The 2020 Application Period Has Closed

Information on the 2021 application period will be available in January 2021.

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.

Please read the overview and application carefully, as we have made changes to the Scholarship Program this year.

2020 Timeline:

Awardee Notifications: New! Monday, June 15, 2020, through Friday, June 19, 2020
Awards Ceremony: New!

We had planned to celebrate our scholarship recipients at the annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony in July. However, due to gathering restrictions and the need to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and their families, we will not be holding a ceremony this year. Our recipients will be notified of their scholarship awards by email and receive a special certificate. 


    To be eligible to apply for a Foundation scholarship, an employee must meet the qualifications below as of the April 24, 2020, 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 2020 – June 2021). (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, he or she 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 2020 and June 2021.) Eligible courses are those taken for credit and which are acceptable toward a traditional college degree (e.g., bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree). 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
      Download this fillable scholarship application, and complete, save, and rename it.

    2. Supervisor Recommendation Form
      Download this fillable supervisor recommendation form, and give it to your supervisor to complete and submit directly to the Foundation. Please note that your application will not be considered if your supervisor does not submit this form by the deadline. (You may email it to your supervisor to complete and email to the Foundation.)
    3. Most Recent Transcript with Cumulative GPA OR  Acceptance Letter (if newly enrolled)
      Submit only one of these documents to the Foundation.
    4. Proof of Cost of Attendance
      Provide proof that verifies your estimated tuition costs for the upcoming school year (July 2020 – June 2021). Proof must clearly show school name and cost per class or unit.
    5. Personal Statement
      Read the guidelines on the fillable personal statement form. Provide your statement on the second page or submit in a separate document. Please limit to one page.

    Application Reminders:

    1. It is your responsibility to double-check that your application is complete and submit all of the required documents. When we receive your entire application packet, we will notify you.
    2. If you are a repeat applicant, you must  submit updated documents and information.

      Please submit all required documents (with the exception of your recommendation form, which must be submitted by your supervisor) directly to the Foundation, by Friday, April 24, 2020. You may email them to or deliver them to the Foundation office (Suite 100 in the Medical Office Tower).

    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 up front.

    Should you be awarded a scholarship, we will send you 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 2020 and June 2021:

    • 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 a 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 on July 16, 2020. If you do not attend the ceremony, you may have your award revoked.

    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