How to Find Social Work Grants
For students of social work, there are many ways to to help pay for college in 2013. Before resorting to student loans, it is important to investigate the following ways of how to pay for college:
College grants may be based either on merit or financial need. Whether you are a social work student earning an undergraduate degree or graduate student of social work, here you will find some advice on how to pay for college or graduate school with the help of college grants and fellowships.
College Grants for Undergraduate Students in Social Work
Undergraduate students of social work can divide their college grant opportunities into the following main categories:
- Federal College Grants
- State-Issued College Grants, and
- College/University-Issued College Grants.
1. Federal College Grants
If you are an undergraduate student studying social work, you can apply for federal college grants assistance. The process of applying for the Pell Grant, is instrumental for receiving other undergraduate grants, and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). We also recommend registering with the National Association of Social Workers. During your undergraduate years, you could build a rapport with members of the association and find possible mentors. They have a foundation that issues several social work grants and awards every year. This can be helpful for social work students to locate sources of funding for their research projects. Additionally, by networking with fellow embers of the National Association of Social Workers, you may be able to learn of scholarship opportunities and learn of other ways to help pay for college.
2. State-Issued College Grants
Many states offer special grants for undergraduate students, especially those who have already been accepted for the Pell Grant.
For example, in the state of Maryland, the (Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program (WSSAG)) helps students working in child care, human services, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, public service, teaching, and social work.
How do you find out if your state has college grants to help you pay for a degree in social work?
To get started, check our comprehensive listing of college grants by location that summarizes state-based grants available every year. Find your state of residence and see whether you are eligible to apply for a state-based grant to help you pay for college.
3. College/University-Issued College Grants for Social Work
Colleges and universities may also have grants to help their students pay for tuition. For example at Wellesley College in Massachusetts there is the Margaret Freeman Bowers Fellowship. It goes toward the first year of study for students with plans for a career in the field of social services. The award is up to $9,000 and generally goes toward a student who demonstrates financial need. The student may be studying social work, public policy, or public administration.
Check with some of the top schools for social work to see if you are eligible for a grant or scholarship to help pay for tuition at their institution. In the field of social work, well-known programs exist at New York University, Springfield College in Massachusetts, Columbia University, Fordham, the University of Southern California, Harvard, Indiana University and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. If you had another school in mind, check with their department of social work a couple of years before you apply for their program and find out the details regarding their scholarship programs. Visit the financial offices of the college as well to learn of additional opportunities for free money to help you pay for your degree in social work.
Grants for Graduate Students of Social Work
Graduate students of social work are not eligible for most of the federal college grants available to undergraduate social work students. However, students of social work who are pursuing a Master’s Degree or a Doctoral Degree can still learn about other sources of how to pay for a graduate degree in social work. The primary sources of funding to help pay for a graduate degree in social work come from the following main categories:
- State-Issued Grants for Graduate Students
- Social Work Grants Issued by Associations, and
- College/University-Issued College Grants.
1. State-Based Social Work Grants to Help Pay for Graduate School
In the state of Maryland, the Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program (WSSAG) helps graduate students who will work in fields such as child care, human services, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, public service, teaching, and social work.
Other states also issue grants every year to students. You can see what college grants are being offered in your state.
2. Social Work Grants Issued by Associations and Foundations for Graduate Students
There are several associations and foundations that offer grants for graduate students of social work. The National Association of Social Workers also awards several grants each year. If you are a student of social work interested in a community project, you may qualify for a grant to help you focus on your project or research.
Graduate students of social work who wish to focus their work on cancer patients should look into the annual social work grant awarded by the American Cancer Society (ACS).
The National Hemophilia Foundation awards the Social Work Excellence Fellowship. It offers up to $5,000 for one year for graduate students who are already licensed to practice and have worked in a bleeding disorders program. Contact Denise Kenny for more information 1-800-42-HANDI or DKenny@hemophilia.org
A good source for information regarding grants for students in the field of social work is the National Institutes of Health. They have award several grants every year called “Research on Social Work Practice and Concepts in Health”.
3. Colleges and Universities that Offer Grants to Graduate Students of Social Work
At Wellesley College, in Massachusetts, there is the Margaret Freeman Bowers Fellowship. Graduate students who are studying social work, law, public policy, public administration, or a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), and have plans for a career in the field of social services should look into this social work fellowship. The award is up to $9,000 and goes toward the first year of study for a student who generally demonstrates financial need.