Feb 7, 2019
4
7
11
Status
Dental Student
Hey everyone, I am a D1 Dental Student and I was fortunate enough to land the NHSC scholarship. I just wanted to create a thread to explain my current educational finance situation to hopefully serve as a reference for those contemplating this program in the future. I know I found these forums helpful in the past. Please voice your opinion, good or bad, to assist others who may be looking into ways to finance their professional education.

I accepted a 4 year scholarship with NHSC which full tuition, fees, books, etc., and a monthly net living stipend of approximately $1,100. I calculated the total value of the scholarship to be worth approximately $335,000, and of course in exchange I am obligated to work in an approved site for 4 years following graduation.

That $335,000 I would otherwise have to take out in student loans if financed over the course of 25 years at 6.0% interest (which is a conservative number as I believe the loans I was looking at were 6.8% interest) would have accrued approximately $312,000 in interest, which in puts my cost of education at nearly $650,000. My monthly student loan payment would be around $2,100 dollars a month for 25 years!

On top of that, most of my research has found starting dental salaries at NHSC approved sites to hover around $120,000/year plus benefits which in total is likely worth $170-180,000/year. As far as I know, these seem to be competitive entry level dental salaries without the burden of a pretty massive student loan debt. Sure, I am going to have limited job opportunities upon graduation but that was a risk I thought was worth the financial gain.

I know it is a competitive scholarship and not everyone will be fortunate enough to obtain it, but in my opinion I think it is worth at least applying to (for dental school at least, higher paid medical specialties may be a different story). I would love to hear everyone's opinion on this situation and I hope some of you find this thread helpful while making your own professional school decisions.
 
Dec 17, 2018
57
52
31
Status
Pre-Dental
When is the application open for dental students going to school this fall? This March?
Is there anything I can do to prepare for the application? I think we need 2 letter of rec but that's all I found out.
Are the approved HRSA sites abundant in states like CA or more HRSA located in rural states?
 

cooliyak

Established Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2012
622
552
131
Colorado
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Dentist
When is the application open for dental students going to school this fall? This March?
Is there anything I can do to prepare for the application? I think we need 2 letter of rec but that's all I found out.
Are the approved HRSA sites abundant in states like CA or more HRSA located in rural states?
The application opens for everyone at the same time, which is most likely this March/April.
I would start on your essays. They don’t change from year to year and can be found in the application guide in the scholarship website (link directly to the guide is below):
https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/downloads/scholarships/nhsc-scholarship-application-program-guidance.pdf

There are a bunch of sites everywhere. I would look for specific areas on the Workforce Connector website:
Health Workforce Connector

Use the advanced search and put in a HPSA score of 18+ to get a good idea of the sites and openings now. They won’t be the same by the time you graduate, but it can give you a good idea as to location.
 
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Mar&Add8

5+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2013
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161
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Pre-Dental
H
Question: has the application opened yet? I keep checking but all the documents and stuff are for year 2018-2019. Has anyone.started applying on BSW portal yet?

Appreciate the responses!
 
Feb 7, 2019
4
7
11
Status
Dental Student
Just with a quick search on the BHW website it says application cycle for 2020 is “opening soon.” So my guess is not yet. I frequented their website this time of year when I applied just to keep an eye on it to see when it opened. You could always call them as well to confirm. When it opens you’ll have plenty of time to complete the application.
 

cooliyak

Established Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2012
622
552
131
Colorado
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Dentist
H
Question: has the application opened yet? I keep checking but all the documents and stuff are for year 2018-2019. Has anyone.started applying on BSW portal yet?

Appreciate the responses!
No, it isn’t.
You can sign up for updates so you get an email when it does open:
HRSA
 

cooliyak

Established Member
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Dec 9, 2012
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aniras26

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2017
6
2
1
Status
Pre-Dental
Anyone know the chances of receiving this scholarship without a disadvantaged background? I'm really interested in giving back to my community after graudating and have already filled out the majority of this application.
 

BluntForceTrauma

5+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2013
604
850
131
Westfarthing, Hobbiton
Status
Dental Student
Anyone know the chances of receiving this scholarship without a disadvantaged background? I'm really interested in giving back to my community after graudating and have already filled out the majority of this application.
Yeah good luck. I spent literally 2 whole years working exclusively with immigrants to help them with jobs, healthcare access, basic living assistance, etc, and I didn't get through the first round of applications. That said, I was fortunate to have received the Air Force scholarship, so it worked out, but still.

It's not impossible to get it without being disadvantaged, but it is rough.
 
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cooliyak

Established Member
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Dec 9, 2012
622
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Dentist
Yeah good luck. I spent literally 2 whole years working exclusively with immigrants to help them with jobs, healthcare access, basic living assistance, etc, and I didn't get through the first round of applications. That said, I was fortunate to have received the Air Force scholarship, so it worked out, but still.

It's not impossible to get it without being disadvantaged, but it is rough.
Not too rough. A lot rides on the essays so if you didn’t explain your background well enough or compelling enough, that could definitely have played a role. Letters are also pretty important so if your letters weren’t too strong, that also could have played a role. Like I said in another thread, I am very not disadvantaged and I got the four year scholarship.
 
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BluntForceTrauma

5+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2013
604
850
131
Westfarthing, Hobbiton
Status
Dental Student
Not too rough. A lot rides on the essays so if you didn’t explain your background well enough or compelling enough, that could definitely have played a role. Letters are also pretty important so if your letters weren’t too strong, that also could have played a role. Like I said in another thread, I am very not disadvantaged and I got the four year scholarship.
I feel like you're probably the exception, not the rule. But then again, the way all these scholarships, admissions, acceptances, etc are awarded are beyond me :) I'm just trying to get through school and keep my family happy ha
 

cooliyak

Established Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2012
622
552
131
Colorado
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Dentist
I feel like you're probably the exception, not the rule. But then again, the way all these scholarships, admissions, acceptances, etc are awarded are beyond me :) I'm just trying to get through school and keep my family happy ha
I know this is more anecdotal than anything, but out of everyone I personally know who has gotten the scholarship (maybe around 10-12 people), only one is anything other than “advantaged.” I don’t think it matters as much as it seems. The mission of the scholarship program is about the patients served, not necessarily the ones serving. They do consider it, but only after everything else (it is third out of three in their “priority” selection factors).
 

uhds

2+ Year Member
May 14, 2014
248
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Pre-Dental
Hey everyone! In the degree information section under professional discipline it asks for discipline and specialty. For example, the discipline is dentist and the specialties are general practice, geriatric, public health, and peds. Should you list dentist without a speciality (I'm in my D2 year) or speciality that you would want to go into? Is listing a specialty only if you had training/residency for it? I assume in dental school there will be options to "specialize" or prefer in these types of areas through electives or whatnot.
 

cooliyak

Established Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2012
622
552
131
Colorado
Status
Dentist
Hey everyone! In the degree information section under professional discipline it asks for discipline and specialty. For example, the discipline is dentist and the specialties are general practice, geriatric, public health, and peds. Should you list dentist without a speciality (I'm in my D2 year) or speciality that you would want to go into? Is listing a specialty only if you had training/residency for it? I assume in dental school there will be options to "specialize" or prefer in these types of areas through electives or whatnot.
You list what your current program is. You would be Discipline: Dentistry, Specialty: General Practice