To be eligible to participate in the Program, an individual must be an eligible Department employee who is accepted for enrollment or enrolled (as described in section 7602 of this title) as a full-time or part-time student in a field of education or training described in subsection (c).
(b) Eligible Department Employees.—
(c) Qualifying Fields of Education or Training.—
A scholarship may be awarded under the Program only for education and training in a field leading to appointment or retention in a position under section 7401 of this title.
(d) Award of Scholarships.—
Notwithstanding section 7603(d) of this title, the Secretary, in selecting participants in the Program, may award a scholarship only to applicants who have a record of employment with the Veterans Health Administration which, in the judgment of the Secretary, demonstrates a high likelihood that the applicant will be successful in completing such education or training and in employment in such field.
(1) An agreement between the Secretary and a participant in the Program shall (in addition to the requirements set forth in section 7604 of this title) include the following:
The Secretary’s agreement to provide the participant with a scholarship under the Program for a specified number (from one to three) of school years during which the participant pursues a course of education or training described in subsection (c) that meets the requirements set forth in section 7602(a) of this title.
The participant’s 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”) determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of up to three calendar years for each school year or part thereof for which the participant was provided a scholarship under the Program, but for not less than 3 years.
In a case in which an extension is granted under section 7673(c)(2) of this title, the number of years for which a scholarship may be provided under the Program shall be the number of school years provided for as a result of the extension.
In the case of a participant who is a part-time student, 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 1 year.
(Added Pub. L. 105–368, title VIII, § 802(a), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3352; amended Pub. L. 107–14, § 8(a)(16), June 5, 2001, 115 Stat. 35; Pub. L. 107–135, title I, § 101(b), Jan. 23, 2002, 115 Stat. 2447.)