HPM Financial Aid, Award, and Assistantship Information
For most incoming students, financial aid is a serious consideration, and almost all interested students receive some form of aid during the course of their studies. This financial aid comes from a variety of sources – the department, the university, outside organizations – and in a variety of forms: fellowships, scholarships, traineeships, graduate teaching and research assistantships, graduate Work-Study assistantships, and loans. The terms of this aid and the amounts available vary considerably. Some programs are administered by the university, while others are handled routinely by the department. In all cases we try to help the student in every way that we can.
In order to meet U.S. Immigration requirements for entry into the United States, international students must have proof of sufficient financial resources to cover educational and living expenses for the duration of their program in place before visa documents can be issued. A completed Financial Certificate outlining available financial support, along with original evidence to support the amounts indicated (bank statements, scholarship letters, etc.), must be submitted along with the application for admission. This means that it is virtually impossible for international students to claim financial need as a criterion for department assistantship awards; in that case, assistantships will be awarded solely on the match between a faculty member’s needs and the student’s skills and experience.
Executive Master’s Students
Students in the Executive Master’s Program are considered by the university to be part-time students. Normally, financial aid is not available through the university for part-time students. However, professional associations, fraternal organizations, tribal councils, and community groups have all been sources of sponsorship and scholarship funding for students. In addition, many students have obtained low-interest loans through their local lending institutions. We recommend that you discuss these options with your employer or human resource director to determine the most efficient funding source and opportunity for yourself.
Sources of Funds
Because the sources of funds change from time to time without advance notice, the following list is probably neither complete nor totally up-to-date. However, it should provide a good start in identifying opportunities for financial assistance. These opportunities include:
- University Student Aid
The financial needs of most graduate and professional students are met through a combination of awards, loans, and jobs. The UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid advises, assesses, and approves students for a variety of financial aid opportunities. These include scholarships and grants, part-time jobs, and loans. The Student Aid Office should be contacted directly, prior to your arrival in Chapel Hill, especially if you are interested in federal or state loans. Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is essential and can be done on-line at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
The department nominates students for Federal Work-Study Graduate Assistantships, with final selection made by the Graduate School. One or two HPM students typically receive these assistantships in an academic year. An additional tuition award is not allowed, nor is any additional work appointment. Eligibility includes a submitted FAFSA; the recipient must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
- Graduate School Awards
Departments are allowed limited nominations for competitive fellowships/merit assistantships, and an unlimited number of nominations for North Carolina Minority Presence Grants and North Carolina Native American Incentive Grants – the latter two limited to doctoral applicants who are North Carolina residents (as legislatively defined for tuition purposes). Stipend levels vary, as do the terms of the awards. Admission applications must be submitted by January 1 in order to be eligible for nomination.
- Department Graduate Student Financial Aid: Teaching and Research Assistantships
Graduate teaching and research assistantships are limited service awards made for the performance of specific teaching or research tasks. Appointments are made on the basis of suitability for the position, and academic excellence, with selection made through the Chair’s Office, in consultation with the faculty member who will supervise the student.
Awards are made on a semester-by-semester basis, and student health insurance is provided to eligible TAs and RAs; tuition support is provided to those TAs and RAs who meet the eligibility requirements specified by the Graduate School (http://gradschool.unc.edu/policies/tuitionsupport/ ). Most appointments are announced after the department budget is finalized and approved, which can range in time from mid-summer to the opening of the fall semester. Additional awards may continue to be made during the year, depending on department needs and the availability of funds.
No application is required for doctoral students, who are usually supported for their first two years. There are only limited assistantships available for master’s students, however, who must submit the HPM Financial Aid Form to be considered for any form of department-based or nominated financial aid or award. Updated forms and accompanying memo are available late in the spring and are made available to all incoming students on the admitted students webpage and distributed to the mailboxes of all current students.Additional research assistantships, funded from research contracts and grants made to individual department faculty members, are also awarded. The faculty principal investigators make final selections for grant-supported assistantships, usually with some consultation with the Chair’s Office. A high level of statistical analysis and writing skills is usually required.
- Tuition Awards
North Carolina students holding eligible graduate assistantships usually qualify for, and receive, a tuition award. Out-of-state students holding graduate assistantships are eligible for tuition awards, but funds are limited and usually are not sufficient for awards to all eligible students. Doctoral students have departmental priority for out-of-state support.
If you receive a departmental or other assistantship, you will automatically be considered for tuition. If you secure an assistantship with another university department, let the department know. Assistantship awards are made independently of tuition awards, and students who receive an assistantship should not expect an automatic tuition award.
PLEASE NOTE: This information is provided as an initial indication of what is available. Check with the department for additional information on available financial aid and award information. It is the students’ responsibility to fully understand award requirements.
- Public Health Traineeships
The department receives limited funds each year for federal traineeships from the Public Health Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These are nonservice tuition and/or fees awards for graduate students, usually in the amount of $1000 to $2000, made by the Chair’s Office in recognition of superior academic and professional achievements. Recipients must be U.S. citizens or hold a green card. Applications are available early in the fall semester.
