2024-2025 SDS applications open in July and are due on August 15, 2024. 

College of Nursing Graduate Student Scholarships

Brooklyn’s Bridge: Reaching Across the Healthcare Quality Chasm with Advanced Practice Nurses

Graduate Student Scholarships are available to SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University College of Nursing students through a grant that has been awarded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) Program. The funds are available to full-time FNP or WHNP MS students,  DNP students, or RN MS Midwifery students (in the School of Health Professions) from environmentally and/or educational disadvantaged backgrounds who demonstrate financial need (according to recent FAFSA application).

Spotlight on SDS Program Scholars

photo of Josephine Mfon Edem, DNP, FNP - BC, AAHIVS

My dream of obtaining my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree was made possible with the support of the HRSA SDS grant. With the grant, I was able to focus more on my studies and worry less about financial burdens. I am grateful that the HRSA SDS grant provided me financial assistance to continue my nursing education to give back and help underserved communities as a Family Nurse Practitioner at the Bedford - Stuyvesant Family Health Center (FQHC).

Josephine Mfon Edem, DNP, FNP-BC, AAHIVS
Clinical Adjunct Professor, Downstate College of Nursing
photo of Donald A. French, DNP, M.S.Ed., FNP-BC, RN-BC

Scholarships can make an academic dream a financial reality for aspiring healthcare leaders. As a doctoral candidate of the inaugural DNP class of 2021 and a recipient of the HRSA SDS scholarship at SUNY Downstate, I am grateful for the opportunity.

Donald A. French, DNP, M.S.Ed., FNP-BC, RN-BC
Clinical Adjunct Professor, Downstate College of Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions

The SDS Scholarship Program provides scholarships/ living expense stipends up to ~$30,000 annually to full-time nursing students from environmentally and/or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, and have financial need (according to recent FAFSA application). The program’s goal is to increase the number of students in health professions to provide care in underserved areas and to underserved populations following completion of the student’s degree.
Funds are awarded to select, eligible full-time students who: (A) are from an educationally/environmentally disadvantaged background; (B) have filed a FAFSA form; and (C) are citizens/nationals of the United States. 

“Educationally / environmentally disadvantaged background” means an individual has experiences that have made it difficult to obtain knowledge, skills, and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a health professions school. For example:

The individual is the first generation in his or her family to attend college;

English is not the individual’s primary language and language is still a barrier to academic performance;

The individual comes from a family that received public assistance (e.g., Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, Medicaid, and/or public housing);

The individual graduated from a high school with low average SAT/ACT scores, or below average state test/Regents’ results, according to published data.

The individual graduated from a high school that had a low percentage of seniors receiving a high school diploma, according to published data.

The individual graduated from a high school that had a low percentage of graduates (<60%) who go to college during the first year after graduation, according to published data.

The individual graduated from a high school where many students (at least 30%) were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches; according to published data.

Examples of current published data supplied by the New York State Education Department can be accessed by dataset or district name.

No. You need to be enrolled in the standard program of study (i.e., standard academic “pathway”) for the summer, fall, and spring semesters in the year that you are applying for SDS funds. Students are NOT eligible to apply if expected graduation is in Summer or Fall semester of the year that the student is applying for SDS funds.
Yes, however you must reapply each year. Selection preference is not based upon prior award.
No. There is not adequate financial need after a full tuition waiver.
Yes. Loans will usually be reduced by the SDS scholarship. Please check with a SUNY Downstate Financial Aid Counselor to confirm what happens to loans in your unique situation.
SDS funds are limited. Application is not a guarantee of award. Eligible applicants will have their applications reviewed by the scholarship committee in August/September. Awardees will be notified in October. Awards will be posted to your account in two divided disbursements (Fall and Spring). Students who apply must pay for Summer semester, as awards are not dispersed until Fall semester.

2024-2025 SDS Application


Thank you for your interest in the HHS SDS Scholarship Program.

We look forward to reviewing your applications.

Applications will open in July 2024.

Applications are Due on August 15, 2024.