AbundanceFound Global Health Loan Forgiveness Program

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Harvard Medical School AbundanceFound Global Health Loan Forgiveness Program for Graduating Students

The Harvard Medical School Financial Aid Office is pleased to continue a pilot debt-relief scholarship program targeted to graduating HMS students who have an intention of pursuing careers in global health delivery. Funding for this program is currently available through 2015. This program is designed to reduce educational debt through loan forgiveness for students who possess outstanding leadership skills and who have demonstrated intention to pursue a career in global health delivery following residency/fellowship training. Award amounts will vary; however, the maximum award per recipient will be $60,000.

Eligibility for this program will include the following:

  • demonstrated career path in global health delivery (i.e.,delivering health care and/or planning and developing health care delivery systems, and/or a commitment to basic or applied research that impacts the delivery of global health)
  • demonstrated possession of outstanding leadership skills (i.e.,initiating projects, developing new ideas, as well as demonstrating a passion and commitment to global health delivery)

Note: All students meeting the criteria of global health delivery above are encouraged to apply. However, priority will be given to students who have accumulated educational debt in excess of $98,000.

The disbursement of funds will occur in two phases:

Phase one - the first payment, representing 20% of the total award, will be disbursed upon graduation from medical school.

Phase two - the second payment will be made upon completion of residency training and at least one year of work primarily centered in global health delivery.

“Work” is defined as paid service or an academic appointment primarily centered in global health delivery. The work should address health equity in resource-poor settings (domestic or abroad, although priority will be provided to those aiming to work abroad). The second disbursement, representing up to 80% of the total award, will be disbursed to recipients who plan to complete at least two years of post-residency work primarily centered in global health delivery. Recipients who do not plan to pursue more than one year of post residency work primarily centered in global health delivery will receive 40% of the total award as the second disbursement. Recipients who do not pursue at least one year of post residency work in global health delivery will forfeit the second disbursement of the award.

Application process

HMS students will apply to this program in their graduating year. The application process includes a Statement of Purpose, providing citations of the student's leadership abilities, prior commitment to and impact on global health delivery, an explanation regarding how the student's intended residency program further enhances this pursuit, and a detailed description of the student's intended career path in global health delivery, including plans for post residency work and how it is focused in global health delivery. Three letters of recommendation, the academic Dean's letter and two letters from people knowledgeable about the student's work in global health delivery, are required. An official HMS transcript and the student's Curriculum Vitae are also required.

Interested candidates may apply by completing the AbundanceFound Global Health Loan Forgiveness Application. Completed applications should be submitted directly to the HMS Financial Aid Office, Gordon Hall Rm. 211. The application deadline is April 1, 2014.

Selection Process

Selection of recipients will be based on a combination of factors, including the students' demonstrated commitment to global health delivery, leadership skills, and letters of recommendation. Financial need is also a significant factor in the selection process. Recipients are determined once confirmation is received regarding a student's match in a residency program.

Award amounts will be based upon a percentage of a recipient's total HMS educational debt. Amounts will depend upon number of recipients selected.

*As a condition of this award, recipients will be required to notify the HMS Loan Forgiveness Committee of their post residency work plan prior to the completion of residency training.The HMS Loan Forgiveness Committee will inform the recipient whether the work plan meets the criteria for second disbursement funding. If approved, the recipient will be required to follow-up with the HMS Loan Forgiveness Committee upon completion of one year of post residency work. At that time, the recipient will address whether or not he/she plans to continue to complete a second year of work primarily centered in global health delivery. If the recipient indicates that a second year of work will be pursued, employer certification of this second year of work will be required. The second award payment, based upon the percentages described above, will be made at that time.

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