For the second year in a row, Augsburg PA is proud to share another student has received the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) from Veterans Affairs. The goal of the scholarship program is to increase the supply of PAs within the VA but also for the nation.
Brandon Cottrell served in the United States Army from 2010 to 2016 with a deployment to Afghanistan. After his six years of service, he pursued a bachelor’s degree from Augsburg. Prior to being accepted into PA school, Brandon worked as a radiology technician. Now in his second year in the Physician Assistant Studies program, he is rotating through clinical experiences.
While Brandon was working in radiology, Brandon realized that he wanted to do more; understanding that he had medical capabilities that would be useful beyond his current license. Through researching advanced positions, the PA profession seemed a good fit. Even before admission into PA school, Brandon knew about the scholarship. Several of his medical professional acquaintances had received financial assistance in exchange for service.
Financial aid for graduate school seems to be few and far in between. Most PA students rely on loans to assist with not only tuition but also the cost of living. There are applicants from across the nation that apply for the Health Professional Scholarship Program. Through this program, the VA pays for the rest of a student’s tuition, fees, and even a living stipend to assist with daily expenses. In return for aid, scholarship recipients agree to work at least two years at a VA healthcare facility.
For Brandon, the chance to give back to his population, veterans, was an additional motivator. “Veterans have unique healthcare needs, and I hope to meet them.” After submitting his application, Brandon waited for approximately one and a half months before finding out if his application had been selected. He received an email announcing that he received the scholarship and was thrilled! In addition to the relief from student loans, Brandon is looking forward to the “opportunity to remain involved with those who serve by serving them.”
There is a possibility that Brandon would need to relocate for an open position. He would be open to moving to somewhere warmer than Minnesota and devoid of mosquitos! Anywhere in Arizona, the Carolina’s or Texas would be ideal locations for him to settle into.
Read more for an update on last year’s Augsburg PA HPSP scholarship recipient, Rachel Gratz.