Among the 105 students beginning the master’s program in public health are four who are receiving full scholarships for their two years of study. The Public Health Opportunity Scholarship, offered for the first time this year, is awarded based on factors that include outstanding ability, a demonstrated interest and high motivation for professional achievement in the field of public health, membership in an underrepresented group and financial need. It covers tuition, but not living and other expenses. The four recipients were selected from the pool of applicants to the public health master’s program. Five students were offered the scholarship, but one chose to study elsewhere. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring students into the fold of public health,” said Anne Pistell, associate dean for student affairs at the School of Public Health. It is the only public health scholarship that covers full tuition. “I think we have picked pretty extraordinary people,” Pistell said.

This new scholarship expands the number of those currently available to students. Merit scholarships, which are awarded based on academic excellence, cover half of tuition costs for up to five students each year. Need-based scholarships provide financial aid after other resources, including loans, have been exhausted. Last year 84 public health students received need- and non-need-based scholarships totaling $689,086.