Social Work Scholarships and Grants
The saying that Social workers do it with individuals, families, groups, communities, and institution is meant to be humorous but really, there are few other professions that cross all social, religious, cultural and class lines like social work does. Most of us will have used, or know someone that has used, the services of a social worker at some point.
The contribution the profession of social work makes to society is invaluable and essential to the continuance of a civilised and humanitarian culture. Governments and educational institutions recognize this truth and offer a variety of options for students of social work. As with all other scholarship opportunities these present themselves for specific ethnicity, gender, disability or for the student population in general. Look for all of the opportunities that may apply to you.
Get yourself organized early by getting documentation well in advance of the application deadlines for scholarships. Write a great cover letter. If an essay is required make it personal and compelling. Get together all the references you can from teachers, community leaders, employers and anyone else who will attest to your exceptional skills. Keep all of this information in one place along with personal and financial details. That way when an opportunity presents itself, you will be ready to go. For a variety of specializations and opportunities based on ethnicity and gender, here is a list of scholarships to get you started.
The John A. Hartford Foundation
The John A. Hartford Foundation offers social work scholarships and fellowships, administered by The Gerontological Society of America (GSA). This program addresses the lack of adequately trained social work practitioners to meet the social and health care needs of today and tomorrow's rapidly increasing aging population.
Hartford Faculty Scholars
The Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Program, administered by the Gerontological Society of America, enhances the effectiveness of faculty scholars as academic leaders, role models and mentors for future generations of social work professionals working in geriatrics.
Hartford Doctoral Fellows
The Hartford Geriatric Social Work Doctoral Fellows Program, administered by the Gerontological Society of America, offers fellowships as a remedy for recruiting, sustaining, and training a cadre of talented doctoral students in geriatric social work.
Hartford Pre-Dissertation Awards
The Hartford Geriatric Social Work pre-dissertation awards program, operated jointly by GSA and the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work, serves to expand the number of social work doctoral dissertations that identify and examine a set of research questions that seek to improve the health and well-being of older persons and their families.
American Indian Education Program
The Indian Health Services Health Professionals Program scholarship is eligible to students enrolled in a federally recognized tribe with a 2.0 GPA or higher. Students must be pursuing a degree in a health related profession or be a junior or senior in college planning to get a masters in social work or physical therapy.
National Association of Black Social Workers
Recipients of these scholarships must have a 2.5 grade point average on a 4 scale. Students must also have demonstrated service to the community and express a research interest in the black community. Eligible students must be enrolled for full-time study at an accredited United States social work program in the semester the award will be granted. Several awards are available from the associations and they are:
The Cenie Jomo Williams – 2 Awards of $2,000.00
Cenie “Jomo” Williams, Jr. was the first elected President of the National Association of Black Social Workers. He was elected President of the New York City Association of Black Social Workers in 1969 and developed many community programs that brought positive changes in the New York community, and built the New York City Chapter into the organization’s largest chapter. When elected to the Presidency of the National Association of Black Social Workers in 1970, Williams’ put forth tremendous efforts to develop and organize new chapters, both nationally and internationally.
In 1974, he was appointed first Executive Director of the National Association of Black Social Workers. As director, he continued his work with the international affiliates which resulted in the development of the National Association of Black Social Workers International Education Conference. Until the time of departure in 1983, Cenie never gave up fighting for justice. His passion to serve can only be surpassed by his love for African people everywhere. These awards are named in his honor.
Selena Danette Brown Book – 4 Awards of $250.00
Selena Brown was a student at the University of Michigan. She had worked hard to attend school and was killed in Detroit by a family member. She was very active in NABSW and highly thought of by students and members of the Association. These awards are named in her honor.
Emma & Meloid Algood undergraduate – 1 Award of $1000.00
Carl Algood established the Emma and Meloid Algood Undergraduate Student Scholarship to honor his parents for their unselfish dedication to helping people in need. Their work with the poor, even though they lacked formal training, left an indelible impression upon him. This led to his choice of social work as a career. Consequently, Mr. Algood, partners with NABSW in providing an annual scholarship to a deserving social work student who will use the training to work with the less fortunate in our communities.
Dr. Joyce Beckett graduate student – 1 Award of $1000.00
Dr. Joyce Beckett, a member of the Richmond, Virginia Chapter of ABSW, funded the Dr. Joyce Beckett Scholarship to help African American graduate students who plan to provide needed social work interventions with African Americans. This annual scholarship is a means of giving back to the African American community. This scholarship is intended to help a student complete graduate study.
The School of Social Work at the University of Nevada, Reno
The School of Social Work at the University of Nevada offers four different scholarships to juniors, seniors, and graduate students admitted to the social work program. Scholarship awards and criteria are listed below:
The John and Louise Semenza Family Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate (junior or senior) or graduate student who plans a career in practice within public agencies that serve special needs populations. Eligible candidates must be social work majors and earn a minimum of 24 UNR credits per academic year (fall and spring semesters) and maintain full-time enrolment each semester. Recipients must also maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative University GPA for the duration of the award. A change in major will result in the loss of this scholarship.
The Heather Morsberger Memorial Scholarship is available to undergraduate (junior or senior) and graduate students majoring in social work with an emphasis in child abuse prevention or child abuse protection and must demonstrate a financial need. Eligible candidates must be social work majors and earn a minimum of 24 University of Nevada, Reno, undergraduate or 18 graduate credits per academic year (fall and spring semesters) and maintain full-time enrolment each semester. Recipients must also maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative University GPA for the duration of the award. A change in major will result in the loss of this scholarship.
The National Association of Social Workers Scholarship is a $500.00 scholarship for either an undergraduate (junior or senior) or a graduate student. A 3.25 GPA is required as is membership in NASW. The essay for this scholarship should focus on commitment to social work and to service and advocacy, as well as plans for continued involvement in the profession and its professional organizations. One scholarship is awarded each year.
Applicants for the School of Social Work Diversity Scholarships are selected by the School of Social Work. The scholarship is available to eligible candidates admitted to the program as an undergraduate or graduate student. Recipients must earn a minimum of 24 undergraduate or 18 graduate credits per academic year (fall and spring semesters) and maintain full-time enrolment each semester. Recipients must also maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative University GPA for the duration of the award. A change of major will result in the loss of this scholarship.
The Diversity Scholarships honor the profession's commitment to justice and diversity and provide support for students of color and others committed to work with diverse populations.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
People will forget what you did,
But people will never forget how you made them feel.