Jump to content

Medical report for prestigious scholarships?


Recommended Posts


I wanted to apply for a scholarship in the States a few months go. I ended up not doing it because one of the required documents was a "medical report" both physical and psychological. I feared I would be discriminated against because I have a disability, despite all of my accomplishments, good grades, research experience, etc. Anyone else been in this situation? Are there risks of discrimination when they ask for these reports? 



Edited by Adelaide9216
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! This sounds like a super fishy / sketchy thing to ask for in a scholarship application. Some scholarships from private donors can basically ask for whatever they want though. But to me, asking for something like this is a sign of a bad organization! 

The only legitimate reason to ask is to ensure the applicant can actually attend the program in question, since sometimes having medical issues can prevent you from getting the travel visas necessary to enter another country. To be legitimate, the organization better be very clear that this information will be separated from the evaluation criteria and only considered when it's time to make an offer. But better yet, they should just only ask this information if the applicant chooses to accept the award.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen it in the Fulbright website actually. At the bottom, in the Notes section.



Yes, it's kinda sketchy because discrimination do happen, especially in the workplace, but I never thought I would find something like that for a scholarship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh okay, I had suspected you might be talking about the Fulbright, because that was the only example in my head where I thought asking for this information would be okay (see below). In 2011, I had also applied for the same Fulbright program so I remember reading about this. From 2014-2016 though (approx. years), this program was cancelled so I'm glad to see it's back for this year :) I made it through several cuts but did not get one in the end.

I think their request is okay because it says, "Grantees must demonstrate sound physical and mental health. Finalists are required to submit a Medical History and Examination Report before their grants can be completed."

To me, this reads as if they won't even ask for or consider your medical history when deciding who should get the grant. Like in my post above, this is the request at the final stage, similar to how some schools won't ask for the official transcript or GRE scores until they are ready to make that final offer.

The reason that the Fulbright needs to know this is because if you get the Fulbright, you will be on J-1 (exchange visitor) instead of the standard F-1 (foreign student) status. To be on J-1, you must demonstrate sound health because you cannot get a J visa/status if US Customs and Immigration and US Department of State believe that you are just entering the US for medical treatment (lol). Also, you must be on certain types of insurance as a J-1 and in the past (before Obamacare/ACA), insurance companies can deny you insurance if you have pre-existing conditions. This happened to us!! :o Fortunately, as of yesterday, the plan to get rid of Obamacare/ACA in the US has been withdrawn, but who knows what will happen in the future. 

So to be clear, the health requirement is actually not a Fulbright requirement but a requirement by the US Customs and Immigration (which determines who gets to go in the country) and US Department of State (which administers the J visitor program). Fortunately, this is rarely a requirement for University-based funding because most schools will also offer health insurance and insurance offered by the school in this way generally does not preclude people with pre-existing conditions. This is also not a requirement for the standard F-1 student status. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use