Sponsor Texas Department of Rural Affairs
Deadlines Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Purpose The Outstanding Rural Scholar Recognition Program is a competitive forgiveness loan program, which assists rural communities in “growing their own” health care professionals. The program matches state funds with rural community funds to sponsor individuals pursuing health care professions that are needed in the sponsoring rural community. Upon licensure, the health care professional returns to the sponsoring rural community to practice health care.
Organizations located in any one of Texas’ 177 non-metropolitan, or rural, counties may sponsor individuals to pursue studies in health care professions needed in the community. Eligible health care professions include medicine, dentistry, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, chiropractic, behavioral health, and allied health. In the case of medical students, the student must complete a residency program in family practice, emergency medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, general surgery, or general obstetrics and gynecology as agreed upon with the rural community sponsor.
Eligibility To be eligible for recognition as an Outstanding Rural Scholar, you must:
•Be a resident of the state of Texas in accordance with Texas Education Code, Chapter 54, Subchapter B.
•Be nominated and sponsored by an organization in a rural county of Texas. (Refer to pages viii through ix of the ORSRP application for a list of the Rural Counties in Texas).
•Be enrolled or intend to enroll in an eligible academic institution to pursue a health care career.
•A Texas institution of higher education which may be any public institution as defined in Texas Education Code, 61.003(8), or any non-profit, independent institution as defined in Texas Education Code, 61.222, or any other non-profit health-related school or program (See:
•Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association, the Texas State Board of Nurse Examiners, the Texas Board of Vocational Nurse Examiners, or, in the case of allied health, an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
•In compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI, to prevent discrimination in admissions.
•If in high school when nominated, be in the upper 25% of the class if the class numbers 48 or more, or have an overall B average.
•If in college when nominated, have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
•If not in high school or college when nominated, have a high school diploma or equivalent and demonstrate to the satisfaction of a sponsor that you possess the motivation, qualities, and abilities that lead to success in the chosen health care profession.
•In the event of an award from the ORSR Program, a successful candidate will be required to sign a contract, Forgiveness Loan Agreement and provide a notarized Promissory Note that includes the information and signature of a Co-Guarantor
To nominate someone to be an Outstanding Rural Scholar, your organization must:
•Be located in a rural county in Texas.
•Have a council, board of trustees or commissioners that is:
•Responsible to the rural community in which it is located, and
•Legally authorized to raise funds, or accept grants, financial gifts, scholarship funds, or private foundation funds.
•If your nominee is selected to receive a forgiveness loan, you must commit to provide:
•Fifty percent of the forgiveness loan, and
•A practice or employment opportunity for the nominee upon completion of training.
funding The amount of the forgiveness loan awards is based on the cost of attendance at the academic institution the scholar will attend, obtained by the nominee from the Student Financial Aid Office at the nominee’s academic institution.
The loans covers the costs for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, personal expenses, and child care as determined by the Student Financial Aid Office.
process The application is available on the Program web site. Application Deadlines are:
Fall Semester - Third Friday in May
Spring Semester - Third Friday in September
Summer Semesters - Third Friday in January
For more information contact:
ORS Grant Administrator
Summaries of funding programs are provided by RAC for your convenience. Please contact the funder directly for the most complete and current information.