1. How do interested applicants apply to the NHHSP?
The application deadline for the 2016-2017 academic year is midnight on March 1, 2017. Those interested in applying to the NHHSP should read the Application and Program Guidance. To apply for the NHHSP, complete the online application and submit the required Supporting Documentation as requested. Website Address: http://www.nhhsp.org
2. What if an awardee changes his/her mind about their chosen field of study after he/she has accepted the scholarship?
Accepting a NHHSP award is a serious commitment to serve as a practitioner once the education, licensure phase is completed. Individuals who accept the scholarship and change their mind about their field before completing school or the service commitment, have breached their contract with the U.S. Government and must reimburse all monies paid to and on behalf of the awardee, including interest. The amount owed must be paid within 3 years of the date of default. Please note that participants who default on their NHHSP contract become ineligible to participate in any programs of the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Programs.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services or his/her designee may terminate a contract for an academic year if the participant, on or before June 1 of the school year: (1) submits a written request to terminate his/her contract for that academic year; and (2) repays all amounts paid to, or on behalf of, that participant (tuition, stipends and Other Reasonable Cost) for that academic year.
3. Can an NHHSP participant defer his/her scholarship start date?
No, scholarship start dates cannot be deferred.
4. What are the Service Requirements after graduation?
Scholarship recipients incur 1 year of obligated service for each full or partial school year of support received. The minimum service obligation is 2 years; the maximum is 4 years. Scholars are obligated to provide full-time clinical or non-clinical primary health services, as assigned, in the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems or other federally designated primary care sites in Hawai`i.
Scholars who receive an approved deferment are expected to begin service no later than nine months from the expiration date of the approved deferment. Those who do not receive a deferment to complete postgraduate training are expected to begin service no later than 9 months from the date the scholar graduates.
Credit for service toward the Scholarship Program obligation does not begin until the scholar:
(1) has obtained a permanent, unrestricted license/certification, if required to practice his/her scholarship-supported health profession in the State of Hawai`i; (2) has received written approval from the Scholarship Program to serve at that specific site; and (3) has begun to provide full-time clinical and/or non-clinical services at the approved site.
5. What Sites are Eligible?
By law, the Scholarship Program service commitment must be completed in a full-time capacity, in order of priority, in:
(i) any one of the five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems (NHHCS), or
(ii) Medically Underserved Area (MUA) or a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) located in the State of Hawai`i, or a geographic area or facility in the State of Hawai`i that is similarly federally designated.
In approving sites for scholars, the Scholarship Program will give first priority to positions at the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and second priority to positions at federally designated primary care sites that predominantly serve Native Hawaiians.
Scholars cannot fulfill their Scholarship Program service obligations outside of the State of Hawai`i or by serving in one of the Armed Forces of the United States, the Veterans Administration, or the National Health Service Corps.
6. Where do I find a job that qualifies for the NHHSP?
Prior to the scholar’s graduation date or, if applicable, the expiration of the scholar’s approved deferment, the Scholarship Program will provide scholars with information about 1) the placement process for that year and 2) the approved sites for their discipline.
NHHSP scholars are responsible for finding their own employment site and confirming its eligibility with the Program. The NHHSP reserves the right of final approval to ensure a participant’s compliance with statutory requirements related to the service obligation.
Scholars apply for positions at approved sites for their discipline. If a scholar and an approved site reach an agreement regarding employment, the prospective employer must submit an employment verification letter —annually— on official letterhead to the Scholarship Program. The letter should include the following information:
• Name of scholar;
• Statement of scholar’s full-time employment status;
• Name of employer;
• Employer’s address, telephone number, facsimile number, e-mail address;
• Service area location;
• Start date of full-time employment;
• Hours worked per week;
• Percentage of Native Hawaiians to be served by the scholar; and
• Detailed position description.
Upon receipt of the employment verification letter, the Scholarship Program will send a letter to the scholar approving the assignment, unless there are concerns with the placement site prompting further investigation.
The Scholarship Program will consider the scholar’s assignment preferences with respect to the available placement opportunities. However, the Scholarship Program reserves the right to make final decisions on all placements, in order to comply with statutory requirements for the placement of scholarship recipients.
