Grants and Scholarships for Social Work

If you are pursuing a four-year bachelor's degree, a two-year master's degree, or a doctorate degree in social work, you may not be able to cover the costs of tuition, books, and other school expenses on your own. Social work scholarship and grants are available to students who are admitted into an accredited program and meet certain eligibility requirements. You can usually apply for these forms of financial aid year round but some schools and organizations have very strict timelines and deadlines. Talking to your admissions counselor or a college representative about financial aid options can help you learn more about the different types of social work scholarships and grants available.


Only a handful of schools that offer social work degrees offer any type of scholarships and grants on their own. Many students have to search for funding sources outside of the college they are attending.

Types of Social Work Scholarships and Grants

There are three main types of scholarships and grants available to eligible students. Some scholarships are only granted to students who specialize in a particular field. Others are more general in nature and offered by organizations and associations that support social workers.

The different types of scholarships and grants available for social workers include:

  • Field-specific scholarships
  • Association or industry organization scholarships
  • College-based scholarships
  • College-based grants
  • Research organization grants
  • Private scholarships and grants

Examples of Social Work Scholarships and Grants

Some of the different types of scholarships available for students in the social work field include:

  • The John A. Hartford Foundation
  • Hartford Faculty Scholars
  • Hartord Geriatric Social Work Doctoral Fellows Program
  • American Indian Education Program
  • National Association of Black Social Workers
  • The Cenie Jomo Williams Tuition Scholarship
  • Selena Danette Brown Book Scholarship
  • Emma & Meloid Algood Undergraduate Tuition Scholarship
  • Dr. Joyce Beckett Graduate Student Tuition Scholarship
  • The School of Social Work at the University of Nevada, Reno
  • The National Association of Social Workers Scholarship
  • The John and Louise Semenza Family Scholarship
  • The Heather Morsberger Memorial Scholarship
  • School of Social Work Diversity Scholarships

Some of the different types of grants available for social work students include:

  • University-based grants to individuals
  • National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASW)
  • The National Institutes of Health Research on Social Work Practice and Concepts in Health (Federal grant)
  • New Jersey's Division of Youth and Family Services (Federal grant)
  • The American Cancer Society's Masters Training Grant in Clinical Oncology Social Work

Colleges and universities that offer grants for social work students include: Case Western Reserve University (Louis Stokes Grant); Wayne State University's Scholarship; Wellesley College (Margaret Freeman Bowers Fellowship).

Many scholarships are offered every year and require students to maintain full-time status and a certain grade point average (GPA) in order to receive funding. Students who fail to meet these requirements may be denied funding and will be ineligible to apply for the same scholarship until they improve their grades and regain full-time status.

Students applying for grants must provide proof of completion of the research projects or field studies they are working on, and may need to complete a paper explaining their findings. Some are need-based grants while others are granted based on merit and future goals.