Jetjaguar

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2015
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Hi, I am applying to dental school this fall with the intention of not completing my bachelor's degree. I am also interested in the HPSP scholarship. I have contacted both the army and the navy healthcare recruiters and both have told me that I need to complete my bachelor's in order to be eligible for the program, because a college degree is required in order for a person to be an officer. However, I have seen it posted in this forum that a college degree is not nessesary for either branch as long as I have acceptance into a dental school. I also know that tbond5 ( a member of this forum) recently received a 4 year navy scholarship without a college degree. My question is; do I or don't I need a college degree to apply for the HPSP scholarship? If I don't need one, how do I convince the recruiters that I don't so that they will 1) Allow me to begin the application process and 2) actually take my application seriously? Any feedback is appreciated.
 

matty675

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Apr 30, 2013
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I am nearly positive that you need a degree, the reason is that while in school you will be a commissioned officer in the IRR. To be a commissioned officer, you must have a 4 yr degree. It would stand to reason that you would; however, be eligible for the Navy HCSP due to the fact that you are not a commissioned officer while in school.
 

PLAQUE-MAN

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Jun 27, 2015
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Dental Student
I am nearly positive that you need a degree, the reason is that while in school you will be a commissioned officer in the IRR. To be a commissioned officer, you must have a 4 yr degree. It would stand to reason that you would; however, be eligible for the Navy HCSP due to the fact that you are not a commissioned officer while in school.
Right, but wouldn't he have his 4 year degree completed once dental school started? If you can apply to dental school without your degree, you should be able to apply for the HPSP without your degree.
 

distressstudent

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Sep 3, 2013
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Right, but wouldn't he have his 4 year degree completed once dental school started? If you can apply to dental school without your degree, you should be able to apply for the HPSP without your degree.
You don't need to have your 4 year degree completed to start dental school.
I think matty675 is alluding to the fact that you have to have a degree to be a commissioned officer. You can apply to HPSP without your degree in hand, and you can even be awarded the scholarship. However, you cannot be a U.S military commission officer without a degree. You can be part of the armed force as an enlist without a degree, but you're made an officer through HPSP. The military has their own set of rules and it doesn't matter if dental schools say it's fine you don't have your degree. That's what matty675 is saying.

That's the general rule. But there could be exceptions to HPSP; I don't know.

To OP, you can try to talk to other recruiters further from your region and have them work with you. However, even if they let you apply without a degree, they will see that your expected graduation date is still 2 years away when they ask for verification of your degree standing. That would raise some red flags. However, now I think about it they never asked me to see my degree when I was applying.
 
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darknightzzz

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agree with what above poster says.

2 situations

1. someone who tries to matriculate into dental schools without a BS. This person can't receive the scholarship through HPSP because the requirement of HPSP recipient is to become an officer (all officers must have BS). Thus, you can apply for HPSP without a BS degree but must have a BS degree in progress and completed the BS degree before matriculating into dental school.

2. someone who tries to apply to HPSP and dental school during their third year of undergrad. He/She doesn't have BS degree yet but hasone in progress. So He/She will have a BS degree before he/she matriculates. This person can receive HPSP upon dental school admission because he can be made an commissioned officer.
 

matty675

5+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2013
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OP says he doesn't intend to get a bachelors degree. Ever. So that's what I was taking into consideration in my post.

I did see that an army recruiter posted that you do not need a Bachelors degree to enter into the HPSP program. My experience with recruiters is that one recruiter will tell you something, and another will tell you something entirely different. Who knows if he is right or not.

Obviously you can apply to the HPSP without a degree. I was accepted into the program in February of my Senior year, but could not commission until after I received my degree in June. There could be exceptions, but you would want to direct your questions to the HPSP office at the link.
 
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USArmyHPSP

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Nov 12, 2009
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The regulations and DoDI 6000.13 are written (worded) a certain way to take into consideration the few schools that have a combined BS/DMD or BS/MD type of program. There used to be two dental school and there still are several medical schools that allow for this curriculum. Back in 2000, there was a dental school that allowed someone to come straight from high school into a six year program that would eventually give both degrees.

As for not being an officer without a four-year degree, the ONLY time this has been an issue was the time someone did not complete the combined program. In that instance the option of doing the time rather than paying back the money came off the table and that person ended up with a debt that I'm sure he is still paying off - without the benefit of a college education. I would submit, that IF you could get into a dental school without the BS, and complete the course of study that lead to a DMD, you then would have a four-year degree and could be an officer in the Army. It's the getting into dental school part that will trip you up.
 

vellnueve

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Dec 4, 2006
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The part that will trip you up is commissioning into the reserves as an HPSP student since you're technically an officer once you commission and begin school as an HPSP student - technically you need a 4-year degree just to get to that point. Certainly you'd have one once you finished dental school. The HSCP would be a good option for someone who does not complete a BS since they don't actually commission until the program is complete.
 
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Jetjaguar

Jetjaguar

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2015
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The regulations and DoDI 6000.13 are written (worded) a certain way to take into consideration the few schools that have a combined BS/DMD or BS/MD type of program. There used to be two dental school and there still are several medical schools that allow for this curriculum. Back in 2000, there was a dental school that allowed someone to come straight from high school into a six year program that would eventually give both degrees.

As for not being an officer without a four-year degree, the ONLY time this has been an issue was the time someone did not complete the combined program. In that instance the option of doing the time rather than paying back the money came off the table and that person ended up with a debt that I'm sure he is still paying off - without the benefit of a college education. I would submit, that IF you could get into a dental school without the BS, and complete the course of study that lead to a DMD, you then would have a four-year degree and could be an officer in the Army. It's the getting into dental school part that will trip you up.
So it sounds like you're saying that I could theoretically be commissioned as an officer and participate in hpsp with the assumption that I will complete dental school and my DDS would count as my 4 year degree; similar to how someone participating in a BS/DMD or BS/MD program would begin HPSP before receiving their BS. However, if I don't complete dental school, then I would have to pay back my time as enlisted person. ( I realize it's a long shot that I get in this year anyway, but I have a 3.86 gpa and a 22AA/22PAT/22TS, so think I have a chance.).
 

USArmyHPSP

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Nov 12, 2009
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As for not being an officer without a four-year degree, the ONLY time this has been an issue was the time someone did not complete the combined program. In that instance the option of doing the time rather than paying back the money came off the table.
This is what has happened in the past. I doubt you could pay back time as enlisted.
 
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Jetjaguar

Jetjaguar

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Apr 17, 2015
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This is what has happened in the past. I doubt you could pay back time as enlisted.
Sorry, I misunderstood that part. Other than that, is my understanding of the situation correct? Can I apply for HPSP?
 

USArmyHPSP

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In order to be eligible for HPSP:
1. You must be a US citizen
2. You must meet the physical and height/weight requirements of an Officer in the Armed Services
3. You must be able to obtain and hold a Secret Clearance
4. You cannot be obligated by any other means to serve in geographic location or to an entity of any kind (No WAMMI or GRFD)
5. You must be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited Dental School in the US or Puerto Rico

Basically, thems the rules...