Education is important, but it’s also costly. For so many people all across our country, the barrier to gaining an education is the financial cost. This includes the cost of the education itself and what it costs not to be working at the time. Especially when it comes to education beyond an undergraduate degree, costs can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Loans and financial aid, including scholarships, may help offset these costs, though loans require repayment, and that can be a massive burden for years.
For many underserved populations, these costs can mean that in certain industries they are significantly less represented. A good example is the medical field, especially among physician assistants. This is where financial aid, including grants and scholarships, can be incredibly helpful in increasing the representation of underserved populations in this field. And now, Touro University Nevada has received a $650,000 grant to enable them to offer scholarships to both first-year and second-year students.
Scholarships Can Help Increase Health Access in Underserved Communities
So let’s talk more about this story. Touro University Nevada has received this $650,000 grant over a span of five years. The University will offer scholarships to both first and second-year physician assistant program students. Touro University Nevada will offer ten scholarships of $35,000 to first-year students for each of the five years, as well as 10 scholarships of $30,000 to 10 second-year students for each year. The goal of the program is to increase the number of physician assistants who work in underserved communities. Additionally, the goal is to increase the amount of physician assistant students who are representative of underserved populations overall.
According to Philip Tompkins, dean of students for Touro University Nevada, the school has made some progress in increasing diversity. According to Tompkins, the school’s recruitment of underserved students has increased from 14% to19%. The school plans on improving that number. Touro University Nevada is uniquely inclined towards a program like this because the program requires physician assistant students to do a one-month community medicine clinical rotation. This has students working with underserved populations in poorer areas.
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