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FAQ

GENERAL
 
What is the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship Program?
It is a scholarship program run by Kaiser Permanente Northwest for communities in the Kaiser Permanente Northwest service area, which spans from north of Longview, Washington, to Eugene, Oregon. The mission of the scholarship program is to help students in the region achieve their dreams of becoming health care professionals. The program is for high school seniors at eligible public high schools, though once scholarship recipients have reached their second year of college, they are eligible to apply for an additional one-time scholarship to be applied toward fall term or semester of their third year of college.
 
What is the scholarship amount?
The majority of scholarships are awards of $2,000 distributed in fall of the first year of college. Up to approximately 25% of the scholarships offered to high school seniors are for $5,000 or $10,000. The $5,000 and $10,000 scholarships are awarded to the most qualified applicants from across all eligible high schools. These higher level awards are split into two equal payments distributed in fall of the first and second years of college. All scholarships awarded to college sophomores (to be applied toward fall of their third year of college) are for $2,000. All awards are nonrenewable.
 
What is the scholarship deadline?
Applications must be submitted through the online system. The deadline for submitting the 2018 application, including all required materials, is December 13, 2017, at 5 p.m. PST. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Registration for the scholarship application will close on December 6, 2017 and applicants are recommended to register well ahead of this date.
 
Which high schools are eligible?
The scholarship primarily targets standard public high schools in the Kaiser Permanente Northwest service area. In 2017-2018, six alternative/private schools were added to the list because they serve a high number of diverse and low-income students and have reasonable graduation rates. You can find a list of eligible high schools here. If you do not attend a school on the eligible schools list, your application will not be considered.     
 
How many scholarships are awarded each year?
We strive to award a scholarship to a qualified applicant at each eligible high school; thus, our goal is to award at least 139 scholarships in 2018. Note that meeting basic eligibility requirements and submitting a complete application qualifies an applicant to be considered by the selection committee but does not necessarily mean the applicant is qualified to receive a scholarship. 
 
Are the scholarships renewable?
No. All scholarships are one-time, non-renewable awards. The $5,000 and $10,000 scholarships are, however, divided into two equal payments distributed in the fall of the freshman and sophomore years.

ELIGIBILITY
 
Who can apply for the scholarship?
Two groups of students are eligible to apply for 2018 scholarships:
  1. High school seniors who are graduating in spring 2018 and:
    1. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (weighted).
    2. Are planning to pursue an education and career in an approved human health care field.
    3. Reside in the Kaiser Permanente Northwest service area and attend an eligible high school.
    4. Plan to enroll at a U.S. accredited college or university as a full-time, degree or certificate-seeking first-year student in fall 2018. (Note: Scholarships are not payable to for-profit institutions.)
  2. ​College sophomores who previously received the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship as high school seniors in 2016 and:
    1. Are currently enrolled full-time in college pursuing a course of study leading to an approved human health care career (can be pre-health coursework or enrollment in a health professions program).
    2. Have a minimum cumulative college GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    3. Plan to enroll in their third year of full time undergraduate study in fall 2018 at a U.S. accredited college or university in continued pursuit of a human health care career. (Note: Scholarships are not payable to for-profit institutions.)

Note: Proof of US citizenship or legal permanent residency is not required.

I want to be an athletic trainer. Is that an eligible health care career?   
No. Kaiser Permanente does not include “athletic training” in its definition of health care careers.
 
I want to be a veterinarian. Is that an eligible health care career?   
No. The scholarship program is focused on human medical and dental health care careers only.
 
Which health care careers are approved for this scholarship?
Please see Approved Health Care Careers.
 
I don’t see the health care career that I want to pursue on the drop-down list in the application. What do I do, and am I still eligible for the scholarship?
The list provided is comprehensive. It is possible that the career you intend to pursue is listed under a different name; please contact the Program Manager at Kaiser Permanente, at kpnw-scholarships@kp.org or 503-813-3992 to determine if your career of interest is on the drop-down list under a different name.
 
I am a college student who did not receive the scholarship as a senior in high school. Can I still apply for a scholarship?
No. College students can only apply for a 2018 scholarship if they previously received the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship as a senior in high school in 2016.
 