- Other University Sources of Financial Support
The university has nineteen specialized institutes and centers, many of which offer fellowships, assistantships, and/or employment opportunities in their area of interest. For example:
- The Carolina Population Center has a predoctoral traineeship program and dissertation awards for those interested in the population field. There is an application process, which requires a department recommendation and ranking of all applicants.
- The Carolina Program in Healthcare and Aging Research, in the UNC Institute on Aging, also offers a predoctoral training program through an application process, as does the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The following are all possible sources of part-time employment for enrolled students.
- Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research
- The Odum Institute for Research in Social Science
- Highway Safety Research Center
- Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Carolina Population Center
- Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center
- Institute for the Study of the Americas, and
- Dental Research Center
A number of positions as residence hall assistants and assistant residence directors are filled by upperclass and graduate students. Applications should be made to the Department of University Housing, Carr Building, CB# 5500, UNC Campus, by mid-December. Personal interviews are required.
Financial Aid for Minority Students
The department, the school, and the university have a strong commitment to Affirmative Action. Therefore, serious effort is made to address the financial needs of minority students.
- The university has two awards specifically available to minority doctoral students. North Carolina Minority Presence Doctoral Fellowships and Native American Incentive Grants are nonservice awards which provide stipends of $18,000, plus full tuition, fees, and health insurance for 9 months to qualified residents of North Carolina. The Minority Presence Fellowship is available to “diverse applicants broadly defined” (including age, economic circumstances, ethnic identification, family educational attainment, disability, gender, geographic origin, maturity, race, religion, sexual orientation, social position, and veteran status). The Native American grants are available to American Indians. Nominations are made by the department; preference in selection is given to entering students.
- The school has some designated scholarships for minority applicants, but the number varies from year to year.
External Fellowships, Scholarships, and Grants
Many awards are made to qualified applicants on the basis of direct application, with the recipient chosen on a competitive basis. There is wide variation in criteria for, as well as in the size of, these awards.
Examples of such awards are:
- American Association of University Women Fellowships are administered through local chapters. (Consult appropriate directories on this subject for further information.)
- The Foster G. McGaw Scholarship Fund is administered by the Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives. These $5,000 annual scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis only to students who are enrolled in graduate programs, will be entering their final year, and are U.S. or Canadian citizens. Applicants are not required to be a Student Associate of the American College of Healthcare Executives; however, during the selection process, preference is given to applicants who are Student Associates of ACHE. Applications are available at http://www.ache.org/Faculty_Students/mcgaw_scholarship.cfm, and must be endorsed by the department. Applications are accepted between January 1 and March 31.
- The Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship is a $5,000 scholarship offered annually by the Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives to minority students entering their final year and who are U.S. or Canadian citizens. Applicants are not required to be a Student Associate of the American College of Healthcare Executives; however, during the selection process, preference is given to applicants who are Student Associates of ACHE. Applications are available at http://www.ache.org/Faculty_Students/dent_scholarship.cfm and are accepted between January 1 and March 31. Recipients are notified in July.
- The Corris Boyd Scholarship, a $40,000 scholarship sponsored by HCA, is offered annually by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration to students of color who have applied and been accepted into an AUPHA full-member master’s degree program, have a minimum 3.0 GPA (out of 4.0) in undergraduate coursework, and have U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. Applications are accepted between March 1 and May 3. Winners are notified no later than mid-June.
- The Indian Health Services Scholarship Program is available for up to four calendar years of health professional education. Each scholarship grant is awarded for a one-year period, with reapplication for each continuation. Those students who meet specific continued eligibility requirements and have been reviewed and recommended for continuation will be given priority consideration for the additional period of support. The level of scholarship benefits, i.e., stipend, travel reimbursement, cost of books, etc., is contingent upon the availability of funds appropriated each fiscal year by the Congress of the United States and is, therefore, subject to change each year.
For further information on this program, contact:
Indian Health Service
IHS Scholarship Program
801 Thompson Ave., TMP-450
Rockville, MD 20852
Listed below are some organizations that provide noninstitutional funds to minority students enrolling in graduate management schools:
A Word of Advice
After having read the above, it should be apparent that there is a variety of sources of financial aid. Each source provides aid in different amounts, has different requirements and eligibility qualifications, and imposes a different award and/or repayment schedule. The following advice is not intended to be a mandatory code of behavior, but a list of observations you may find useful:
- Assess your financial needs as well as your academic qualifications. For the latter, your GPA and GRE are particularly important.
- Develop a realistic strategy for financing your education. In this connection you should consider a realistic mix of your own resources; assistance from parents, relatives, and friends; federal/state loans; part-time income potential; income of your spouse; and traineeship/assistantship/other awards.
- If you plan to seek financial aid from or through the university, start as early as possible and follow up periodically. There is great competition for funds, and often the process of application is cumbersome and time consuming.
- Many forms of financial aid require completion of the FAFSA, usually by a March deadline. Be sure to check into this early. In addition, completion of the HPM Financial Aid Form facilitates our nomination process for external awards and is mandatory for consideration for department awards.
- Many of the loans and awards have citizenship and residency restrictions. Therefore, international students should pay special attention to eligibility requirements.
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