Scholarship for Urban Social Work

As the nation's urban populations have increased by 12.1% over the last decade, the demand for social work professionals to specialize in urban social work is growing quickly. Urban social workers devote their careers to improving the well-being of disadvantaged inner city residents. From poverty and community violence to substance abuse and mental illness, urban social workers diligently strive to combat these unrelenting social and economic problems facing at-risk urban populations.

Resource: What are the Unique Differences Between Urban and Rural Social Work Practice?

Building a successful career in urban social work requires a very special type of person – one who is caring, altruistic, respectful of human diversity, and committed to transforming our world into a better place to live. In an effort to ensure that students with the potential to strongly advocate for social and economic injustice are not discouraged simply due to tuition costs, we at Social Work Degree Guide have established the Urban Social Work Scholarship. Twice each year, we will be providing at least one (1) $2,000 scholarship to an outstanding social work student who is currently pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree to work in an urban setting. Our mission is to help aspiring urban social workers overcome overwhelming educational expenses to receive a first-rate education for improving the quality of life for urban residents.

Social Work Degree Guide Scholarship Applicants Must:

  • Be an undergraduate or graduate student attending or accepted for enrollment at a post-secondary institution either full-time or part-time.
  • Have U.S. citizenship as verified by a United States passport, birth certificate, or any other method discussed here.
  • Be actively pursuing an accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or Master of Social Work (MSW) degree with plans to practice social work in an urban setting.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater, as verified by an official transcript sent directly from applicants' high school or university.
  • Exhibit a strong commitment to the urban social work profession through participation in volunteer activities and/or community service to urban communities.
  • Print and complete the scholarship application form before the deadline.
  • Attach one (1) resume/CV along with two current letters of recommendation.
  • Submit one (1) personal essay between 500 and 1,000 words describing your future career aspirations and interests in the area of urban social work.

Scholarship Deadline:

The deadlines for submitting applications for the Urban Social Work Scholarship will be November 15th and April 15th each year. Recipients will be chosen within one month of the deadline and notified by U.S. mail.

Criteria for Choosing Scholarship Winners:

After compiling all applications, the SWDG scholarship committee will thoroughly review all applicants' materials. Selections will be made based on academic achievement, involvement in school and/or community activities, letters of recommendation, and how well the personal essay highlights the applicant's professional goals as an urban social worker. Depending on the number of finalists chosen, an interview may be necessary via video conferencing to make the final decision.

Scholarship Notification Process:

By December 15th or May 15th, the scholarship recipient will be chosen and notified via email and in a letter with a check made payable directly to their college or university (unless otherwise agreed upon) to cover tuition expenses. Only the selected award winner will be receiving a letter from Social Work Degree Guide, so those not chosen will not be notified.

The scholarship recipient will be chosen and notified via email and in a letter with a check made payable directly to their college or university (unless otherwise agreed upon) to cover tuition expenses.

Contact/Application Submission Information:

If you have any further questions about the scholarship or are ready to submit your application, please send an email to Please be certain that you have included all required materials as attachments to a single email by midnight on November 15th or April 15th for consideration. Thank you for your interest in the Social Work Degree Guide Scholarship for Urban Social Work.

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