Social services providers work in a broad spectrum of career fields, offering invaluable aid to at-risk community members. Their work addresses critical issues ranging from child welfare to health care, poverty, and general human rights. Social services degrees apply to jobs such as:
- Crisis or addiction counseling
- Adoption work
- Child protection
- Employment counseling
- Health care social work
- Community mental health
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% rise in employment opportunities over the coming decade for social services-related jobs. To help offset the cost of your social services college degree, we’ve drawn up a list of scholarship opportunities from around the country!
Scholarship Tips For College Students
Finding the right social services scholarship is only the first step of the journey. The hardest part is applying! It is time-consuming and, with money being tighter than ever these days, very competitive. So before we get to the list, let’s review a few essential tips to boost your odds of scoring a scholarship!
Save time by screening for eligibility first
It’s frustrating to find a great scholarship then notice you don’t qualify! That’s why we encourage scholarship seekers to search for eligibility requirements first. This will help you save a lot of time and energy that you can use on perfecting the ones you do qualify for!
Be the early bird
As soon as you know what degree you want to pursue, start looking for scholarships! Even if you have not yet enrolled in a particular program, you can start compiling a list of the scholarships you want to apply to — especially if you know which state you’ll attend college, since many scholarships require state residency.
Note the application deadlines
As soon as you determine if you’re eligible or not, take a look at the scholarship’s application due date. We suggest keeping a tracker of all the scholarships you intend to apply for, then prioritize that list based on due dates. If you’ve already missed a deadline, keep the link to the scholarship on your tracker anyway, in case you want to apply next cycle.
Submit a compelling application
It may go without saying, but don’t take anything for granted. Organizations that sponsor scholarship opportunities want proof that you’re a good candidate to give money to. Assume there will be many others applying to the same opportunities. Spend time reviewing the sponsor’s website to see what their mission and values are. If your application requires an essay, put yourself in their shoes and write something that compels them to select you!
Edit your application before sending it
Some organizations may be pickier than others about this, but assume that they all want to receive applications that have been proofread and are free of errors and typos. If sending an essay, make certain it’s addressed to the correct scholarship-sponsoring organization and that it answers any question prompts listed. In other words, don’t just copy and paste the same wording from one essay to another.
Be mindful of how scholarships impact other financial aid
As the phrase implies, “financial aid” is reserved for students who need monetary assistance to cover educational costs. If you win a scholarship, it can impact your financial need calculations as they apply to other forms of financial aid opportunities. We recommend speaking with your school’s financial aid office to discuss funding sources and avoid any impacts they could have on each other.
15 Scholarships for Social Services Students
Alabama National Guard members who are active and in good standing are eligible to apply for this $5,000+ scholarship. Applicants must be pursuing their first undergraduate degree in the state, have at least a 2.0 GPA, and must have filled out a FAFSA. There is no deadline to apply for this benefit.
The American Legion Department of Kansas sponsors the Albert M. Lappin Scholarship in amounts of $500 and up for students who demonstrate above-average scholastic abilities. Applicants must be enrolled in an eligible Kansas school and be the child of a military veteran who is also a member of the Kansas American Legion (or Auxiliary). Submissions are due in February.
Oregon’s Clyde C. Crosby/Joseph M. Edgar and Thomas J. Malloy Memorial Scholarship helps children of local union members affiliated with the Joint Council of Teamsters #37. State residency is not required. Awards are granted based on financial need, and applications are due by March 1, 2024.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution offers American Indian Scholarships in the amount of $4,000 to Native American undergraduate and graduate students. Eligible candidates must submit proof of heritage along with their applications. Awards are granted based on financial need and academic achievement. This application is currently closed, but should reopen late 2023.
Florida students are eligible to apply for the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant if they’re enrolled in at least six credit hours per term (or 12, if enrolled in an FSAG Private or FSAG Postsecondary program). Award amounts vary. Please visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website for additional opportunities, full application requirements, and current submission due dates.
The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid’s HELP program gives tuition funding to students with a demonstrated financial need, as shown on their FAFSA. Applicants must also show proof of state residency. Award amounts vary, and the submission window is from October 1 through March 31.
The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, managed by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, provides generous awards of up to $40,000 to “the nation’s top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges or universities.” The average GPA of past recipients is 3.84, and 93% were engaged civic and community service volunteers. Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year are closed, but you can sign up on their website to receive notifications when the next application cycle opens.
Sponsored by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship awards $2,500 – $5,000 to students as part of its efforts to “drive economic development and advance the general welfare of the state.” The application window is open continuously. The LIFE Scholarship can be used for up to eight terms.
The Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion offers awards of various amounts through the Maria C. Jackson/General George A. White Scholarship to students attending technical programs. Applicants must have served in the military and resided in Oregon at their time of enlistment or must be the child of such a veteran. This application is closed for the 2023-2024 school year, but should reopen late 2023.
The Slovak Gymnastic Union SOKOL USA offers members a chance to apply for the Milan Getting Scholarship, which provides up to $1,000 in college funding. All majors will be considered. Applications require transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a completed form with answers to several questions about the student. Submissions are due April 1st of each year.
Pi Gamma Mu members can apply for $1,000 – $2,000 scholarship awards given to students working on their first graduate degree. Several majors are eligible, including majors leading to social work careers. The next round of applications which will be due on February 15, 2024, and must include a statement of purpose.
The Delaware Higher Education Office provides $1,000+ awards to legal resident students via its Scholarship Incentive Program. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a Delaware college program (unless the degree isn’t offered at a listed state college). Submissions are made by creating a Student Account on their official website and should include a financial need analysis.
The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors scholarships every year, including the Spirit of Youth Scholarship for Junior Members. Awards are for $5,000. To be eligible, students must have held Junior membership for three years. Applications should include four letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a financial need analysis. The application deadline for the Spirit of Youth Scholarship for Junior members is March 1 of each year.
Tau Kappa Epsilon’s Wallace G. McCauley Memorial Scholarship is aimed at active members of the fraternity who’ve achieved academic excellence, are juniors or seniors, and who promote alumni relations. Applicants must hold a 3.0 GPA or better. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2024.
Also sponsored by the Tau Kappa Epsilon Educational Foundation, the William Wilson Memorial Scholarships is for members who are juniors or seniors holding at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants should have a “demonstrated understanding of the importance of good alumni relations to the chapter and its members,” among other criteria. Submissions are due March 15.
Find More College Scholarships!
It’s not always easy to find scholarships specifically designed for Social Services students. However, many scholarship opportunities are open to students in any major, and Social Services students often have an advantage when applying. Their commitment to helping others and staying engaged in communities makes for very compelling application material!
The simplest way to find and sort applicable scholarships is by using our new scholarship search tool. Select filters such as keywords, deadlines, area of study, and more. There’s no easier way to find thousands of dollars in scholarship opportunities, all through one portal!
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