Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants

As anyone who has already been through school knows, scholarships do not need to be repaid. They are, in most cases, awarded to pay for tuition, books or living expenses, and the money often goes directly to the awardees’ schools.

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Carl A. Scott Book Scholarship

TBA for 2016

This scholarship, funded by the Council on Social Work education, is awarded to a minority student in the last year of their social work degree. The scholarship was created help students committed to equality and social justice pay for their books for one academic year.

Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial MSW Scholarship

March 2016

Student members of the NASW, who have applied to or enrolled in an accredited MSW program and can prove need, are eligible to apply for this award.

Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial MSW Scholarship

March 2016

NASW offers its student members who plan to pursue an MSW through an accredited program the opportunity to apply for one of four scholarships for an academic year. The prize includes $4,000 paid directly to the student’s school for tuition and $1,500 for the student to use to attend a conference.

Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarships

April 2016

Social work students, in good academic standing and who actively work to raise awareness of the harmful effects of smoking amongst “priority populations”, are eligible to apply for this award. Scholarship money can be used for tuition, books or living expenses.

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

April 1, 2016

Awards are given to students currently enrolled in an accredited college or university who actively contribute to social justice and fight for equality and peace. Awards are based on students’ living expenses needs and academic status.

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The most common loans available to graduate students are unsubsidized, federal loans that begin to accrue interest as soon as the loaned money is put to use. Like with undergraduate loans, students pursuing their master’s degree should fill out their FAFSA. Unlike the undergraduate process, graduate students are not required to provide their parents’ financial information on the application; federal loans at this academic level are determined on the student’s need alone. Receiving school or program specific scholarships based on the information provided through FAFSA is also less likely to occur for master’s students.

Social workers may qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. After ten years of making regular monthly payments on your loans and working for a qualifying organization, you may apply to have the remainder of your Direct Loans forgiven. The NASW is actively working to promote legislation that will forgive more student loans for social workers.

The chart below compares the different federal loans you may qualify for as a master’s in social work student.

Loan Comparison Chart

Eligibility Requirements No previous federal loan defaults; Must attend school at least half time
Credit Check No
Amount Available Up to $20,500/year; $138,500 for entirety of degree
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 3.6%; Maximum of 9.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment 6 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 20-25 years; 10 years for public servants
Graduate Plus
Eligibility Requirements Must attend school at least half time; acceptable credit
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Full cost of graduate study, including living expenses
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 4.6%; maximum of 10.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment Deferred until 6 months after school or after attendance drops below half time
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 10 years if employed in nonprofit or government
Eligibility Requirements Must qualify as low-income student; income cut-off varies by school
Credit Check No
Amount Available $8,000/year; varies according to college
Interest Rates 5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/Yes
Repayment 9 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness Various Cases
Eligibility Requirements Based on credit
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Varies
Interest Rates Varies
Fixed Rate/Subsidized No/No (Usually)
Repayment Immediately (Generally)
Income-based repayment No
Forgiveness No

Teacher, Graduate or Research Assistant Jobs

As a way to cut costs to graduate students, many schools and degree programs offer TA and RA positions. In general, these are part time employment opportunities that reduce the price of tuition, and some also pay students a stipend. In return for the tuition break, students are required to help professors with their research or preparing for their classes. The responsibilities for these positions must be fulfilled in congruence with your coursework, and most TAs or RAs are required to work at least 20 hours per week. If you are already employed, this may not be the best funding option for you to pursue.