I am undocumented or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply! Proof of US citizenship or legal permanent residency is not required.
 
I have a parent or family member who works at Kaiser Permanente. Am I still eligible to apply for the scholarship?
Yes, you are still eligible. Having a parent or other family member who works at Kaiser Permanente is not considered a conflict of interest for this scholarship.
 
I don’t meet any of the “additional consideration” criteria. Is it still worth it to apply?
Yes! All applicants who meet the basic eligibility requirements for the scholarship are strongly encouraged to apply. The “additional consideration” criteria are not required for eligibility. All applicants who meet the basic eligibility requirements and submit on-time, complete applications (including required materials) will be holistically evaluated and considered for the scholarship.

APPLICATION
 
When can I apply?
The application will be available by September 2017 at this website. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on December 13, 2017. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Application registration will close on December 6, 2017 and applicants are strongly recommended to register well ahead of this date.
 
What constitutes “financial need”?
“Financial need” is defined as having a family income that is at or below 185% of the federal poverty guideline. The application contains a Financial Need Guidelines Chart that applicants can utilize to determine if the family income is at or below 185% of the federal poverty guideline. Applicants need to know the number of people in the household and the income for the household in order to utilize the chart.
 
How do I submit proof of financial need?
If you are a high school student in financial need, please upload a letter from your high school or district stating that you are qualified for the free/reduced lunch program. This is the preferred form of proof for high school applicants. (Nutrition Services in most school districts can provide you with this letter if you no longer have the letter your parents received.) If you are not able to obtain such a letter or you are a college-level applicant, you can upload either proof of receipt of public assistance in the past year or a 2016 federal tax return (if you are claimed as a dependent, it must be the tax return of your parent/guardian; if you are not claimed as a dependent, it can be your own tax return). You must submit proof if you wish to be considered “in financial need.”
 
I am not in financial need. Do I still need to upload income information to the application?
No. Proof of financial need is only required for applicants who state that they have financial need and wish to be considered “in financial need” during the application evaluation process.
 
Can I email you my proof of financial need or fax or send it in the postal mail?
No. Applications and all required materials, including proof of financial need (if applicable), must be submitted online.
 
Can I e-mail you my official transcript or fax or send it in postal mail?
No. Applications and all required materials, including the transcript, must be submitted online.
 
How is my high school transcript official if it is electronic? I thought it had to be in a sealed, signed envelope to be official?
For this process, we require that high school applicants submit an electronic copy (i.e. a PDF) of your most recent official high school transcript. We understand that this in essence makes it “unofficial,” as it is not in a sealed envelope, and that is okay with us. Some high schools provide transcripts as PDFs, but many do not. If this is the case at your high school, simply obtain a hard copy of your official transcript, scan it into a PDF, and upload it to the application.  
 
I have an official high school transcript but it’s outdated. Can I still attach it?
No. You must submit your most recent transcript.
 
I am a high school senior who has taken some college coursework. Do I apply as a high school applicant or as a college applicant?
Apply as a high school applicant.  
 
I am a college-level applicant (I received this scholarship as a senior in high school in 2016). Can I attach an unofficial college transcript?
Yes, as long as the unofficial transcript is readable and includes all relevant information (first/last name, college/university, student ID number, all completed terms/semesters, course titles, credits, grades, cumulative GPA, etc.).
 
Is it okay if my transcript is missing grades for fall term/semester 2017?  
Yes, this is okay, as we understand that you will likely need to submit your application before fall grades are available.
 
Can the person submitting my nomination/letter of recommendation send it via postal mail or fax or email it to you? Or can they give it to me to upload to the application?   
No. Nominations (high school applicants) and letters of recommendation (college applicants) must be submitted by the nominators/recommenders via the online process outlined in the application.

I finished my application but was not able to submit it because the person doing my nomination (high school applicants) or letter of recommendation (college applicants) did not submit it. Can I still be considered for the scholarship?
No. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the nominator or letter writer submits the nomination or letter on time so that the application can be submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

I am a college applicant. Can the academic advisor submitting my advising verification also be the same person who submits my letter of recommendation? 
Yes, these tasks can be completed by the same individual. 
 
