PCP Scholarship FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Are military reservists eligible?

Yes, military reservists are eligible to participate if you serve in a reserve component of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard. However, your military training or service will not satisfy the service commitment for this scholarship program.

Can the PCP SP be combined with other tuition scholarship programs?

Students offered other awards designated for base tuition, will only receive the remaining PCP amount to cover tuition (if any).

Can this be awarded retroactively prior to this initial award?

No, this award will only be funded effective the semester you are accepted into the program. Alumni cannot be awarded this scholarship. 

Do I need to reapply each year for a Primary Care Scholarship?

No. Once you have been awarded a scholarship through this program, it will continue to cover all tuition throughout the remainder of your time in medical school, provided you maintain satisfactory academic progress and continue to pursue a specialty in primary care or other critical access specialty, as defined by the University of Arizona.

How are areas of the state determined to have PCP shortages?

Regions within every Arizona county have received at least one of three federal designations: a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), a Medically Underserved Area (MUA), or a Medically Underserved Population (MUP). These shortage areas are determined and managed by the Bureau of Health Professions within the Health Resources and Services Administration, and identify geographic areas (or specific populations within those areas) that lack adequate healthcare resources. Broadly, those resources available in a given area are evaluated based on physician supply relative to population size—although numerous other factors are also considered.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, HPSAs* can apply to geographic areas, population groups, or facilities in which there are unmet healthcare needs. Native American Tribes are automatically designated as population HSPAs.

MUA-Ps** are federal designations that apply to areas, population groups, or facilities that have a need for medical services on the basis of demographic data that shows that the area/population has either too few primary care providers, high infant mortality, high poverty and/or high elderly population.

*For more information on HPSAs, please visit: https://bhw.hrsa.gov/shortage-designation/hpsas.

**For more information on MUA-Ps, please visit: https://www.azdhs.gov/prevention/health-systems-development/shortage-designation/index.php#muap.

How many years of service are required for the PCP SP?

The minimum service obligation for an initial award is two (2) years of full-time service in exchange for any scholarship support received. Thereafter, scholars agree to provide 1 year of service for each full or partial school year of support with a maximum of 4 years.

For example:

If the following class years accepted the scholarship effective Fall 2023 for the 2023-2024 Academic Year, the student commits to:

  • MS1 = 4 years
  • MS2 = 3 years
  • MS3 = 2 years
  • MS4 = 2 years


How will scholarship monies be distributed?

The scholarship will be awarded in conjunction with any other offered financial aid for the respective Academic Year (AY) and disbursed to the student Bursar's account for the applicable fall and/or spring semesters. If a student has accepted other financial aid in excess of the PCP scholarship, and the total aid disbursed exceeds charges, a refund will generate based on the selected Bursar's refund options. The PCP Scholarship in combination of other aid cannot be offered in excess of the cost of attendance and will not generate a supplemental refund. When a student has been awarded to the cost of attendance, the PCP Scholarship will replace the loans first.

How will this affect a recipient’s tuition for each semester?

The scholarship will be awarded in conjunction with any other offered financial aid for the respective Academic Year (AY) and disbursed to the student Bursar's account. This disbursement will apply towards the owed tuition charges for the semster. The PCP Scholarship in conjunction with other financial aid funds cannot be awarded in excess of the cost of attendance and will not generate a supplemental refund. If a student has already accepted other financial aid for the current academic year, the PCP Scholarship will replace the loans first and then any other aid up to the cost of attendance.

If I am not sure about my future plans at this time can I apply in subsequent years?

Yes, however, since funds are limited there is a maximum number of scholars that can be covered per class, so if at any time all spots have been filled it is possible that additional applications will not be accepted. 

If I am unsure of my specialty, is there an opportunity to apply for a scholarship in any year of medical school?

There's no guaranty you will be to apply in future years as it's limited to the availabiilty of awards during that opening cylcle for the given academic year  Please contact the College of Medicine – Tucson Financial Aid Office to inquire about scholarship availability.

What if I am unable to complete my medical degree?

By accepting this scholarship, you will be required to maintain continuous enrollment as a full-time medical student in the University, and maintain satisfactory academic progress. These standards are described in the University catalog. If you cease to be enrolled as a medical student at the University of Arizona, your scholarship will convert to a personal, interest-bearing loan and you will be required to reimburse the University for the total scholarship amount received.

What if I do not match in an Arizona hospital or clinic for my post-graduate residency?

This Program prefers that College of Medicine – Tucson graduates remain in Arizona to do their residency (graduate medical education) training. However, completing your residency training in another state is permissible. Either way, service during your post-graduate residency or fellowship training will not count toward your obligation. After completing residency training in another state, you must return to Arizona to practice in a state-designated HPSA/MUA-P.

What if I end up extending the time needed to complete my MD program?

Funding is only awarded based on the standard amount of time to complete the program, 4 years, and is allotted based on what year a student is selected to receive the scholarship.  Additional semesters will not be funded.

What qualifies as primary care practice?

Definitions for primary care can vary. For the purposes of this scholarship, a “primary care practitioner” is someone who has successfully completed medical school at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and completed residency training in one of the following specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, geriatric medicine, general pediatrics, general surgery, psychiatry, and obstetrics and gynecology.

When does the scholarship application open and close?
  • Incoming medical students - application is now open with a priority deadline of Monday, March 18th, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. 
When will students be notified if they are receiving an award?
  • Incoming medical students who applied by the priority service date of March 18th,  will be informed no later than beginning April 8th, 2024. Should there be another opportunity for review during this cycle, all other applicants who applied after March 18th, 2024, will be notified no later than July 1, 2024.


Who is eligible for the Primary Care Scholarship?

Applicants must be admitted and enrolled as a full-time medical student at the College of Medicine – Tucson. You must also have completed and submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and, to the greatest extent practicable, sought and accepted all other non-loan aid for which you qualify, such as American Medical Association scholarships, Indian Health Service scholarships, the American Medical Women’s Association Medical Education scholarship, and other private scholarships. That said, this is a need-blind scholarship program intended to bolster the primary care resources in Arizona’s underserved rural and underserved communities.


Will all medical students who apply be awarded a scholarship?

No, this is a competitive process that will require both completion of the application form and a personal interview with the Scholarship Committee at the College of Medicine - Tucson. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate a clear and strong interest in practicing in a primary care specialty in an underserved region of Arizona upon completion of residency training.