New to the forum, but saw this post and thought I would give you a few ideas about this program. As I used to work in the VA and know a few things, if you permit, I will enlighten you.
At this time, the VA is very understaffed with PA's which is why I'm changing my career path. The VA pays on average around 80K if you meed the minimum standards listed in job postings. There are also, living allowances that bring you up to certain standards of living in certain states/cities. The benefits that also come with these positions are incredible as federal retirement is exceptional and if you want to look further into it, it's called the TSP or Thrift Savings Plan.
This scholarship mirrors the Department of Defense USPHS scholarship where for your tuition, you are locked into a contract upon graduation with the Department of Veterans Affairs. They will pay your tuition and more than likely some of your medical books/instruments, and fees, however I would get the extras down to make sure. Being that it's a part of the federal government, they will itemize everything in your contract, trust me on that.
I would highly encourage anyone looking for such a scholarship to work within the VA as it won't be hard to make it to the top. Pay for PA's and Psychiatric MD's/DO's is becoming closer to the private market as they (VA) realize that they are losing out on excellent providers. As you will have federal status once you graduate from this program, to see what the VA is paying, utilize USAJOBs.gov and use the search feature along with your dream city/state to see what PA's salaries are going for. Not too long ago I saw Cardio-Thoracic PA positions in Houston,Texas was paying 140k plus benefits.. Not bad at all.
If you are a veteran, let me know and I will walk you through your paperwork process in order to get your points for competitive purposes. Also, if anyone has any questions about what the VA world is like, I will be happy to talk to anyone offline, just send me an email or a number.
I hope this scholarship will become written in stone as I've about a year of pre-reqs to get done before I can apply.
For clarification, I am a Marine Vet, who just left the mental health service line at the VA and now work for the Dept.of the Navy in Mental Health.
I have had a very different experience with the VA
I am prior service with a disability rating and have wanted to work for the VA for 15 years
After they finally got back to calling me back, they made an offer that was laughable - was WELL under what RN's get paid, was >$40,000 LESS then the local hospital system. They readily admitt that they want to hire NP(as that is what is always posted)
I have a desire to work for the VA - but the BS is a joke, the salary is easily 30-40 THOUSAND less then the going rate, and the politics of fighting for a job to be posted PA and NP is stupid.... sorry I am out of wanting to work at the VA....