Application Overview

Thank you for your interest in our Scholarship Program! This year’s application season is closed, but we will be accepting applications again next year, in February 2022. Please see below for general information about our program.

The purpose of the Saddleback Medical Center Foundation Scholarship Program is to encourage and financially aid Saddleback Medical Center (SMC) employees who are continuing their education. The scholarships are funded by generous Saddleback Medical Center Foundation donors.

Annual Timeline:

Application Goes Live: February
Application Deadline: April
Awardee Notifications: June
Awards Ceremony: July


To be eligible to apply for a Foundation scholarship, an employee must meet the qualifications below as of the April application deadline.

A scholarship applicant must:

  • Have successfully completed twelve (12) months of continuous employment as a permanent full- or part-time (40 hours minimum per pay period) employee. (Per diem employees are not eligible for a scholarship, regardless of hours worked.)
  • Be an SMC employee who has been accepted to attend an accredited educational institution in the next academic year (July – June). (If awarded, scholarship recipient must remain a permanent employee working at SMC for the entire school year.)
  • Submit a copy of their most recent transcript if they were in school within the past five (5) years, or an acceptance letter if they will be a new student this year. If an applicant is not a new student, they must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher to be considered.

Priority will be given, but is not limited, to those employees whose educational goals meet the needs of the hospital. Applicants whose educational goals are not required by a MemorialCare-related career will have to pay taxes on their award should they receive one.

Only employees enrolled in at least one (1) eligible course at an accredited educational institution in the United States during the upcoming school year may receive a scholarship award. (Classes must start and end between July this year and next June.) Eligible courses are those taken for credit and which are acceptable toward a traditional college degree (e.g., bachelor's, master's, or doctorate). Non-credit classes, conferences, seminars, and certificate review courses or programs are not eligible.

Scholarship awards may be used to reimburse course tuition only. Fees for books, course materials, room and board, or any other purpose besides course tuition will not be reimbursed by Foundation scholarship funds.

Application Required Documents:

  1. Application
  2. Supervisor Recommendation Form
  3. Most Recent Transcript with Cumulative GPA OR Acceptance Letter (if newly enrolled)
  4. Proof of Cost of Attendance
  5. Personal Statement

Scholarship Award Policy:

Scholarship funds will be distributed after each class is completed as reimbursement for tuition fees you have already paid. It is your responsibility to pay for your courses upfront.

If you are awarded a scholarship, we will send a letter notifying you of the maximum amount which you may receive for the upcoming academic year. In order to be reimbursed for your course(s), you must earn a C or higher in each course. You must also provide the following documents within 60 days of completing each course between July and June:

  • Completed “Scholarship Reimbursement Request Form” and “Scholarship Reimbursement Questionnaire” (which will be emailed to you after the awards ceremony in July);
  • Itemized receipts/proof of payment of your tuition expenses;  
  • Proof of your final grade(s).

Once we receive and approve these items, we will forward the information to the payroll department on your behalf. Payroll will then process the request and send you the reimbursement funds, which will be included in one of your paychecks; funds will not be disbursed in a separate check. (This process must be repeated for each course you complete during the school year.)

You must also comply with the following requirements to receive scholarship funds:

  1. Submit a letter of appreciation to the Saddleback Medical Center Foundation Scholarship Committee and/or the specific donor (if you are awarded a donor-named scholarship) prior to the awards ceremony. Send the letter to the Foundation, and we will forward it to the appropriate donor.
  2. Attend the awards ceremony in July. If you do not attend the ceremony, you may have your award revoked. (If the ceremony is canceled due to gathering restrictions, we will notify you.)

Additional MemorialCare Financial Aid:

You are eligible to receive a Saddleback Medical Center Foundation scholarship in addition to any education-related employee benefit available through Human Resources, such as tuition reimbursement or loan forgiveness, within the same fiscal year. However, you must provide the amounts you are eligible to receive from these sources on this scholarship application. Whether or not you apply for the Human Resources benefits, the Scholarship Committee considers the potential amounts you could receive when making award decisions.

Additionally, you may not receive double reimbursement from the Foundation and Human Resources for the same classes. 

If you have further questions, please email