External Scholarships & Loan Forgiveness

External Scholarships

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Allina EMPOWER Scholarship

The Allina EMPOWER Scholarship, administered by Courage Kenny Foundation, encourages and supports ethnically diverse students who are pursuing a career in a medical or rehabilitation field.

The scholarship is made possible by a generous gift from the David M. Hersey Endowment Fund of the Courage Kenny Foundation.

Applicants must identify how they will use their education and training and demonstrate their interest in rehabilitation. Selection is based on the applicant’s stated intentions, past achievements, need, and graduation ranking.

The annual application period is Jan 1 - April 15. Scholarships are awarded in June. 

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Minority Scholarship Award

The APTA Minority Scholarship Award recognizes physical therapy students currently in their final year of an accredited program for their professional character and academic excellence. These awards are sponsored by the Minority Scholarship Fund and voluntary contributions.

This is an annual award offered to minority physical therapist students by the Physical Therapy Fund. For questions regarding the nomination process or the award, please contact honorsandawards@apta.org.

Additional Scholarships

UMN Provost's Professional Education Diversity Fellowship

The University of Minnesota Provost's Professional Education Diversity Fellowship is intended to assist professional degree programs in promoting a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas through the recruitment and support of academically excellent students with diverse ethnic, racial, economic, and educational backgrounds and experiences. Programs are encouraged to consider students from groups that historically have been underrepresented in their disciplines. Nominations for this fellowship must come from the Program Director, due in February each year for one incoming first year student entering the Program in July

Big Stone Therapies (BST): Scholarship Program

The Big Stone Therapies (BST) Scholarship Program offers $10,000 to support educational expenses incurred through therapy care provider training in exchange for an employment commitment to provide therapy clinical services in a Big Stone Therapies rural location following graduation. New in 2020, Big Stone Therapies has reserved two scholarships for UMN DPT students. 

U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

The Department of Education (ED) Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) forgives the remaining balance on your federal Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

This program has very specific qualifying requirements and approval has been challenging for many, so it is recommended that you examine your eligibility very closely and contact PSLF program representatives with all questions.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) awards scholarships to students receiving education/training in a health care services discipline. Awards will be offered on a competitive basis and are exempt from Federal taxation. In exchange for the award, scholarship program participants agree to a service obligation in a VA health care facility. 

Physical Therapy was not one of the eligible professions in fiscal year (FY) 2019. However, During FY 2020, HPSP anticipates offering scholarships to Medical Officers (Medical School Students) to meet the requirement introduced as part of the VA Mission Act of 2018. Program details will be released Fall 2019. The Physical Therapy program at the University of Minnesota resides within the Medical School, so it is possible that students would qualify for this opportunity.

Veterans Affairs (VA): Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP)

The Veterans Affairs Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) offers student loan repayment of up to $200,000 over a five-year period to qualifying employees in specific, difficult-to-recruit direct patient care positions.

Veterans Affairs (VA): GI Bill Benefits

Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits through the GI Bill offer financial support to qualifying Veterans and their family members to cover some or all costs of education. This link also contains information regarding other GI Bill programs that may apply. 

Health Services & Resources Administration (HRSA): Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP)

The Health Services & Resources Administration (HRSA) Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP) provides eligible individuals with health professions degrees and economic or environmentally disadvantaged backgrounds with the opportunity to receive loan repayment while serving as faculty members at accredited and eligible health professions schools.

Armed Services (Navy, Army, Air Force)

National Health Service Corps (NHSC): State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC), part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awards scholarships and loan repayment to primary care providers working in health professional shortage areas (HPSAs). Their mission is to build healthy communities by supporting qualified health care providers dedicated to working in areas of the United States with limited access to care.

As of 2019, legislation is underway in an attempt to include Physical Therapy students and clinicians in this program’s eligibility criteria. While Physical Therapist students do not currently qualify for NHSC scholarships, practicing clinicians in a variety of fields are invited to apply for the State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) according to specific clinician eligibility criteria. Licensed Physical Therapists could perhaps make their case as providing primary care services in the HSPA category “Primary Medical Care”, though this approach may not be approved.

Indian Health Service Corps (IHS) Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

The Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) funds IHS clinicians to repay their eligible health profession education loans — up to $40,000 — in exchange for an initial two-year service commitment to practice in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Opportunities are based on Indian health program facilities with the greatest staffing needs in specific health profession disciplines. LRP participants are eligible to extend their contract annually until their qualified student debt is paid. Many health professionals enter this program because of the financial benefits but find the cultural and professional rewards to be so great that they spend their entire careers working in Indian health. 

Physical Therapy is currently listed as an eligible profession for this opportunity with additional eligibility criteria defined. Applicants do not need to be of Native American or Alaskan descent to apply but are given priority consideration when all factors are equal between applicants.

Employer-assisted Loan Forgiveness Programs

Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs

State Loan Forgiveness Programs