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Health Information Management Merit Scholarships by AHIMA Foundation

Health Information Management ScholarshipsThe American Health Information Management Association Foundation, also known as the AHIMA Foundation, provides students with merit scholarship opportunities in the health care management industry. The scholarships are designed to attract talented students to the health information management field through support in educational endeavors. These annual scholarships are available to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in the health information management and health information technology fields. Since they are based on merit, a student’s financial need is not taken into consideration for eligibility.

The AHIMA Merit Scholarships are available to multiple students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2011, 58 students out of 215 total applicants received scholarships valued at $91,500 in total. The award recipients were broken down into the four levels: 3 students pursuing doctoral degrees, 19 students pursuing master’s degrees, 18 students pursuing bachelor’s degrees/Post-Baccalaureate Certificates and 18 students pursuing associate’s degrees. The students represented 23 Component State Associations and in general had earned an average grade point average of 3.9 out a 4.0 scale.

Scholarship Categories & Degree Levels

  • Associate. $1,000 scholarships are available to students pursuing an associate’s degree in either health information management or health information technology through a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIM).
  • Bachelor/Post-Baccalaureate. $1,500 scholarships are available to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree or a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in health information management or health information technology through a CAHIM accredited school.
  • Master. $2,000 scholarships are available to students completing a master’s degree in an area related to health information management or health information technology
  • Doctoral. $2,500 scholarships are available to students completing a doctoral degree in an area related to health care management.

General Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a scholarship in one of the four levels available, students must meet the following general criteria:

  • Student must be a current active or student member of the American Health Information Management Association.
  • Student must be enrolled for at least six credits hours in pursuit of a degree.
  • Student must have completed at least 24 credit hours in pursuit of a degree. Graduate students can use undergraduate credit hours to meet this requirement.
  • Student must have at least six credit hours of study remaining after the award date of December 30, 2013.
  • Student must have earned a grade point average of at least 3.5 out of a 4.0 scale or a 4.5 out of a 5.0 scale, computed using the most recently completed 24 credit hours of study.
  • Student must submit the completed online application packet with all the required components.

Additional Application Requirements

  • Student must have the Program Director at his school verify his enrollment in an accredited program via email.
  • Student must complete a series of essay questions, including general and level-specific required essay questions and optional essay questions. These essay questions focus on topics relevant to the student’s interest and role in the health care administration industry.
  • Students must attach a PDF copy of their unofficial school transcripts to their online application packet.
  • Students must attach a resume to the online application packet in the section labeled “Professional and Volunteer” information.
  • Student must provide contact information for two references, one of which must be an educator. The references will be contacted via email to provide their recommendations electronically.

Specialty Scholarships

There are also some merit scholarships with specific criteria which can require additional documentation. Students interested in these particular scholarships must fill out the general online application packet, complete any of the sections specific to the specialty merit scholarships and will be considered for any of the scholarships they are eligible for. Some of these specialty scholarships include:

  • The AHIMA Foundation Board Chair’s Graduate Scholarship for graduate students who have demonstrated leadership skills within the field of health care administration.
  • The CSA Leadership Scholarships for students who demonstrate a solid history of volunteer involvement.
  • The Rita Finnegan Memorial Scholarships for students who demonstrate above average potential in the healthcare management field.
  • The Walter Murray Scholarship for students who reside in New Jersey.
  • The Esther Mayo Sherard Scholarship for African-American students.
  • The HCR Sanfra Key/Pat Gorman Memorial Scholarships for second-career students focusing on health information technology.

Application Review Criteria

Each student application received will be evaluated by the AHIMA Foundation Scholarship Committee. The following criteria will be used to determine eligibility:

  • The student’s earned grade point average and academic achievement.
  • The student’s professional experience through work and volunteer opportunities.
  • The student’s commitment to the field of health care management.
  • The value and significance of the student’s references.
  • The student’s ability to communicate clearly and comprehensively.

Important Dates

  • July 1: The online application system opens.
  • September 30: The online application system closes.
  • November 30: Award notification letters are emailed out to scholarship winners.
  • December 30: Awards are mailed to scholarship recipients.

An automated verification is emailed to the applicant when the application process is completed and all required documents are received by AHIMA. Once recipients are chosen, they will receive an award notification email on November 30, 2012. The email will also contain a request for a short biography of the recipient to be shared with the scholarship sponsors. The award checks are mailed to the recipients directly on December 30, 2012. While applicants cannot receive more than one award per year, they can reapply each year for one of the available merit scholarships. For more information on the AHIMA Scholarships go to their scholarship page.