I missed the deadline. Can I still submit my application for consideration?
No. The application deadline is not flexible and late applications will not be considered.
 
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATION CATEGORIES
 
Why does Kaiser Permanente Northwest give additional consideration to applicants who are diverse and/or economically or socially disadvantaged?
Kaiser Permanente supports health equity. Educational attainment is one of the most significant social determinants of health. Low-income and racial/ethnic minority communities experience both health and educational disparities. Helping to facilitate educational attainment is one way to promote health in these communities, as education level is positively connected with health. In addition, Kaiser Permanente is committed to diversifying the health care work force, because a workforce that mirrors the population it serves is associated with better quality care, better access to care, and better health outcomes.
 
Why does Kaiser Permanente Northwest give additional consideration to applicants who engage in structured health and wellness activities, school-based health center activities, or activities in a public health setting?
Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving the health of our members and the communities we serve. As our future leaders, youth can help to lead the way in promoting community health and eliminating health disparities; we want to encourage and recognize this leadership role. 
 
I don’t meet any of the “additional consideration” criteria. Is it still worth it to apply?
Yes! All applicants who meet the basic eligibility requirements for the scholarship are strongly encouraged to apply. The “additional consideration” criteria are not required for eligibility. All applicants who meet the basic eligibility requirements and submit on-time, complete applications (including required materials) will be holistically evaluated and considered for the scholarship.
 
If I meet one or more of the “additional consideration” requirements, does this mean I’m going to receive a scholarship?
No. The “additional consideration” categories are just one element of the scholarship application. Applicants are evaluated holistically; all selection criteria play an important role in the application process. Meeting “additional consideration” criteria does not necessarily mean that an applicant will be strong in other areas of the application. Applicants with the strongest applications holistically are selected as recipients.
 
What is meant by “first-generation college-bound”?
You are considered a first-generation college-bound student if neither of your parents has earned a two year (associate's) degree or higher.
 
If I am proficient but not necessarily fluent in a language other than English, does it count as “bilingual”?
No. You must be fluent in a language other than English in order to mark on the application that you speak a language other than English.
 
What are school-based health centers?
School-based health centers are clinics located within schools that provide services such as primary medical care, oral health care, behavioral health care, and health education. Typically school-based health centers serve students of all ages from across the district where the school-based health center is located. Not all schools or districts have a school-based health center. If your school or district has one, you may wish to serve on the school-based health center Youth Advisory Council and/or explore whether there are any volunteering opportunities at the school-based health center.
 
I want to gain “additional consideration” for being involved in a school-based health center but my school district doesn’t have one. What do I do?
There are other ways to gain “additional consideration.” If your school district does not have a school-based health center, you can volunteer in a public health organization in your area (such as a clinic for the underserved or a health education organization) or engage in organized school health and wellness activities. 
 
What are organized health and wellness activities?
These are structured, group activities in your school that have a primary and specific focus on promoting health and wellness in the community (whether your school community or the broader community). Examples of activities that would count in this category include the following: being an active member of a health and wellness club or advisory committee at your school; participating in health and wellness leadership programs such as Planned Parenthood's HEYA! (Health Equity Youth Advocates) or Teen Council programs; serving on a year-long committee that is tasked with putting on a health fair at your school; coming together as a group to educate your school or community over a sustained period of time about nutrition or a specific health issue such as diabetes or obesity; organizing monthly brown bags at your school focused on health and wellness issues; engaging your school in a national health and wellness campaign such as Weight of the Nation, etc. Activities should require your involvement over a sustained period of time (e.g. weeks/months, as opposed to simply attending a one-time or one-day event).
 
I ride my bike or walk to school each day. Does this count as an organized health and wellness activity?
While walking or biking to school along safe routes is certainly a great way to impact your individual health, it is not a structured group activity focused on promoting health and wellness in the community. Thus, it does not count in the organized health and wellness “additional consideration” category.
 
Do athletics count as health and wellness activities?
While participation in school sports positively impacts your individual health, school athletics do not count toward the health and wellness “additional consideration” category. This is because the “health and wellness” category targets structured activities that have a primary focus on promoting health and wellness in the school community or broader community. Athletics are recognized as beneficial activities that impact your individual physical health and help you to develop as a leader and team player, so they should be listed on your application and will be evaluated in relation to your engagement in activities; they simply are not an “additional consideration” category.
 
