5 Great Scholarships for Social Work Students

Social work students invest a lot of time and money into their education, especially those going for their master’s or doctoral degrees. If you’re interested in starting a career within this field, you should apply for as many social work scholarships as possible. To give you a head start on finding those scholarships, this list will introduce you to five of the more popular options.

1. American Clinical Social Work Association Scholarships

The ACSWA operates two annual scholarship funds, and they can award more than one student for each fund every year. The Osman Award provides $1,500 scholarships to students completing their first year of a master’s degree program in social work, and the Holm Award provides $1,500 scholarships to students completing their final year of a master’s degree program.

To qualify for either award, you must enter a professional paper that provides a detailed overview of a noteworthy clinical intervention that you completed. There are specific guidelines regarding the information to write up, including a discussion of the theories that you implemented and your decision process when deciding on those theories. Scholarships are only available to association members, and membership costs $35 annually.

2. National Association of Junior Auxiliaries Scholarship

This scholarship is limited to graduate-level students planning careers that will benefit the special needs of children. If your future career will involve working directly with children to better their lives in a powerful way, there’s a good chance that you’ll qualify for at least one year of assistance from this fund.

Other qualifications include:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Permanent resident of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri or Tennessee
  • Registered or intend to register as a full-time or part-time graduate student

Find the current year’s application form online, and then apply between September 1 and February 1. Note that you may compete with applicants studying social work as well as many other fields that benefit children.

3. University of Southern California Virtual Academic Scholarships

If you plan on completing any social work degree through this university, make sure to ask about your scholarship opportunities. The school offers scholarships to incoming students in any social work program, but the highest awards are offered to master’s degree students through the Dean’s Leadership Scholarship fund. Recipients are chosen based on their leadership experience and receive a $12,500 scholarship each semester. They can receive up to $50,000 in funding by the time they finish their program.

4. Council on Social Work Education Scholars Program

While this scholarship program isn’t guaranteed to award winners every year, it’s worth checking their website or giving them a call to see if they’re accepting applications while you’re studying for your doctoral degree in social work. The amount of the scholarship varies, and you must agree to complete a research project that is of mutual interest to you and the council. If you have a research project in mind, you may consider pitching them your idea to see if you can secure some valuable funding.

5. Carl A. Scott Memorial Fund Scholarships

This is another scholarship offered through the Council on Social Work Education, but it’s limited to applicants actively working for greater social justice and equality. You must attend a school accredited by the council to qualify, and only full-time students going into their last year of study for a bachelor’s or master’s degree are eligible. Only African American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander applicants can win this scholarship, and you can only accept the funding one time in your educational career.

Related Resource: 50 Most Affordable Accredited MSW Programs in the East 2016

Many social work students will qualify for a variety of scholarships based on their ethnicity or religious affiliations, so it’s worth spending a little time researching additional opportunities. You should also check with local social work organizations and your state to see if you qualify for location-based scholarships. If you’re already working in the social work field, you may also qualify for some grants and fellowships based on that experience.