Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible to be an HCOP Ambassador?

High school juniors and seniors, students attending community colleges, four-year colleges, or universities are eligible to apply. Non-traditional learners like active military students in a variety of military-related or civilian health and medical training programs are also encouraged to apply. 

Applicants must be educationally or economically disadvantaged and must be enrolled in school where they demonstrate an interest in or declare a major in a health profession.

Once accepted to the GW’s Health Careers Opportunity Program, applicants will be a part of the Ambassador Program and are required to participate in a six-week summer enrichment program (one-time requirement) and a few ambassador activities/events. 

Notice: Due to federal grant specifications, students interested in pursuing nursing careers are not eligible for this HCOP program because nursing is not designated in Section 739 of the Public Health Service Act, which funds this program.

What is the GW HCOP Summer Program?

GW’s HCOP Summer Program is a six-week academic enrichment program held each summer, which includes online and occasional in-person learning activities. Students should expect to spend approximately 4 - 6 hours each day completing the daily modules. The three major sections of the summer program ensure students are ready for success in college and/or their health professions’ training programs.

  • The first section focuses on academic skills and strategies that will enhance the student’s academic success.
  • The second section explores current issues in health equity, rehabilitation sciences, and human disease. Our program includes a focus on mental illness and substance use disorders, which are currently increasingly common in the U.S.
  • The third section offers students a chance to participate in a research team-based project supported by clinical professionals. Students complete daily activities and assignments over six weeks. 

The student's summer stipend is contingent on their completion of the summer program. 

What documentation do I need to submit with my application? 

  • An unofficial transcript
  • Proof showing students are economically or educationally disadvantaged
  • A letter of recommendation
  • Resume (optional)

All supporting documents need to be received by the deadline date for the application to be considered complete. 

What documents can I submit to show I am educationally disadvantaged? 

 Acceptable documents may include, but are not limited to: 

  •  Verification of First-Generation Graduate. A signed letter from a friend, teacher, mentor, coach, supervisor, healthcare professional, or another non-related individual validating you will be or are a first-generation graduate. 


    High School Statistics.  Screenshot or document of high school statistics showing the percentage of free and reduced lunch, low percentage of seniors earning a diploma, or low percentage of seniors attending college within one year after high school.

What documents can I submit to show I am economically disadvantaged? 

 Acceptable documents may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Current Tax Forms, FASFA documents, or signed statements from a financial aid officer

What do submit for my letter of recommendation? 

Please solicit a letter of recommendation (600 words or less) from a teacher, mentor, coach, supervisor, healthcare professional, or another appropriate individual who can offer unbiased input.

Please make sure the letter includes the student's full name and that it is signed by the individual offering the recommendation.

The letter needs to be sent by the recommender digitally to or to

Who is eligible for a stipend?

Stipends are supported by the HRSA grant. Stipends are activity-based awards. Ambassadors can only receive them if they complete a designated activity like participating in the HCOP summer program. Only new ambassadors are required to take the summer program and will receive this one-time stipend award for the summer program.

Stipend payments are made directly to the student and therefore HCOP encourages all ambassadors to set up direct deposits through GW.

Who is eligible for scholarships?

Scholarships are supported by the HRSA grant, and therefore college students are eligible for the scholarship if they have a 2.5 GPA or better and are enrolled in one of HRSA’s approved health fields, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Audiology
  • Biomedical Informatics
  • Cardiovascular Technology
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology
  • Dentistry
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Dietetics
  • Health Information Management
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Medicine and Surgery (Physician or Physician Assistant)
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry
  • Perfusion
  • Pharmacy
  • Phlebotomy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Public Health
  • Post Baccalaureate Program
  • Radiography
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Surgical Technology
  • Vascular Sonography
  • Veterinary

For example, a student that is enrolled in a physical therapy program is eligible for a scholarship. However, a student that is majoring in exercise science and has an interest in a physical therapy career is not eligible for a scholarship. Additionally, a student currently on the pre-medicine track is ineligible for the scholarship until enrolled in a health profession program.

If your health field of choice is not on this list, please reach out to us and we will let you know if you qualify for a scholarship. Scholarship payments are made directly to the educational institution and deposited into the student’s account.

How is the amount of a scholarship and stipend award determined?

Each year, the HCOP leadership team evaluates the overall financial need, tuition expenses, and available scholarship funds and allocates available scholarship awards to eligible GW HCOP Ambassadors. Scholarship and stipend awards may differ by semester, therefore, we encourage students to look for other financial opportunities (i.e. financial aid) in addition to HCOP. 

How long do ambassadors participate in the GW HCOP?

Once accepted into the program, ambassadors is an active participants in GW’s HCOP while they are in school and are pursuing a health career. Reasons for an ambassador to leave the program include matriculation into a health career (eg. start working), their academic performance falls below the GPA requirement or the student stops pursuing their health career.

If a student’s GPA falls below 2.5, they will enter a probationary period. During the probationary period, a student has a semester to bring the GPA up to 2.5 or higher to continue in the GW’s HCOP.

What is required to participate in a research study?

HCOP is a program that has a research component. The research from HCOP is used to study how effective the program is in preparing students for a career in the health profession. HCOP  Ambassadors will be asked to participate in these studies and while we encourage participation, it is voluntary and participants can withdraw at any time.

What is an informed consent?

An informed consent verifies that the participant understands the implications of taking part in the research study and has agreed to participate. Consenting is a process where the researchers communicate with the participant ensuring that they understand the study’s expectations. Ambassadors who are 18 years or older need to complete a consent form.

What are an assent and parental consent form?

An assent and parental consent form is the agreement of someone who is not able to give legal consent to participate in the research study because they are a minor (under 18 y.o). Participants under 18 years old require the consent of the parent or legal guardian as well as the assent of the participant.