7. What are the requirements for full-time practice?
By law, scholars must be engaged in the full-time clinical or non-clinical practice of their discipline/specialty at the practice site to which they are assigned. Full-time practice is defined as a minimum of 32 hours per week, for a minimum of 45 weeks per year. The 32 hours per week may be compressed into no less than 3 days per week, with no more than 12 hours of work to be performed in any 24-hour period.
For all health professionals, time spent “on call,” does NOT count toward the required 32 hours/week. No more than 7 weeks (28 work days) per year can be spent away from the practice for holidays, vacation, continuing professional education, illness, or any other reason. All scholars will work under the personnel system of the approved site. Malpractice insurance should be addressed in any written employment contract between the scholar and the employing entity.
For absences greater than 7 weeks in a 52-week service year, the participant should request a suspension. Absences greater than 7 weeks in a service year (52-week period) will extend the service obligation end date.
Non-clinical or other administrative activities include research, attending staff meetings, court appearances, and other non-treatment related activities pertaining to the participant’s approved NHHSP practice.
8. When does my service obligation end?
The last day of the service obligation is determined in whole years from the start date. For example, the last day of service for a scholar with a 3-year service obligation who began service on July 15, 2018, would be July 14, 2021. Adjustments in the ending date will be made by NHHSP if the scholar takes more than the allowable time away from the site and/or if the obligation is suspended, interrupted, or otherwise delayed.
9. What happens if I fail to complete my service obligation?
A scholar who fails, for any reason, to begin or complete his/her service obligation at the assigned site is liable to pay the United States damages equal to three times the amount of the scholarship support received plus interest, proportionally reduced for any service completed.
10. How much is the NHHSP monthly stipend and when is the payment made?
For the 2016-2017 academic year, the monthly stipend is $1,330.00. The stipend is disbursed by the end of each month; payments are not considered late until the 15th of the following month. The first stipend payment is issued in November and includes a lump sum payment for all months (July through October) of the Fall term and Summer term only if the Summer term was still in session on July 1.
11. Is the entire NHHSP award taxable?
Yes, all NHHSP payments made to and on behalf of the participant (e.g., tuition, fees, Other Reasonable Costs, and stipend) are considered taxable income.
12. Once a participant is selected to receive a scholarship, when will I receive tuition payment?
Payment of tuition and fees are made directly to the school on the participant’s behalf.
The Notice of Award Letter issued by the NHHSP to the participant serves as authorization to the school to bill the NHHSP directly for tuition and required fees.
It is the participant’s responsibility to take the Notice of Award Letter to the appropriate school official and explain to them what the school official’s role and responsibilities will be while the scholar is under contract with the NHHSP. E.g. invoice payment, Enrollment Verification Form submission each term; and other inquiries as needed. It takes approximately 6 weeks from date of receipt of the invoice by the NHHSP for the school to receive payment.
13. Once a participant is selected to receive a scholarship, will the program cover tuition and fees if his/her program started prior to July 1st?
Yes, the NHHSP will pay tuition and required fees for summer sessions when (1) summer school is an academic term normally required by the school for all students in the same program and (2) the summer session is in progress during the participant’s contract period (i.e., through July 1st).
14. How are NHHSP stipend and other reasonable cost payments issued?
NHHSP stipend and other reasonable cost payments are transferred electronically to each participant’s financial institution through direct deposit. Direct deposit is mandatory.
15. What happens if tuition has been paid by another source of financial aid before the participant receives notice of the scholarship?
Tuition and fees are paid directly to the educational institution that the scholarship participant is attending.
If tuition and fees for the initial Summer and/or Fall term of the academic year have been paid by another scholarship or a grant (e.g., Pell Grant, state grants or other scholarships), pending notice of an NHHSP award, the school may return payments to the source of funding and then submit an invoice to the NHHSP for payment.
If a scholarship participant has taken out a student loan to cover the cost of tuition and fees for their initial summer and/or fall semester(s) while waiting for notice of an NHHSP award, the student should supply an itemized invoice to the NHHSP showing the amount of tuition and fees paid by the student loan. The NHHSP will then pay that amount to the college/university institution.
