38 USC 7612 - Eligibility; application; agreement

(a) 
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an individual must be accepted for enrollment or be enrolled (as described in section 7602 of this title) as a full-time student to be eligible to participate in the Scholarship Program.
(2) An individual who is an eligible Department employee may be accepted as a participant if accepted for enrollment or enrolled (as described in section 7602 of this title) for study on less than a full-time but not less than a half-time basis. (Such a participant is hereinafter in this subchapter referred to as a part-time student.)
(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2) of this subsection, an eligible Department employee is a full-time Department employee who is permanently assigned to a Department health-care facility on the date on which the individual submits the application referred to in section 7603 of this title and on the date on which the individual becomes a participant in the Scholarship Program.

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(b) 
(1) A scholarship may be awarded under this subchapter only in a qualifying field of education or training.
(2) A qualifying field of education or training for purposes of this subchapter is education or training leading to employment (under section 7401 of this title) as any of the following:
(A) A physician, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, nurse, physician assistant, or expanded function dental auxiliary.
(B) A psychologist described in section 7401 (3) of this title or a certified or registered respiratory therapist, licensed physical therapist, or licensed practical or vocational nurse.
(3) The Secretary may designate additional fields of education or training as qualifying fields of education or training if the education or training leads to employment in a position which would qualify the individual for increased basic pay under subsection (a)(1) of section 7455 of this title for personnel described in subsection (a)(2)(B) of such section.
(4) Before awarding the initial scholarship in a course of education or training other than medicine or nursing, the Secretary shall notify the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Secretarys intent to award a scholarship in such course of education or training. The notice shall include a statement of the reasons why the award of scholarships in that course of education or training is necessary to assist in providing the Department with an adequate supply of personnel in the health profession concerned. Any such notice shall be given not less than 60 days before the first such scholarship is awarded.
(5) In selecting applicants for the Scholarship Program, the Secretary
(A) shall give priority to applicants who will be entering their final year in a course of training; and
(B) shall ensure an equitable allocation of scholarships to persons enrolled in the second year of a program leading to an associate degree in nursing.

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(c) 
(1) An agreement between the Secretary and a participant in the Scholarship Program shall (in addition to the requirements set forth in section 7604 of this title) include the following:
(A) The Secretarys agreement to provide the participant with a scholarship under this subchapter for a specified number (from one to four) of school years during which the participant is pursuing a course of education or training described in section 7602 of this title.
(B) The participants agreement to serve as a full-time employee in the Veterans Health Administration for a period of time (hereinafter in this subchapter referred to as the period of obligated service) of one calendar year for each school year or part thereof for which the participant was provided a scholarship under the Scholarship Program, but for not less than two years.
(2) In a case in which an extension is granted under section 7614 (3) of this title, the number of years for which a scholarship may be provided under this subchapter shall be the number of school years provided for as a result of the extension.
(3) In the case of a participant who is a part-time student
(A) the period of obligated service shall be reduced in accordance with the proportion that the number of credit hours carried by such participant in any such school year bears to the number of credit hours required to be carried by a full-time student in the course of training being pursued by the participant, but in no event to less than one year; and
(B) the agreement shall include the participants agreement to maintain employment, while enrolled in such course of education or training, as a Department employee permanently assigned to a Department health-care facility.
(4) If a participants period of obligated service is deferred under section 7616 (b)(3)(A)(i) of this title, the agreement terms under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall provide for the participant to serve any additional period of obligated service that is prescribed by the Secretary under section 7616 (b)(4)(B) of this title.