Definition of Environmentally and Economically Disadvantaged


Environmentally disadvantaged is defined as an individual who comes from an environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a school. Students who meet one or more of the following criteria can be considered environmentally disadvantaged:

  • First generation college students
  • Students who were living in a city with a population of less than 10,000 or a county with a population of less than 25,000 at the time they graduated high school
  • Students who graduated from a high school that has a lower than the state average number of students attending college within 3 months of high school graduation
  • Students who graduated from a high school that has a higher than the state of Mississippi average of students eligible for the free or reduced lunch program
  • Hometown county listed as a Health Professional Shortage Area by HRSA

An individual from a disadvantaged background is defined as someone who:
(a) comes from an environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill, and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a school (environmentally disadvantaged opens in a new window);

or

(b) comes from a family with an annual income below a level which is based on low-income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) for adaptation to this program (economically disadvantaged opens in a new window).

Applicants who meet the following criteria are considered environmentally disadvantaged

  • Have the abilities needed to succeed in a health career, but come from backgrounds and educational environments that have made it difficult for them to reach and fully demonstrate their academic potential; and
  •  Are more likely than other students to provide care to underserved areas and populations following completion of their degree.

EXAMPLES - schools are not limited to these examples only

  • The individual graduated from (or last attended) a high school with low SAT score based on most recent data available:
  • The individual graduated from (or last attended) a high school from which, based on most recent data available:
    • low percentage of seniors receive a high school diploma; or
    • low percentage of graduates go to college during the first year after graduation.
  • The individual graduated from (or last attended) a high school with low per capita funding.
  • The individual graduated from (or last attended) a high school at which, based on most recent data available, many of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced price lunches.
  • The individual comes from a family that receives public assistance (e.g., Aid to Families with Dependent Children, food stamps, Medicaid, public housing).
  • The individual comes from a family that lives in an area that is designated under section 332 of the Act as a health professional shortage area.

 What is meant by the "family" mentioned in the above  "economically disadvantaged"?

"Family" refers only to parent’s income and parent’s size of family. It does NOT refer to the applicants’s income and student’s family size, regardless of whether a student is independent or dependent.