Lisangi Fernandez, Alec Weiss and Katie Wenzel, students in the Rutgers School of Health Professions Physician Assistant program, received full scholarships in return for working in underserved areas for a minimum of two years after they graduate in 2021, according to Rutgers Today.

“No matter where you live, you should have the same access to health care as anyone else,” said Wenzel. “That’s what drives me.”

That commitment is shared by two classmates of Wenzel’s—and it has earned all three full scholarships from the National Health Service Corps in exchange for working in underserved communities or with underserved populations after they graduate.

The federal National Health Service Corps scholarship program lifts the burden of loans, allowing medical providers to choose primary care rather than higher-paid specialized medicine. Its aim is to build healthy communities in high-needs areas by widening access to primary care.

“It is quite a prestigious scholarship, and to have three in one class speaks to the quality of the students in our program and to their passion for helping underserved populations get the health care they need,” said Lori Palfreyman, assistant director of PA admissions and program assessment.

The Rutgers PA program is one of the most competitive in the country, with only 50 seats and nearly 1,500 applicants.

Read the full story in Rutgers Today.