The HRSA Scholarship for the Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program, launched under the Disadvantage Minority Health Improvement Act is solely to ensure that necessary financial assistance is provided disadvantaged professionals undergoing studies in health and nursing programs. The HRSA Scholarship Program is monitored by the US Department of Health and Human services and has the major objective to make the health and medical studies accessible to disadvantaged students especially the URM (unrepresented minorities). In the year 2008 the total amount distributed for the scholarships for the disadvantaged students (SDS) was nearly $46 million reaching more than 15,000 students. The annual budget focuses on funding health professionals in the region of the country with a shortage in workforce.
The Health Resources and Service Administration, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human services primary responsibility is providing access to health care especially to those communities that need them the most. The organization tackles the challenges related to shortages of and health professionals as well as necessary health infrastructure in the low-income, rural and urban communities. The disadvantaged section of the society would mean – the section with annual income below the limit set under the US Bureau of Census and where the environment provides limited or no opportunity for growth. The individuals are hampered to obtain the skill, knowledge and abilities required to achieve success. The HRSA Scholarship, through the SDS Program, ensures that such disadvantaged communities can access the health education, enroll in and graduate from health professions school and add to the diversity in the health profession as doctors, nurses and others.
The scholarship for disadvantaged students (SDS) program is open for the lawful permanent citizen or resident of the US that belongs to the disadvantaged section. The application for the HRSA scholarship program needs to done online. The funds under this scholarship are awarded to the accredited schools and hence the schools are responsible for selecting the recipients annually. The selection is based on the need and the background verification, and the scholarship amount distributed to individuals would be limited to the total cost of attendance for the program – including tuition fees, educational expenses and living expenses. Hence, for each program at various health education institutes the scholarship for the disadvantaged students (SDS) amount does vary.
A healthy workforce would ensure consistent and sustained growth – the US Department of Health and Human services understands this and hence through the HRSA Scholarship it improves the access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. The HRSA with annual budget of $7.2 billion for the year 2009 is responsible for this through providing health care facilities, research, maternal & child care & a better health care system. One amongst such initiative is the support provided to the Health professionals by HRSA. The Scholarships for the disadvantaged students (SDS) program serves more than 10,000 health professionals annually ensuring a healthier workforce as well as providing strong healthcare in areas where it may need most.
Morris Udall Scholarship for Native Americans is Unique