PATH Grant for Healthcare Students


Interested in the health care field? The PATH (Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare Workforce Program) Grant offers training and aims to expand opportunities in health science programs, address workforce shortages, and support career advancement.

Be part of the solution and become a nurse, EMT-paramedic, physical therapist assistant, surgical technologist and more! Illinois needs high-skill workers like you. Black Hawk College can provide stipends for current health care students' tuition, books, equipment and living expenses through this generous state grant.

PATH purpose

The purpose of this grant program is to create, support and expand the opportunities of individuals in the nursing pathway and select health care pathways to obtain credentials and degrees to enter and/or advance their careers in the health care industry. Additionally, this program aims to address the shortage of workers in the health care industry that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Application for Spring 2024

PATH Grant applications are now being accepted for emergency requests only. To be considered an emergency, you must have experienced a sudden, unforeseen event or circumstance. We are no longer accepting regular applications for PATH grant funds for the Spring 2024 term.

For an emergent situation, please email Penny Grunder directly at

Please include your name, student ID, program and the circumstances of your situation. In order to qualify for the emergency funds, you must be currently enrolled in one of the healthcare programs of study listed below:

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Incumbent workers who are already in the workforce looking to continue their education and advance their careers in the nursing or health care pathway in Illinois, OR
  2. New, entering students on a nursing or health care pathway with an identified need for support, OR
  3. First generation or low-income or minority students – or a combination of the above categories, AND
  4. Enrolled in one of the Black Hawk College programs listed above.

Eligible Requests

  • Course materials (books, lab fees, testing fees, test preparation, required attire, etc.)
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Background checks for clinical sites
  • Emergency funds for additional support such as food, housing, transportation and/or child care.
  • Tuition

Note: This is not an all-inclusive list of eligible requests. If there is a request you have that is not on this list, please contact our team at to inquire about its eligibility.

What happens if I need to drop a class that the funding paid for?

If you were in a qualified program at the time, you will not need to repay the grant. However, if you find yourself needing support during the program, please reach out to an advisor or instructor. There may be resources available to help so you don't have to drop a class.

Am I able to keep my textbooks and testing materials after the class is over, or do I have to return them?

Yes, you will be able to keep all materials paid for by the grant.

How do I get reimbursed for expenses already incurred?

Please keep documentation, invoices, and applicable receipts. Contact Penny Grunder at
309-796-5402 or email at Mileage reimbursement must be approved by the grant administrator. If there is an agreement in place, mileage will need to be documented.

Where is this funding coming from?

This funding is coming from the State of Illinois.

Will this funding run out?

There is a time limit on the college’s use of these funds, and we are not guaranteed to receive this grant each year. If you have ideas about things that may help you or your peers finish your courses, please send your ideas to the PATH Grant team at

How do I prove low-income status for eligibility for this grant?

Students may be able to demonstrate financial need through a variety of ways. Federal Pell Grant eligibility is one way an institution may determine financial need of a student. Other ways of determining financial need may be through documentation of public benefits (SNAP, TANF, Medicaid).

Does applying for funds guarantee that I will be approved for the grant?

All applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Awards are granted after careful review by a committee. Application submission does not guarantee an award.

Have more questions? Email us at or stop by HSC322 at the Quad-Cities Campus and talk with Penny Grunder. She can also be reached at
309-796-5402 or

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