Health Careers in Alaska

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Health care students often find it easier to obtain financial aid because of the special resources available to them. Below you will find some of these specialized scholarship programs for health care. Occasionally, loans are “forgiven” for these individuals if they work in a specific area that has a shortage of health care personnel. This means that a large part (or even all) of the loaned amount does not have to be repaid if the student is willing to work in these shortage locations for a specified length of time. Many parts of rural Alaska meet this requirement. Below you will find regional and statewide resources for Alaskan students. You might also want to contact the human resources department of your local health care provider and ask if they have any scholarship opportunities for postsecondary education. In addition, there are loan repayment programs available for certain health professionals. Scroll to the bottom to find these programs.

Alaska Pharmacists Association Scholarships
Alaska Pharmacists Association
203 W. 15th Ave. #100
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Phone: (907) 563-8880
Fax: (907) 563-7880
Web site: http://www.alaskapharmacy.org
The Alaska Pharmacists Association awards 3 different types of scholarships: 1) The Francis C. Bowden Memorial Scholarship awards $1,500 to an Alaskan resident enrolled in a professional pharmacy program at an ACPE accredited institution, 2) The Pre-pharmacy Scholarship awards $1,000 to a student enrolled in a pre-pharmacy program or equivalent who have a history in Alaska, and 3) The Pharmacy Technician Scholarship awards $500 to to an Alaska resident who is a high school graduate or holds a GED certificate and is currently enrolled in the pharmacy technology curriculum at the University of Alaska, or to a current Alaska Pharmacy Technician license holder who intends the enroll in the pharmacy technology curriculum at the University of Alaska. 

Dr. Helen Dittman Beirne Scholarship
Alaska Speech-Language-Hearing Association
AKSHA Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 111993
Anchorage, AK 99511
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web site: http://www.aksha.org
To be eligible for this scholarship applicants must show pursuit of studies in communication, in the area of speech/language or hearing at an accredited institution in the undergraduate or graduate department. This scholarship is valued at $1,000. Preference may be given to Alaska Native students and applicants working with Alaska Native populations.

HRSA’s Nurse Corps Scholarship Program
This Nurse Corps Scholarship Program provides scholarships to nursing students in exchange for a minimum 2-year full-time service commitment (or part-time equivalent), at an eligible health care facility located in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). While in school, participants receive tuition and fees, an annual payment for other reasonable costs to cover expenses such as books, clinical supplies, and a monthly stipend to cover living expenses. As much as half of the award funds are reserved for students pursuing a master’s level nurse practitioner degree. For more information, visit: http://www.hrsa.gov/loanscholarships/scholarships/Nursing/index.html

Joseph A. Shields, Jr. Memorial Scholarship for Health Care
Ketchikan Medical Center
Human Resource Department
3100 Tongass Avenue
Ketchikan, AK 99901
Contact: Pam Nichols
Phone: (907) 228-8300 ext. 7883
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To be eligible for this scholarship, students must have a high school diploma, have graduated at least 2 years prior to applying and be enrolled in or accepted to a health care program.

Mat-Su Health Foundation Scholarship Program
Mat-Su Health Foundation
950 E. Bogard Rd., Suite 218
Wasilla, AK 99654
Phone: (907) 352-2863
Fax: (907) 352-2865
Website: http://www.healthymatsu.org/grants/scholarships
Each year, Mat-Su Health Foundation awards scholarships to residents of the Mat-Su Borough interested in pursuing health-related careers. These scholarships are intended to encourage Mat-Su residents to complete a degree or certificate program that emphasizes health and/or wellness by helping to defray the cost of education. In 2014 the scholarship program was expanded to include both traditional Academic Scholarships as well as Vocational Scholarships. The number of scholarships given each year and the amount of each award varies.

National Health Service Corps Scholarships
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Bureau of Health Workforce
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857
Phone: 1-800-221-9393
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Website: https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/scholarships/
NHSC Scholarships pay tuition, fees, a living stipend and other educational costs in return for a commitment to work at least 2 years at an NHSC-approved site in a medically underserved community. To be eligible to apply, students must be committed to primary care and accepted or enrolled in an accredited U.S. school in one of the following primary care disciplines: physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, physician assistants, doctor of nurse practice (DNP).

National Student Nursing Association (NSNA)
The Foundation of National Student Nurses’ Association
45 Main Street, Suite 606
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Web site: http://www.nsna.org
The NSNA Foundation awards a variety of scholarships to qualified nursing students ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 annually.

Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation Scholarship

1327 SE Tacoma St #326
Portland, OR 97202
Contact: David Tate, Executive Director
Phone: (503) 222-7161
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Website: http://www.nwosteo.org/scholarship/
Scholarships are awarded primarily to osteopathic medical students from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington who are committed to practicing osteopathic medicine in the Pacific Northwest.

Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC)
Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 966
Nome, AK 99762
Phone: (907) 443-4508
Toll free: (888) 559-3311
Fax: (907) 443-2085
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Website: http://www.nortonsoundhealth.org/ (see News and Events section)
Norton Sound Health Corporation offers scholarships/internships for eligible students who are pursuing higher education. Depending on the needs of the corporation, students pursuing the medical field (such as physicians, nursing, pharmacy, and physician assistants) may have priority. NSHC may fund students pursuing a non-medical related degree if the degree will help further the vision and mission of the organization. Tribal Members from the Bering Straits Region, who commit to returning to the region and possible employment with NSHC, will have priority.


The following Alaska health care scholarships are for Alaska Native/American Indian students only:

Indian Health Service Scholarship Program
The Reyes Building
801 Thompson Ave., TMP Suite 450A
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (301) 443-6197
Fax: (301) 443-6048
Web site: http://www.ihs.gov/scholarship/index.cfm
The Indian Health Service (IHS) has three scholarship programs for American Indian and Alaska Native students in order to train health professionals to staff Indian health programs: Preparatory Scholarship, Pre-Graduate Scholarship and Health Professions Scholarship. Health Professions Scholarship recipients agree to fulfill a service commitment in full-time clinical practice upon completion of their academic or post-graduate clinical training.

Maniilaq Association James “Qigñak” Wells Endowment Scholarship
P.O. Box 256
Kotzebue, AK 99752
Phone: (907) 442-7021
Toll Free: (800) 478-3312
Fax: (866) 832-9350
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web site: http://www.maniilaq.org/scholarship.htm
This scholarship is awarded to students who are registered in accredited degree programs related to services that are provided by Maniilaq Association. This scholarship covers all tuition, fees, books, round trip travel and a monthly stipend and is position based and will accept new applicants when a position becomes available. Applicants must be members of the service area. All applicants that are chosen also must agree to work with Maniilaq Association upon completion of degree.

Mary Morgan-Wolf Memorial Scholarship
Kuskokwim Educational Foundation (KEF)
P.O. Box 227
Aniak, Alaska 99557
Phone: (907) 675-4275
Toll free: (800) 478-4275
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web site: http://www.kuskokwim.com/education-opportunities/
The Mary Morgan-Wolf Memorial Scholarship makes a two or four-year scholarship available to a Native Student from the Middle Kuskokwim region who is entering into a health-related field.

Udall Undergraduate Scholarship Program
130 South Scott Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Website: http://udall.gov/OurPrograms/Scholarship/NativeHealthCare.aspx
One of these Scholarships has a Native health care focus. Native American or Alaska Native sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to Native health care are eligible to apply.

YKHC Health Care Professional Education Loan Forgiveness Program
Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC)
Box 528
Bethel AK 99559
Toll free: (800) 478-3321 x6060
Phone: (907) 543-6960
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web site: http://www.ykhc.org/
Tribal members and descendants of one of the 58 tribes served by YKHC are eligible to apply for funding. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled into an accredited program that leads to certification or licensure in healthcare. Recipients must commit to employment with YKHC after completion of their program.

Loan Repayment Programs

  • Alaska’s SHARP Loan Repayment Program: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/HealthPlanning/Pages/sharp/default.aspx
    This program offers loan repayment for primary care clinicians including physicians, pharmacists, NPs, PAs, RNs, CNMs, dentists, dental hygienists, psychiatrists, psychologists, LCSWs, LPCs, Psychiatric nurse specialists, marriage and family therapists.

  • National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program: https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/
    Licensed health care providers may serve as primary care medical, dental or mental/behavioral health clinicians at an approved NHSC approved site for two years in exchange for loan repayments.

  • Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program: http://www.ihs.gov/careeropps/loanrepayment/
    IHS has two loan repayment programs for health professionals interested in a career in Indian Health.

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    This page was last updated by Janice Troyer on November 03, 2015

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