The Choose West Virginia Practice Program is a tuition waiver program that incentivizes nonresident West Virginia medical students to remain in West Virginia to practice. Two out of state medical students from each West Virginia medical school are eligible to be awarded each academic year. Students who are awarded will receive a tuition waiver for the differential between in-state and out of state tuition (approximately $30,000). In exchange for the award, students agree to practice at an eligible service site one year for every year they receive the award.
To be eligible for the award, students must:
- Be accepted or enrolled at Marshall University, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, or
- West Virginia University in a program leading to a degree of Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy.
- Meet institutional requirements for being classified as an out of state student.
- Not be in default of any previous student loan
Although students from any current medical school class year are eligible to apply, medical students who meet the eligibility criteria listed above and who are in their first year of medical school will receive preference.
Subject to continued state funding, students who receive an award will be eligible to receive an award in each of their remaining years of medical school as long as they:
- Progress to the next academic year of their program
- Maintain good academic standing
- Maintain good professional standing
Participants may complete residency and/or fellowship training in West Virginia or in other states. The service obligation begins within six months after the participant completes training. It requires that participants practice at an eligible site one year for each year they receive the award (a maximum of 4 years). Participants are responsible for securing their own practice site
Eligible sites include any specialty and any site located within the shaded area of the Eligible Service Areas Map . Additionally, participants may practice any of the following primary care or shortage specialties at any site anywhere in West Virginia:
- Addiction Medicine
- Emergency Medicine
- Family Practice
- General Internal Medicine
- General Surgery
- Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
- Preventive Medicine
- Psychiatry (includes Addiction, Child & Adolescent, and Geriatric)
In the event the service obligation is not completed, the participant is responsible for repaying the award amount received plus five percent interest accruing from the date training is completed or terminated.
Eligibility for Other Financial Incentive Programs
Students who receive a Choose West Virginia Program award also may qualify for other financial incentives for practice in rural or underserved areas of West Virginia (see West Virginia Recruitment Programs in the resources section below). In some cases, the service obligations can be met concurrently. However, federal law prohibits concurrent service of a Choose West Virginia Practice Program obligation with some federal programs’ service obligations, such as National Health Service Corps programs.
How to Apply
The application process is competitive, so please be sure to thoroughly and accurately complete the information requested. Your application must be postmarked by November 1, 2020.
Dr. Cynthia Persily
Senior Director for Health Sciences
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Or your school’s program contact:
Asst. Director of Financial Aid, WVU
Director of Financial Aid, WVSOM
Assistant Director of Student Financial Assistance, Marshall University