The HPSP Scholarship: My Experience and What You Need to Know

Let’s talk about the HPSP scholarship (Health Professions Scholarship Program). This scholarship allowed me to go to medical school for FREE through the Air Force.

While I have no regrets about my path, there are some major pros and cons you should know about if you’re considering this program!

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Some things you should know about the HPSP scholarship:

– The HPSP Scholarship is NOT the Military Medical School (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences or USUHS). The HPSP Scholarship gives you a stipend and covers your tuition (it’s a “full-ride scholarship”), but you don’t have to go to the Military Medical School. I went to New York Medical College, for example.

– Don’t just listen to everything the military recruiters tell you. They don’t always tell you the full story. A lot of them don’t know all the answers about HPSP. Talk to people who are in the program now. Talk to people who were in the program in the past.

– You can’t actually apply for the HPSP Scholarship until you have a med school acceptance. It comes AFTER you have an acceptance. And you don’t need to tell medical schools that you’re planning to apply for the HPSP Scholarship. They don’t need to know initially.

– Be aware of potential age cut-offs if you’re a nontraditional student.

– The HPSP Scholarship is flexible with the schedule of different med schools. So, for example, with Commissioned Officer Trainer, you may do it before med school if you have time, or you’ll typically do it between first and second year.

– Most of the time in med school, being an HPSP student is hands-off. The military pays for everything and gives you a stipend, and your schedule is MOSTLY the same as other med students until applying to residency.

– How the HPSP program affects your specialty choice: Recruiters may tell you that you can do whatever specialty you want. It’s not true. They can tell you “No” about the specialty you choose, and if they do, you typically become a General Medical Officer.

– The Military Match happens before the normal match, and it’s based on a rubric I explain in the video!

– Do I still recommend applying for the HPSP Scholarship? I do, but only under certain conditions that I share. It’s not for everyone!


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