive $40,000 for each remaining PGY training year.  If the residency is 4 years in length and the applicant is a PGY-1 they can receive $40,000 for their PGY-1, PGY-2, PGY-3, and PGY-4 for a total of $160,000.  If the resident has already transitioned into their PGY-2 year they are now only eligible for $120,000 (PGY-2, PGY-3, and PGY4)  

Do I have to claim the SELRP funds on my taxes?

No, SELRP funds are Tax Free

Do I have any input where I will be placed for my service obligation?

Yes, we use 3 factors to determine placement:

  • VA needs
  • Your specialty
  • Your needs.

Because the need for physicians is everywhere, we will ask where you would like to go.  We then reach out to that location to see if there is a need in your specialty.  If there is – that is where you go.  If not, we look elsewhere in accordance with your mobility agreement.