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Hpsp

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by optomvt, Jun 16, 2013.

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  1. optomvt

    optomvt

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    Optometry Student

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    Did anyone apply to multiple branches and receive the scholarship? Or is it most common for people to apply to solely one branch? Would it be looked down upon to apply to more than one branch?
  2. pudgie84

    pudgie84

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    when are you applying? I just found out there are no air force scholarships this year, and it's too late for navy (they only have 4 years now)
  3. optoapp2012

    optoapp2012

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    You need to apply suuuuuuuuuper early. I started the application process a full year before I would be starting optometry school. And I started it before I had been accepted to any schools too. You have a number of things that have to get done and put together into your "package", and a letter of acceptance is only part of that. So you might as well get moving on the rest as soon as you can. There are tons of things like a pound of paperwork, a background check, some online things, interviews, a medical check (which takes all day 6am to sometime in the afternoon), etc. It's a really long process. I started it in August 2011, finished my package around November 2011, didn't find out until March 2012. I think my year was super delayed and you usually hear in December or January, but they had a huge staff change. PS - I applied for the Navy 4 year.

    You have to start early fall for any of the branches. My friend who got a 3 year army one that will kick in this coming fall had to submit stuff last fall and found out in January of this year that she got it. So if you are thinking about it, do it early. Most packages are turned in by at least December....and I think that's the standard deadline.

    For multiple branches...I do remember that I could have checked multiple branches on some form. But I talked a lot during the application process about how my brother was Air Force, and that was a piece of why I was applying. But I applied to Navy and multiple people told me to not mention my brother at all. They also told me not to refer to it ever as "the military", but rather specifically "the Navy." They are sort of competitive with each other in weird ways, so I don't know that it would be very convincing if you applied to multiple branches and were trying to convince all of them that their branch was your number one choice. That's just my opinion though - it might not be as big of a deal as I'm making it to be! Talk to a medical recruiter (specifically a medical one...not just any), and they can give you good advice on it because it's their job to be on your side about things and not encourage you to do something that will hurt your chances of acceptance (they get bonuses if you get accepted and sign, I think).
  4. USArmyHPSP

    USArmyHPSP

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    The advise to apply early is spot on. Also, it is very common to apply to more than one Service. It's best to let the recruiters know if that is your intention. They spend a long time on these packets, and being up from the start goes a long way rather than finding out later and putting your stuff on the back burner.

    While I cannot speak to the application process as such, you are welcome to PM me with any questions about the Army's HPSP.
  5. optomvt

    optomvt

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    I have already started working on my package for the Air Force. I am starting optometry school this Fall, so I will be applying for the 3 year scholarship. At this point, I've submitted almost all of the documents other than the essay questions and my letters of recommendations (because of some 90 day rule). My grandpa was in the Air Force, so that is one of the reasons I decided to go that route. I've heard from some people that Air Force tends to be more competitive, so I began thinking about applying to more than one branch. Just a thought.. and I was curious if anybody else had done it.

    So typically when do the interview and medical exam get scheduled? Does your entire package have to be complete before that point?
  6. optoapp2012

    optoapp2012

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    The medical part is just part of the package - so I think that can be scheduled any time. I think the way my recruiter did it was to have me submit things for the background check first, then once that got going she had me work on another group of paperwork and the med thing. Once I cleared the medical check, she had me do the interviews.
  7. optomvt

    optomvt

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    Oh, okay. Do you know how many people you were competing against? I need to meet with my recruiter in person. Thus far, we've only been in contact via email. What does the medical check/physical consist of?
  8. optoapp2012

    optoapp2012

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    In my cycle, I think there were about 12 other people with complete packages submitted, and they gave out 3 scholarships. There might have been less than 12...I don't remember. But it was around that.

    Also, the medical check...
    1. Everyone shows up at 6am and gets screamed at in the hall. Make sure to talk to the medical recruiter about what to wear - for girls, definitely the boy short underwear and a sports bra (you have to be down to that for part of it) and for guys boxers. No logos on tshirts and stuff like that I think too. Maybe dress a step below business casual just to be on the safe side.
    2. Once they figure out you're an officer candidate, no one yells at you anymore and they are incredibly nice to you. They will continue to yell at enlisted though, so be prepared to feel a little bad that it's so uneven.
    3. Fill out lots of paperwork about your medical history. This is supposed to match what you filled out for the recruiter. I got a talking to because I put something new on mine that I had forgotten about before. They sent me home that day to get more documentation, then I had to go back at 6am on another day and repeat a lot.
    4. Sit through a powerpoint presentation about rules for things like tattoos and ashthma and what not.
    5. Hearing test, vision screening, blood test, urine test, and some other random things.
    6. A doctor checks out your pelvic region to make sure you're the gender you claim. Kind of strange. I think the doc checks a couple other things too, but I don't remember.
    7. "Physical test" - it's nothing that makes you exert much energy. But this is where you strip down to your under garments in front of a group of other people getting screened. It's same gender, so my group had 3 other girls and then 2 military women to watch. They make you do random things like skip across the room and crab walk and what not to make sure that your body functions as it should.

    There is a LOT of waiting. You are just sitting in a chair waiting for one of the people who does some check on you is free. 75% of your day is sitting in a chair waiting. So bring a book or something to keep you entertained. I don't think you're allowed to have your cell phone (for obvious reasons with taking pictures). You can pack food or snacks, but where I went they also provided you with a sandwich lunch.
  9. pudgie84

    pudgie84

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    Have you been told that the AF is offering 3-year scholarships this year? I was told by my AF Health Professions recruiter that there are no scholarships this year.
  10. optoapp2012

    optoapp2012

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    Double check as high up the chain as you can. I found that my recruiter was overall minimally informed. She was a nice person, but they do so few optometry scholarships each year that they don't deal with it much. I got all kinds of messed up information like signing bonuses (you don't get one with the Navy in Optometry) and when I could do boot camp (almost gave my 2 weeks notice at my job before she finally realized I couldn't even go that year). Anyway, I would always double check with the main office, but it's possible.

    This seems to be a good page with contact info for the Air Force HPSP office (not sure how outdated it is though)...
    https://services.aamc.org/fed_loan_pub/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.program&program_id=108

    Anytime you can find the central office info and deal less with a recruiter, the better. It's always a good place to start and that person knows what paperwork needs to be done and sent to whom...but for questions that matter for you (like this one), try to reach their central office instead.
  11. pudgie84

    pudgie84

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    thanks for the post :) I actually did check with the central office and just to be safe, I went on the AF website and chatted with a rep to make sure. they both said there have been no opt scholarships from 2 years now. I just didn't want anyone wasting time filling out a looooonng app for nothing. if anyone hears differently or finds out that any scholarships become available in the next couple months, please let me know :)
  12. pudgie84

    pudgie84

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    hey does anyone know what the special/bonus pay is for army optometrists?
  13. optomvt

    optomvt

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    My recruiter told me that as of right now there aren't any showing. However, he said it was the same way last year until around late August when several opened up for optometry.

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