Center for Rural Health

Allied Health Care Professional Scholarship Program

Pursuant to the Allied Health Care Professional Assistance Law
(110 ILCS 905/)

What is the goal of this scholarship program?

To increase the number of nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives practicing in areas of Illinois that have an insufficient number of primary care providers.


What method is used to reach this goal?

Scholarship awards of $7,500 per academic year are available to a limited number of eligible allied health care professional students. Scholarship recipients repay the awards by practicing as nurse practitioners, physician assistants or certified nurse midwives in areas of the state determined by the Illinois Department of Public Health to be designated shortage areas.  


Who is eligible for a scholarship?

To be eligible for a scholarship, a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or certified nurse midwife student must be accepted or enrolled in a school located in Illinois and accredited in its field. A student may be full-time or part-time, although part-time students must be enrolled for at least one-third of the number of hours required per term by the school for its full-time students. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and must apply to their school's financial aid department on or before the school's designated application deadline date. The school will be asked to attest to the applicant's good academic standing and financial need.

In selecting award recipients, preference will be shown to applicants meeting the above criteria and demonstrating 1) previous experience with medically underserved populations, 2) greatest financial need, and 3) academic capabilities.


How does the scholarship application and selection process work?

Scholarship applications will be provided through the financial aid offices of Illinois schools offering credentials for nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives and on the Illinois Department of Public Health Web site. Completed applications must be received by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Center for Rural Health, no later than June 30. Students will be notified when their applications have reached the Department. The Department may interview applicants as part of the selection process. Announcement of the students selected for awards is scheduled for September. Scholarship awards are sent directly to the recipient in two payments, fall and spring. Recipients will be required to have verification of class enrollment forms completed by their schools prior to receiving payments. The recipients repay the awards by working as allied health care professionals in areas of Illinois that have been determined by the Department to be designated shortage areas.


What are the details concerning scholarship repayment?

Within 30 days after student's licensure to practice or, if already licensed in Illinois, within 30 days of completion of academic training, the scholarship recipient shall begin to repay the award by practicing in an area in Illinois designated by the Department as having a shortage of primary care providers. The recipient must practice on a full-time basis, one year for each year scholarship funds were received. There is no other repayment obligation.  For evaluation and approval of practice locations, a scholarship recipient must contact the Department prior to entering into a formal agreement with an individual or facility. Practice locations will be approved up to 18 months prior to initiating the service repayment obligation

Before receiving a scholarship, each applicant will enter into a binding contract with the state of Illinois to meet conditions of the scholarship. Failure to meet the terms of the contract will require the recipient to reimburse the state three times the total amount of the scholarship grant received for each unfulfilled year of the obligation together with interest at 7 percent per year on that amount.


What constitutes a designated shortage area?

A designated shortage area is a geographic area or a facility determined by the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health to be a physician shortage area, a medically underserved area or a health professional shortage area as defined by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, or as further defined by the Illinois Department of Public Health. For purposes of this scholarship, shortage area designations will be the same as those identified for the Illinois Medical Student Scholarship recipients.


What are the details concerning a practice site location?

The responsibility of securing a suitable practice site to fulfill the obligation lies with the scholarship recipient. Department staff will provide current lists of shortage areas to the recipient. Included on the list will be the names of local health professionals or other individuals who may be able to answer questions regarding specific areas. The Department will consider new geographic locations for designation as shortage areas. The proposed locations may be submitted by scholarship recipients, schools, community hospitals, local physicians or community organizations. However, practice must begin within 30 days of licensure or completion of training.

If an applicant desires to practice in a particular city or county, serious consideration should be given to the importance of this preference before applying for this scholarship. Applicants will need to be flexible as designated shortage areas in the state change.


Deadline

Completed applications for scholarship assistance for the upcoming academic year must be received by the Center for Rural Health no later than June 30.


 Questions may be directed to :

Illinois Department of Public Health
Center for Rural Health
Allied Health Care Professional Scholarship Program
535 W. Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62761-0001

Telephone: 217-782-1624
TTY(hearing impaired use only) 800-547-0466
 


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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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