Career opportunities in social work seek to grow, and nearly all positions require post-secondary training, with more and more employers recruiting graduated social workers. While funding for a social work degree can pose a challenge for many students, foundation-based social worker scholarships and grants, special interest groups, honor societies, and other organizations can defray tuition and associated costs.
The following list of scholarships benefits social workers aspiring to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies. Some of these social work scholarships offer general need-based assistance to low-income students, while others give merit-based awards. Several programs target specific regional/ethnic/racial groups, religious-faith members, or areas of professional practice. Check each website to determine deadlines for application and the current eligibility requirements.
Alice M. Yarnold and Samuel Yarnold Scholarship Trust
Alice M. and Samuel Yarnold Scholarship Trust is a foundation that focuses on scholarships, financial help services for students, and awards. Alice M and Samuel Yarnold Scholarship Trust was founded in 1995 and has its headquarters in Portsmouth, NH. This trust was established to help students entering the fields of nursing, medicine, or social work who may not otherwise be able to afford college due to financial circumstances.
Applicants must be residents of New Hampshire, already in the post-secondary education process, who can demonstrate both financial necessity and academic excellence. This scholarship provides funding for New Hampshire residents who already pursue a post-secondary degree in social work, medicine, or nursing, intending to practice within the state. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence and financial need.
A Place for Mom Senior Care Innovation Scholarship
A Place for Mom is proud to offer its $1,000 annual scholarship to university students interested in ageing and gerontology. As the largest senior living referral service in the nation, the foundation knows the importance of supporting our future senior care leadership training and education. This scholarship will be awarded to students enrolled and currently taking classes at an accredited college or university, and will provide a $1,000 financial donation to selected applicants for their compelling senior life essays.
Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund
The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund provides grants based on needs for students working actively for peace and economic and social justice. Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who are active in the progressive movement. In order to apply, applicants must be living in the U.S. and plan to enroll in school in the U.S. There is a strong preference for those who plan to stay in the U.S. to continue their participation here, following their degree. The highest award is $10,000, and may be lower depending on the circumstances of the applicant and the amount of funding available.
Elizabeth J. Davis Scholarship
The Elizabeth J. Davis Scholarship was established to assist in acquiring advanced degrees from home care professionals and students seeking bachelors or associate degrees in a healthcare system. The scholarship is open to any resident of Vermont who is studying for a degree in a healthcare profession and who plans to work at home care in Vermont once the program is completed.
A student must be enrolled in a certified college (does not need to be a Vermont college) to be eligible for the scholarship and must study either nursing (RN and LPN), physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy or medical social work. To apply for an application, the student must contact the Vermont Student Assistant Corporation (VSAC). Two succinct essays are needed. There is no financial requirement though consideration is given to financial need. The awards stretch from $1,000 to $3,000.
Ima Hogg Scholarship
Texas faces a critical shortage of mental health workers, ranking far below the national average in the number of mental health professionals per 100,000 inhabitants. In 2015, out of 254 counties in Texas, 185 did not have a single psychiatrist, leaving more than three million Texans without psychiatrist access. Worse, there wasn’t even a licensed social clinician in 40 counties.
One of the ways the foundation works to dramatically improve mental health services in Texas is the Ima Hogg Scholarship, established in 1956. At the request of foundress Miss Ima Hogg, the social worker scholarships program was created to address the need for more trained social workers to provide top notch mental health services in Texas.
Any Texas-based social work graduate school, accredited or pending accreditation by the Social Work Education Council, is invited to recommend one student to be awarded an Ima Hogg Scholarship. The foundation only awards one scholarship per university annually. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement and a commitment after graduation to provide mental health services. Accredited Texas graduate social work schools (and those awaiting accreditation) are invited to recommend one student each year for the Ima Hogg Scholarship.
North Carolina Society for Clinical Social Work Scholarships
The North Carolina Society for Clinical Social Work (NCSCSW) offers awards to recognize students at the Master’s level and current practitioners who are committed to providing social work services to people in underserved minority populations. This program aims to reduce behavioral health disparities and improve behavioral health-care outcomes for underserved populations by increasing the number of social work students and professionals serving these populations who are culturally competent master’s level. Every year applications are made available in early spring.
The Student Scholarship is awarded to students currently enrolled in North Carolina’s accredited master of social work programs who demonstrate contribution to eliminate behavioral health inequalities and enhancing behavioral health outcomes for disadvantaged communities through their scholarship, field placement, and/or extracurricular efforts. On the other hand, the Professional Scholarship is awarded to clinical social workers (LCSW and LCSWA) who are currently in good standing and practicing in the state of North Carolina, demonstrating commitment to reducing behavioral health disparities and improving behavioral health outcomes for underserved populations through their clinical work.
Pride Foundation Scholarship
The Pride Foundation provides scholarships to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington’s current and future lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight-allies student leaders. These scholarships cover most accredited post-secondary schools, including community colleges; four-year public or private colleges and universities; trade or certification programs; and graduate, medical, or law schools. Annually, the scholarship fund is awarded to students to pay for the tuition and fees and other costs of college. The amount of the scholarship varies from $500 to $1200, depending on the prizes and other factors.
Schepp Foundation Social Work Scholarships
The Leopold Schepp Foundation, founded in 1925, has over the past 90+ years provided social worker scholarships to thousands of full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants must either be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university, or have completed one year of undergraduate work. Character, ability and financial need are primary considerations for awards. The maximum award is $9,000 per year.