Scholarship FAQ’s for Education Coordinators

The following is a list of frequently asked questions by Virginia Education Coordinators.  If you do not see your question here, please e-mail Chad Blosser (chad.blosser@vdh.virginia.gov) so we can update this list.

Questions

Answers

What are the requirements for my program in order to ensure it is eligible for the scholarship?


Initial certification programs must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for the Virginia EMS Scholarship Program.  Your program:

  • must be a Virginia approved initial certification course
  • the program AND/OR the Education Coordinator who announced the course must be at or above the 16th percentile
    • the 16th percentile is a benchmark used to compare programs and instructors against their peers
  • the program AND/OR the Education Coordinator shall not have any current OEMS imposed enforcement actions from the Division of Regulation and Compliance
  • the program AND/OR the Education Coordinator must be listed as an “open” course on the OEMS database allowing for enrollments from the public without discrimination
  • the course (or program) shall charge the same tuition rate for the program to all enrollees

 

Can I use paper-based course enrollment forms with the scholarship program?


No.  The Virginia EMS Scholarship Program requires that the Education Coordinator make use of online enrollments in order to ensure that students have enough time to complete their application for the scholarship program.  A student will have 10 days after the course start date as recorded in the OEMS certification database in order to apply for a scholarship.  At midnight on the 10th day, the scholarship program will close for your course and will no longer be available to your students.

It is incumbent on the Education Coordinator to review and accept student enrollments promptly in the Virginia EMS Portal.

 

I am concerned about the requirement that I only have a five (5) day window to accept or deny enrollments in my program and I am further concerned about how this will affect the 10-day window to apply for the Virginia EMS Scholarship Program.


The Virginia EMS Portal and the Virginia EMS Scholarship Program module allow an Education Coordinator to announce a course to the office months in advance of the course start date.  Once the course is approved by the Office, the Education Coordinator can begin the process of having students enroll online–well in advance of the first day of class.  This provides the Education Coordinator plenty of time to approve or deny enrollments for a particular program.  Opening and approving enrollments early also allows the student to apply for the scholarship well in advance of the course begin date + 10-days application window.  The student will also know what their award amount in advance of the course starting if you begin enrollment early.

If the Education Coordinator chooses to wait until the first day of class to have students enroll, then it is incumbent on them to ensure they are approving/denying students into their program as soon as possible in order for the student to have the maximum amount of time provided within the 10-day application window to apply for a scholarship.  EMS regulations require that all students must be enrolled in a program within five (5) business days from start of course.  

 

Once the Virginia EMS Scholarship Award is determined, how long will it be before the student receives a check?


Scholarship checks will not be cut until after the course begin date as listed in the Office of EMS database.  Once the course has started, it should take approximately 30-45 days for the student to receive the scholarship check.

 

Where can I get a copy of the Virginia Substitute W-9 in order to assist my students with filling it out and getting it scanned in before they apply for the scholarship?


The Virginia Substitute W-9 Form can be downloaded from the following link:  http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/23/2018/09/W9.pdf 

 

Does the scholarship application ask about Pell Grants and other financial aid?  If so, how is it factored in? 


The Virginia EMS Scholarship Program does not ask about other financial assistance programs in the application process and therefore it is not factored in as a part of the award process.  Students are require to have an out-of-pocket expense for the program they are attending in order to apply for the scholarship.  If a student has not had an out-of-pocket expense for the EMS program they are takin–because their educational costs are fully covered by Pell Grants and/or other scholarships–then the student should not apply for the scholarship program.

The only time a student should make application for the Virginia EMS Scholarship program is if they have had an out-of-pocket expense for their education.  Random audits of applicants, requesting verification of actual out-of-pocket expenses, will be conducted before scholarship applications are approved and an award is made.

 

It is our understanding in the Virginia Community College System that Intermediate-Paramedic students will have to forfeit the scholarship due to their current certification level.  Is this true?


No.  Intermediate to Paramedic (I-P) students are not forfeiting a scholarship. I-P students are–in all actuality–Paramedic students and should be enrolled in a Virginia approved Paramedic program. All Intermediates that are transitioning to Paramedic should be enrolled in a separate Virginia Office of EMS course approval which indicates their actual tuition charges for taking that program which is essentially the same as the old I-P Bridge Program. This EMS course number should only include Intermediates transitioning to Paramedic, not Emergency Medical Technicians taking a paramedic program.

 

Virginia Community College System Program Directors were all instructed by OEMS to create “catch-all” courses to enroll students in (running one semester or less) for all levels, in case they need more clinical time.  How does OEMS view these in light of the Virginia EMS Scholarship Program?


The Office does not have a problem with ‘catch-all” programs in the Virginia Community College System.  “Catch -all” programs are perfectly acceptable from our point of view and make sense for what you are doing in the VCCS.  These programs, when announced the Office should be “closed” programs, which will make them ineligible for the Virginia EMS Scholarship Program.  Students being transferred into “catch-all” programs are doing so because they have not met the completion requirements of their original program.  These students would have already had an opportunity to apply for a scholarship in their ORIGINAL program and would still be under contract for the scholarship received in their original program.  A student is only allowed to have one scholarship at a time.  Simply transferring that student to a “catch-all” program for easier tracking, does not negate their responsibilities under the contract they signed for their original scholarship.

Due to the variety of individuals and the various points at which these students will be entering these “catch-all” programs, there is the off chance that a student here or there will not be eligible for a scholarship.  The accredited site Program Director should make sure all students enrolling in a “catch-all” program understand they will not be eligible for a scholarship.