Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants

At the graduate level, it is less likely that you will find scholarships that are general enough to be open to everyone no matter their degree concentration, state or school. It is possible to find scholarships that aren’t school-specific for your MPH, but the majority of scholarship funds come from grants that are awarded directly to colleges and universities. Below are four scholarships you may be able to pursue.

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  • Scholarships

Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Amount
$5,000
Deadline
TBA for 2016

This scholarship is open to minority students enrolled in the final year of a graduate program for public health, health administration or a similar field. Successful applicants must be us citizens who can demonstrate financial need and be in good academic standing in their programs.

Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship Program

Amount
$15,000
Deadline
TBA for 2016

Each year, this scholarship is awarded to one public health or public policy graduate student who has shown a dedication to the advancement of sexual health and reproductive rights policies. Awardees must be in good academic standing and enrolled full-time at accredited school. This scholarship is not renewable.

Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship

Amount
$1,500
Deadline
TBA for 2016

Open to student members of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), this scholarship is awarded to two students working on degrees in health education. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and future career plans to work as public health educators. They must also be in good academic standing with their current program, enrolled full-time and include transcripts and degree requirements with the application form.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program

Amount
Varies
Deadline
TBA for 2016

Though not specifically for public health students, this scholarship program is open to those pursuing degrees that lead to careers as primary healthcare providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. In exchange for receiving funds to cover tuition and educational fees, as well as a monthly stipend for living expenses, awardees agree to work with underserved communities for two years after earning their degrees.

NEHA and AAS Scholarships

Amount
$2,000
Deadline
February 2016

The National Environmental Health Association and The American Academy of Sanitarians offer a scholarship annually to graduate students enrolled in recognized colleges or universities with declared curriculums in Environmental Health sciences. The award is to be used toward tuition and fees for the program. Applicants must have at least one full year of coursework remaining to be eligible.

HOSA Scholarships

Amount
Varies
Deadline
April 1, 2016

HOSA-Future Health Professionals offers a variety of scholarships for graduate students in public health, and students only need submit one application to be considered for all awards except for the Association for Career and Technical Education-Health Science Educators. Applicants must be members of HOSA and provide proof of leadership activities and recognition, community involvement and a photo aside from the general requirements (transcripts, references, proof of further education intent).

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Renewable
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Loans

With fewer general scholarships available for master’s students, graduate school is almost exclusively paid for using federal or private loans. The first step in obtaining a federal loan is to fill out the FAFSA. Unlike with your undergraduate application, you are not required to include your parents’ financial information; as a grad student, you are now considered independent. Graduate federal loans begin accruing interest as soon as funds are disbursed, and if you decide not to pay that interest while you’re in school, it is added to your overall borrowed total upon graduation.

Master’s of Public Health graduates may be able to qualify for loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. After earning your degree, you will be required to make monthly payments on your Direct Loan for 10 years while working in a public service role. At the end of this time, you may apply to have the rest of your loan forgiven.

The chart below breaks down what loans may be eligible for:

Loan Comparison Chart

Stafford
Eligibility Requirements No previous federal loan defaults; Must attend school at least half time
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check No
Amount Available Up to $20,500/year; $138,500 for entirety of degree
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 3.6%; Maximum of 9.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment 6 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 20-25 years; 10 years for public servants
Graduate Plus
Eligibility Requirements Must attend school at least half time; acceptable credit
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Full cost of graduate study, including living expenses
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 4.6%; maximum of 10.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment Deferred until 6 months after school or after attendance drops below half time
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 10 years if employed in nonprofit or government
Perkins
Eligibility Requirements Must qualify as low-income student; income cut-off varies by school
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check No
Amount Available $8,000/year; varies according to college
Interest Rates 5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/Yes
Repayment 9 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness Various Cases
Private
Eligibility Requirements Based on credit
FAFSA No
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Varies
Interest Rates Varies
Fixed Rate/Subsidized No/No (Usually)
Repayment Immediately (Generally)
Income-based repayment No
Forgiveness No

Teacher, Graduate or Research Assistant Jobs

Many colleges and universities offer their master’s-level students an opportunity to work directly for and with their professors. As teacher or research assistants, students help prepare class materials, grade papers and work on research papers. They generally earn a weekly or monthly stipend, and TAs and RAs are eligible to receive a discount for their tuition.

If you are already employed, this option is not for you. These are part-time positions, and students can work anywhere between 10 and 30 hours per week. You are expected to fulfill your TA or RA duties while keeping up with your coursework. If you already work full-time while earning your degree, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin by taking on extra responsibilities.