Great Scholarships for Social Work Students

By Janice Monti

Last Updated: May 15, 2020

Career prospects in social work continue to expand, and almost all positions require postsecondary training, with an increasing number of employers hiring social workers with graduate degrees. While financing a social work degree may pose a challenge for many students, scholarships from foundations, special interest groups, honor societies, and other organizations can defray tuition and related costs.

The following scholarship list benefits aspiring social workers pursuing undergraduate and graduate study. Some of these social work scholarships offer general need-based assistance for low-income students, while others provide merit-based awards. Several programs target specific regional/ethnic/racial groups, members of religious faiths, or professional practice areas. Check each website to determine application deadlines and current eligibility requirements.

25 Scholarships for Social Work Students

Social Work Scholarships for Undergraduates

Alice M. Yarnold and Samuel Yarnold Scholarship Trust

Who Can Apply: This scholarship provides funding for residents of New Hampshire already pursuing a postsecondary degree in social work, medicine, or nursing, who intend to practice within the state. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and academic excellence.

Amount: $1,000-$5,000

Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications

Who Can Apply: U.S. citizens or legal residents studying social work, public health, or a related field may apply. Recipients must demonstrate service benefitting an economically or socially disadvantaged community in the areas of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco prevention.

Amount: $5,000

Bethesda Lutheran Community Services Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This award supports juniors or seniors at accredited colleges or universities who maintain membership in Lutheran congregations. Recipients must pursue academic majors preparing them to work in an intellectual and developmental disabilities field.

Amount: $3,000

Carl A. Scott Memorial Fund Book Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Council on Social Work Education presents this scholarship to members of underrepresented ethnic/racial groups in the final year of their social work degree. Applicants must demonstrate their commitment to working for equity and social justice.

Amount: $500

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: Students with strong records of participation in economic, political, civil rights, and social justice movements may apply. This award requires a personal statement, letters of support, and documentation of financial need.

Amount: Up to $15,000

Elizabeth J. Davis Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Vermont residents pursuing an associate or bachelor's degree in healthcare-related fields, including medical social work, may apply. Upon degree completion, recipients must plan to work in a home healthcare profession in the state.

Amount: $1,000-$3,000

Indian Health Service Preparatory Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship provides tuition and expenses to qualified American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate students enrolled in preparatory or prerequisite courses that lead to healthcare degrees. Applicants must be members or descendants of federally recognized, state-recognized, or terminated tribes.

Amount: Varies

James F. Reville Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Funded through the New York Arc chapter, this scholarship offers assistance to full-time undergraduates enrolled in programs related to intellectual and developmental disability fields, including social work, psychology, and other behavioral sciences.

Amount: $3,000

Patty Gibbs-Wahlberg Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work, this award supports chapter members enrolled in accredited associate or bachelor of social work programs. Eligible applicants must demonstrate excellence in scholarship, service, and leadership.

Amount: Up to $3,000

A Place for Mom Senior Care Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This award supports undergraduate or graduate students in social work, counseling, nursing, or healthcare administration planning to enter the field of gerontology. Each applicant must submit a personal statement on their career goals working with seniors.

Amount: $2,000

Presbyterian Scholarship for Undergraduates

Who Can Apply: This scholarship assists Presbyterian church members enrolled full time in accredited associate or bachelor's degrees. Students of color, first-generation-in-college learners, and candidates with high financial need may qualify for a supplemental award of $2,000.

Amount: $4,000 minimum

Pride Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This award supports LGBTQ+ and allied students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate social work, psychology, counseling, or therapy programs looking to support individuals dealing with trauma, grief, illness, death, and violent acts. Only residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington can apply, but they may study elsewhere.

Amount: $2,000

Ron Brown Scholar Program

Who Can Apply: African American high school seniors may apply for this renewable award to finance their undergraduate education for up to four years. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and a commitment to community service and global citizenship

Amount: $40,000

Master of Social Work Scholarships

Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Candidates must have applied or been accepted to accredited master of social work (MSW) programs. The scholarship supports students who demonstrate an affinity with or commitment to working with Hispanic/Latino or American Indian/Alaska Native populations.

Amount: Up to $4,000

George E. Meares Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Omega Psi Phi, an African American fraternity, sponsors this award for full-time graduate students in social work, social science, or criminal justice. Eligible candidates must receive nominations from their regional fraternity chapters.

Amount: Up to $5,000

Grace Wall Barreda Memorial Fellowship

Who Can Apply: The American Indian Graduate Center provides this award to students from American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Applicants must maintain current enrollment in a graduate program in environmental studies or public health, including social work.

Amount: $1,000-$5,000

Ima Hogg Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship assists students enrolled in MSW degrees with a focus on healthcare/mental health services at accredited Texas colleges or universities. Each applicant must receive a nomination from their program dean.

Amount: $5,000

Maryland Higher Education Commission Graduate and Professional Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This renewable, need-based scholarship provides financial assistance to students earning a graduate degree in social work, law, medicine, dentistry, and nursing at eligible Maryland schools. Recipients may be enrolled full or part time.

Amount: $1,000-$5,000

Mildred Carter Bradhan Social Work Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the African American sorority Zeta Phi Beta, this renewable scholarship supports students enrolled full time in an MSW or professional degree in social work at accredited colleges or universities.

Amount: $500-$1,000

National Association of Junior Auxiliaries

Who Can Apply: This award provides funding for students from states with Junior Auxiliary chapters. Candidates must plan to work directly with children and pursue graduate degrees in social work, counseling, mental health, special education, psychology, or related fields.

Amount: Varies

National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The NAPRHSW scholarship assists students of Hispanic descent enrolled in their first year of social work graduate programs at selected universities in New York state. Applicants must be bilingual in Spanish-English and demonstrate financial need.

Amount: Varies

North Carolina Society for Clinical Social Work Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Each applicant must maintain current enrollment in an MSW program within North Carolina. The degree supports students who demonstrate a commitment to reducing behavioral health differences and improving behavioral health outcomes for minority communities in the state.

Amount: $1,000

Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Sciences Scholarship

Who Can Apply: PGM provides scholarships to student members in their first or second year of graduate work in social sciences, including social work. The application requires a personal statement describing career goals and commitment.

Amount: $1,000-$2,000

Schepp Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship assists students pursuing graduate degrees in areas related to community service, including social work. Applicants must provide their parents' most recent tax returns to provide evidence of financial need.

Amount: $9,000

Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This award supports MSW students who hold membership in the National Association of Social Workers. Each candidate must submit a biographical essay describing their interest in or experience with mental health practice in African American communities.

Amount: $5,500

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