With the high cost of tuition and all those other expenses associated with a degree, paying for your education can seem daunting. Thankfully, VA offers a number of education support programs that can help you get an edge over your bills and pave the way to future employment with VA.
We’ve recently shared great information about the Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program (SELRP) for aspiring physicians and the VA’s Student Trainee Experience Program (VA-STEP) for nurses, but there’s still more to offer when it comes to scholarships through VA.
For health professionals
The Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) awards scholarships to students receiving education or training in a direct or indirect health care services discipline, and HPSP helps us meet our need for qualified health care professionals for which recruitment or retention is difficult.
The HPSP award pays your tuition and approved fees through direct payment to your school. HPSP assistance includes topping off any existing grants and scholarships to ensure 100% of your tuition and fees are paid.
As if that wasn’t enough help, HPSP provides a monthly stipend of $1,200 per month, and offers an additional annual stipend to help cover everything you need for your classes, including books, paper, pens, pencils, and even computers.
For visual impairment professionals
For those in a more specialized field with an interest in supporting visually impaired Veterans, the Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Professionals Scholarship Program (VIOMPSP) awards scholarships to students seeking a degree or certificate in visual impairment or orientation and mobility, all with an eye (pun intended) toward increasing the number of qualified blind rehabilitation specialists serving our Veterans.
Much like HPSP, the VIOMPSP award pays a participant’s school tuition and any mandatory fees through direct payment to your school. The total amount of assistance provided to a full-time VIOMPSP student in an academic year may not exceed $15,000, and the total assistance you can receive from the program may not exceed $45,000.
For VA employees
For members of our team looking to continue their education, we offer several valuable scholarships.
The Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (EISP) provides eligible VA employees with a tax-free scholarship of up to $44,228 toward the cost of higher education, including tuition, required fees, and books. You may apply if you are in, or seeking to enter, a clinical occupation.
The National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI) offers VA registered nurses up to $44,228 toward the cost of higher education, including tuition, required fees, and books. With this tax-free scholarship, you may pay for an approved academic program that leads to retention as a VA registered nurse.
VA employees who are enrolled in school full time may receive replacement salary funding and up to $44,228 toward the cost of higher education through the VA National Education for Employees Program (VANEEP). This program provides tax-free scholarships and replacement salary funding to help you expedite completion of your approved academic program.
For graduates with student loans
If you’ve already completed your education, fear not! VA also has student loan repayment programs that can help ease your financial burdens and offer gainful employment at the same time.
- For physicians, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, social workers, psychologists and more, VA’s Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) offers loan repayment up to $200,000 at $40,000 a year to those working in some of our hardest-to-fill direct patient care positions.
- Through the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), some employees may be eligible for up to $100,000 in debt repayment assistance in exchange for signing a service agreement establishing your intent to remain with our team for at least 3 years.
- By cancelling loans after 10 years of public service, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program removes the burden of student debt and incentivizes people to work in high-need fields throughout the federal government, including at VA.
Work at VA
With help from VA, you can pay down your debts and change lives by serving those who have served.