Students in Social Work: Explore Scholarships
A degree in Social Work prepares you to enter into any one of a variety of careers and work situations—school counseling, hospitals and medical center work, and even private practice. When it comes to paying for your college education—undergraduate or graduate—subject-specific scholarships must be part of your financial aid strategy.
Besides general tuition scholarships for Social Work, you can expand your options with awards for minority students and “disadvantaged” students. This field, particularly at the graduate level, remains under-represented by minorities, so there is plenty of opportunity for reimbursement if you’re a minority Social Work student.
Good scholarship sources for Social Work include the following:
- Federal and state government programs
- Colleges and universities
- Private and professional sources
Governments in particular, no matter what state you’re in, are bound to be interested in funding social workers, so make government sources your first choice.
Government Social Work Scholarships
Why do federal and state governments sponsor the studies of so many Social Work students? It’s in their best interest to promote several fields of study that are important for the common well-being of the United States—such as healthcare and mental health.
Cash incentives for students often yield positive results when it comes to keeping a good stock of professionals working within the state. Better yet, if scholarships can be exchanged for a few years of Social Work practice in a public facility, then the State’s infrastructure is kept alive at the same time that new working professionals are given a chance to succeed.
The federally-funded Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students, administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, is available to graduate Social Work students enrolled at a participating school. Eligible candidates must be financially disadvantaged to qualify for funds.
Scholarships from Colleges and Universities
Nearly all colleges and universities offer a diverse array of scholarships. In fact, some schools have well-publicized coffers of endowed scholarships that are worth many millions of dollars.
Checking your college or university for scholarship opportunities is a must, but do you know all the various places to look in your school’s scholarship lists?
For specific Social Work awards, you should go through the Department or College of Social Work. Rather than exclusively checking with the financial aid office, you could find a variety of programs through your individual department, from academic awards for undergrads and grads, fellowships and assistantships for graduate and post-grad Social Work students, as well as smaller cash awards for student travel and research.
You’ll also find some very good scholarships to help pay for your Social Work degree from various other sources.
A solid source is the many professional associations and societies that are in the business of supporting both employed Social Workers and students. Members often have access to a number of scholarships and fellowships. For example:
- The National Association of Social Workers sponsors a handful of scholarships for students. Awards are aimed at Doctoral and Masters level scholars and also for those engaged in research projects.
If you focus your scholarship search, make it known that you have very targeted goals, and leave no stone unturned in your search for scholarship money. As a socil working student, you will have a slight advantage in funding your college dreams.
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