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Want to be a doctor? You can go to Tennessee State University for free. Here's how to qualify.

The deadline to apply is March 31, 2021.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Calling all high school seniors that want to be a doctor. Your chances just increased with the opportunity for a full scholarship to a Tennessee University. Local 24 News Weeknight Anchor Katina Rankin has the story.

"You can't compete with free. I mean, we got a full ride so no matter what another school can offer, this is a free ride - plus you get the nurturing, the caring, enrichment that comes with a HBCU experience," said Tennessee State University President Dr. Glenda Glover.

Tennessee State University President and Memphis native Dr. Glenda Glover is looking for high school seniors. If they're interested in becoming a doctor or dentist, she wants to give them a full scholarship to the university. The reason is deeper than just getting an education.

"There's such a shortage of STEM majors now. That leads to a shortage of biology - those students who want to be doctors and dentists, so we need to get that pipeline open," said Dr. Glover.

Black men are top of mind. According to Dr. Glover, she says the Association of American Medical Colleges reports only 5% of doctors in the U.S. are Black men.

"That 5% is a disgraceful number, but we know the why behind it. We know there's just not enough funding to go around," said Dr. Glover. "There may be a disproportionate impact, but it's because, a result of what has happened for years and years and years of neglect and disparities in healthcare. That's what happened to African Americans. Our population has had to endure this."

So, TSU is partnering with Meharry Medical School to change the narrative.

Here's how their program works. You get a scholarship to TSU, a free ride. Those eligible TSU students will fast track - graduate from the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in three years before going on to Meharry to study medicine or dentistry. And studies show Meharry grads go on to serve patients in often overlooked and vulnerable communities throughout the country.

"Establish African-American doctors and dentists so they can come to our community and offer the services, healthcare services that we need in underserved communities that we represent," said Dr. Glover.

Coming up: We'll talk to a Black male doctor about his journey. Why he says the opportunity being offered is a necessary one.

Meantime, if you're a high school senior or the parent of one, just click the link HERE to apply. But hurry, the deadline is March 31st. 

And, Dr. Glover says money is still available for students.

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