16. Does the NHHSP cover additional books or materials a participant is required to purchase during the school year?
During the Fall of the academic year, the NHHSP makes a single "other reasonable cost" payment to the participant. This payment is to assist with covering expenses for required materials such as books, clinical supplies/instruments, and uniforms during that school year. If additional expenses for books and other materials arise, those expenses are not covered by the NHHSP. The participant is responsible for paying those expenses. The “other reasonable cost” payment is established in the initial award year and cannot be adjusted.
17. Is health insurance coverage included in the fees paid for by the NHHSP?
If health insurance purchased through the school is mandatory, the cost can be included in the fees paid by the NHHSP to the school. Insurance for family members is not included.
If the required insurance is purchased through any other source, then the school will not be allowed to submit the costs for the insurance fee.
18. Can the rules change after an individual is selected by the NHHSP and has accepted the scholarship?
NHHSP participants may be subject to changes as applicable by law.
19. What happens if a NHHSP participant takes a leave of absence and/or repeats course work while attending their program?
The NHHSP will discontinue the payment of all benefits during a leave of absence approved by the school (for personal, medical or other reasons). If the participant is repeating course work for which the NHHSP has already paid, the NHHSP will not pay for that repeated course work but may maintain payments for stipends and all other non-repeated course work provided that the participant continues to meet the NHHSP requirements.
20. What if a participant’s program does not offer courses needed during the participant’s first fall semester in the program?
NHHSP participants must be enrolled full-time in classes by September 30th in the program. If a participant’s school does not offer enough courses for the participant to enroll full-time, they will have to forfeit the scholarship. An exception is granted if the participant is on an official leave of absence from the school. In this case, the participant must provide official documentation from the school confirming the leave of absence. During this leave of absence, the participant will not be eligible to receive stipend or ORC payments, but can apply to have their stipend and ORC reinstated at the conclusion of their leave of absence.
21. What happens if the NHHSP runs out of money or is discontinued?
When a scholarship is awarded, funds are obligated (set aside) for the number of school years of support requested by the participant and agreed to by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as indicated by the signed contract(s).
If the participant did not sign contracts through the date of graduation, he/she will be given priority for continued funding when the existing scholarship support ends. Continuation funding will be subject to the availability of future funding and the continued existence of the NHHSP.
22. Who pays the salary of a NHHSP participant fulfilling the service commitment?
The health care facility that employs the NHHSP participant pays the participant’s salary. Each NHHSP participant negotiates his/her own salary and benefits packages with the Facility where he/she is employed after graduation. There is no "typical" salary. Salaries vary by employing facility and location.
23. What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and what if my EFC needs to be updated?
The EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is part of the Official Student Aid Report (SAR) that you receive when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAR is required on the application and must be complete and official. The report is generated directly from the Department of Education.
The EFC measures a student's expected family contribution in terms of the ability to pay for educational costs. It is used to determine eligibility for Federal student aid. The NHHSP has a funding preference for applicants of greatest financial need.
The NHHSP uses the EFC listed on the SAR. If your EFC has changed due to special circumstances, the SAR must be corrected. Call 1-800-433-3243 to speak with the Federal Student Aid Information Center about your situation and obtain help updating your FAFSA. If your EFC changes before the NHHSP application cycle closes, you must notify the NHHSP. The NHHSP will reconsider your application based on this change. The NHHSP does not calculate your SAR. Your SAR is determined from the Department of Education by filling out a FAFSA.
24. What does the NHHSP mean when it says participants must make "at least a two-year service commitment”?
Individuals who receive the NHHSP are required to serve, at a minimum, a two-year full-time service obligation (or its part-time equivalent). NHHSP participants who receive less than 2 years of scholarship support will still owe the equivalent of 2 years of full-time service. The service obligation is extended by one year for each full-time year of NHHSP support received beyond two years.
The NHHSP hopes that participants will remain at their service sites and continue serving those in need even after the service commitment is fulfilled.
Participants who have satisfactorily completed their service commitment and are working at eligible public or nonprofit private facilities may apply to the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Programs to obtain funds to repay a portion of the outstanding balance on qualifying education loans.
25. What are the computer requirements for the online portion of the NHHSP application?
The NHHSP recommends the following browsers when completing the online application: GoogleChrome.
Scholarship Requirements: NHHSP SCHOLARSHIP > SCHOLARSHIP REQUIREMENTS
Please provide any documents pertaining to the rules or qualifications to be considered for a scholarship recipient.