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Army Scholarship Eases Student Loan Burdens for Health Care Professionals

  • Published: 2009-10-13 (Revised/Updated 2010-10-09) : Author: Army Medical Department
  • Synopsis: Army Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) enables students to focus on education during challenging economy.

Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) Enables Students to Focus on Education During Challenging Economy.

As college students settle back into classrooms this month, they may be more worried about how to pay for school than completing homework, studying or doing well on exams. In particular, many medical and dental students will face a student loan debt of more than $150,000 after graduation(i).

To help address this issue, the United States Army Medical Department (AMEDD) helps students finance their graduate medical, dental or veterinary degrees, as well as select nursing and other specialties through its F. Edward Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).

HPSP provides students with the full cost of tuition, school fees and books, as well as a stipend of $1,992 per month through the school year. In addition, HPSP recipients in the Medical Corps and Dental Corps are eligible for a one-time $20,000 (less tax) bonus if awarded the scholarship. Upon graduation and entry onto active duty, AMEDD Officers receive increases in salary and new opportunities for a broad range of residencies, fellowships and special pay incentives.

"In a time of economic uncertainty, young health care professionals should carefully consider their options before assuming significant debt to finance their education," said Colonel Rafael Montagno, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade. "Through the HPSP program, Army Medicine has helped to finance the education and training for thousands of health care professionals across the United States - I would encourage anyone seeking a professional health care degree to consider Army Medicine for its extensive and generous educational benefits."

For many students seeking a career in health care, student loan debt and qualifying for loans are serious issues preventing them from pursuing advanced degrees. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), for the fifth consecutive year graduates said they will carry a greater educational debt load than their predecessors. Of the 13,400 medical school graduates who responded to the 2008 survey, 17.7 percent had educational loans of $200,000 or more--more than triple the rate (4.9 percent) that had that amount in 2004(ii).

"HPSP is appealing because I can focus on my education instead of finances," said 2nd Lt. Martha Morales, HPSP recipient and student at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. "I also look forward to being able to grow my skills in a group practice."

Lieutenant Morales talks about her decision to take part in the Army's scholarship program at

The scholarship is available in one, two, three and four-year increments and provides benefits during school and after graduation for students currently accepted in a graduate medical, dental or veterinary program, or those pursuing degrees in optometry, clinical/counseling psychology or to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Graduates of the HPSP program receive all the benefits of active duty Officers including:

Paid continuing education courses, seminars and conferences

No-cost or low-cost medical and dental care

A comfortable home on a military installation or a generous housing allowance if you decide to live off the installation

Opportunities to travel throughout the world

Attractive retirement benefits after 20 years of qualifying service

A flexible, portable retirement savings and investment plan similar to a 401k

30 days of vacation earned each year

Rank and privileges of an Army Officer

Low-cost life insurance

For more information about HPSP please visit or phone 800-USA-ARMY (800-872-2769).


From nurses and entomologists to veterinarians, dietitians and physicians, Army Health Care offers more than 90 professional health care career paths - more than any other military service.

The Army's Health Care system is an $8 billion per year venture, employing 145,000 health care professionals and managing the care of three million patient beneficiaries. One of the largest health care networks in the world, The Army's Health Care System operates more than 600 world-renowned hospitals, clinics and facilities around the globe and encompasses six corps: Dental, Medical, Medical Service, Medical Specialist, Nurse and Veterinary.

(i) American Association of Medical Colleges; "Medical School Tuition and Young Physician Indebtedness (An Update to the 2004 Report)," October 2007.

(ii) American Association of Medical Colleges; "2008 AAMC Graduate Questionnaire (GQ)," December 2008.

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