In 1986, as one of its efforts to address the scarcity of financial support for minority students enrolled in physical therapy education programs, APTA’s Office of Minority Affairs began working with the Foundation for Physical Therapy to establish the Minority Scholarship Fund. This was in response to a recommendation from the Advisory Council on Minority Affairs. The fund was created to help minority students enter and remain in physical therapy education programs. The hope was that the availability of needs-based scholarship money would enable the physical therapy profession to compete with medicine and dentistry, offering funding to minority students who showed good potential for training. The scholarships were provided to students currently working toward their physical therapy degree, where the need for support was most critical.
In 1992 the Minority Scholarship Fund folded into a new Physical Therapy Fund, which continued to offer Minority Scholarship Awards. Thanks to the generosity of APTA members and supporters, more than $1,000,000 in awards had been issued by the fund’s 30th anniversary in 2018.