What is a “public health setting”?
Public or community health settings for the purposes of this scholarship include free clinics (or clinics for the underserved/underinsured) or community health organizations focused on connecting individuals with health services (such as Project Access NOW) and/or promoting health/disease prevention (such as the local public health department, the MIKE Program, the American Diabetes Association, etc.). If you regularly volunteer, work, or shadow in such a setting, you will receive some additional consideration in the application process. Note: Some of these organizations have minimum age requirements for volunteering.
 
RECIPIENT SELECTION
 
How are scholarship recipients selected?
Applications are evaluated based on the criteria below. The evaluation focuses primarily on non-academic information.
  • Academic achievement
  • Engagement in activities (extracurricular, community service, and/or work)
  • Commitment to a career in health care
  • Character qualities
  • Diversity characteristics
  • Economic and/or social disadvantage
If I apply and meet eligibility requirements, will I automatically be a recipient?
No. The Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship Program is a competitive program.  Not all eligible applicants will be selected for an award.
 
If I am the only applicant from my high school, will I automatically be a recipient?
No. We strive to award a scholarship to a qualified applicant at each eligible high school. However, meeting basic eligibility requirements and submitting a complete application qualifies an applicant to be considered but does not necessarily mean the applicant is qualified to receive a scholarship. 
 
What if I am not contacted for an interview? Does this mean I have no chance of receiving a scholarship?
No. Interview invitations are only extended to applicants who are under consideration for $5,000 and $10,000 scholarships. This means that students under consideration for $2,000 awards will be selected without an interview. All applicants – those who interviewed and those who did not – will be notified whether they have received an award in April.
 
If I receive an invitation for an interview, am I automatically a recipient of at least a $2,000 scholarship?
No. While interview invitations will only be extended to students under consideration for the full spectrum of award amounts ($2,000, $5,000, or $10,000), it does not mean that those students will receive a scholarship in any amount. Their performance at the interview, combined with the strength of their application, will determine whether they receive an award in any amount, whether for $2,000 or $5,000 or $10,000.
 
When will I find out if I have been selected for an interview?
Students who will be interviewed could be contacted any time from February through April.    
 
When will I find out if I am a scholarship recipient?
Applicants will be notified whether they have received a scholarship in April.  
 
RECIPIENTS
 
If I am a recipient, how and when will I receive my scholarship?
Recipients will receive their awards at a scholarship awards reception and ceremony at the OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building on Saturday, May 5, 2018. Invitations will be sent when recipients receive notification that they have been selected for an award. Scholarship checks will be made payable to the institution that the student is attending and sent to institutions via postal mail. Checks must be paid for the fall term or semester of 2018 and cannot be deferred. Checks are not payable to for-profit institutions.
 
The materials state that recipients must enroll full-time in college. What is considered full-time enrollment?
A minimum of 12 quarter hour or 8 semester hour or equivalent credits is required for full-time enrollment.
 
What can I use the scholarship for and how is it disbursed?
The scholarship funds are dispersed in accordance with the college or university’s procedures (procedures vary by institution). The scholarship may be applied all at once, or over semesters/terms, per the institution’s procedures. The scholarship is non-renewable. The scholarship is for tuition, fees, books, and other educational expenses.
 
If my tuition is covered by another source of student aid (such as another scholarship), can I still receive this scholarship?
Yes. Scholarships can be used for other qualifying expenses such as fees, books, and supplies, and the remainder may be disbursed for other educational expenses, according to the institution’s procedures.
 
If I receive a “full-ride” scholarship, can I still receive this scholarship?
If your full-ride scholarship is a "last dollar" scholarship, you are still eligible to receive our scholarship. If not, please contact the Program Manager (kpnw-scholarship@kp.org), to determine if you are still eligible to receive the scholarship.
 
CONTACT FOR QUESTIONS
 
If I have questions, what do I do?
Please contact the Program Manager at kpnw-scholarships@kp.org or 503-813-3992. Phone calls and emails will be answered during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific time).