The Indian Health Service Scholarship Program was designed to assist Alaskan Native and American Indian students achieve their goal of entering the health field. The program was established in 1978 to train students who ultimately wish to improve health services among the Indian population, which is critically underserved.
In order to apply for the IHS scholarships, students must first meet a number of different eligibility criteria. First, applicants are required to show that they hold membership in an Alaska village or in one of the American Indian Tribes that is recognized by the U.S. government. In addition, all applicants must be a resident or citizen of the United States. The applicant must be able to prove their citizenship, through a passport, birth certification, or citizen/naturalization certification. If the applicant is male, he must be registered with the Selective Service if he is at least 18 years of age. Additionally, each applicant must meet academic eligibility. This is defined as holding at least a 2.0 grade point average, have a high school diploma, and plan to work with an Indian population in a health related field after their college graduation. Lastly, students must be willing to agree to a contract that indicates they will serve this population for at least two years post-graduation. Additional information about the eligibility criteria can be found here.
Applicants are reviewed based on a number of different criteria, which result in each applicant receiving a maximum score of 100 points. Students can receive up to 30 points for their essay. This is the applicant’s opportunity to discuss their career goals and plans to work with Indian populations. Student’s previous academic performance is worth up to 40 points. All students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average to apply and must provide a copy of their official transcripts. The last major component of the selective process is the evaluation form, which is provided by an employer or teacher. This portion is worth up to 30 points. This enables the committee to obtain insight into your interpersonal skills, work experience, and educational background. Additional information about the selection process can be found here.
In order to apply for the scholarship, applicants should first go to this website. Students can apply anytime during the open application cycle. All applications must be received prior to the March 28th deadline. When considering applications, students who are requesting continued funding to afford their program are given first priority. In addition, students who are applying for the first time and score at least 70 out of 100 possible points are then sorted based on their intended or current major. In the next step, these new applicants are then ranked based on their anticipated graduation date, with those closest to reaching their graduation given more priority than those students who have a further graduation date. Finally, the score on the application is used to determine final ranking order for qualified students who expect to graduate around the same time.