While a social work degree is certainly a worthy investment, financing your MSW program can be challenging. With the many organizations that offer scholarships, grants, and loan programs designed to help aspiring social workers pay for their education, cost should not be a deterrent when deciding whether or not to earn an advanced degree. Knowing the resources that are available will help you conquer the challenge posed by financing your education. Here are just some of the many websites and programs dedicated to helping you pay for your Social Work Masters.

Contents:(Click a topic to see more scholarships to learn more)

Social Work Scholarships

Alfred V. Taylor Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Description:  Available to students interested in the promotion of social work practice. For information regarding this scholarship, contact the Political Affairs Office of the National Association of Social Workers at 7981 Eastern Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910; Attn: Toby Weismiller, ACSW.

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American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work

Amount: Varies

Description: The awards recognize excellence in student professional development demonstrated by original clinical practice papers. Available to students attending a part-time, three-year program. For more information, visit the Judith Holm and Howard D. Snooks award page, or contact the ABE Student Awards Coordinator at 1-800-694-5285.

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American Cancer Society

Amount: Varies

Description: The American Cancer Society offers this scholarship to students in the second year of their master's degree study who are working with cancer patients.

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American Society on Aging (ASA) -- Graduate Student Research Award

Amount: $500

Description: The ASA annually confers their Graduate Student Research Award to the best unpublished graduate research paper on a completed project relevant to aging and applicable to practice. The winner receives a $500 cash prize, an opportunity to present their paper at the Aging in America conference and a complimentary one-year student ASA membership.

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Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

Amount: Up to $10,000

Description: The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund provides grants to students actively working for peace and justice and living in the United States. These need-based scholarships are awarded to those able to do academic work at the university level and who are part of the progressive movement on their campus and in the community. The exact amount of the award is determined by circumstance and the amount of funding available.

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Elmer Ediger Memorial Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,000-$1,200

Description: Mennonite Health Services offers scholarships to graduate students in the fields of mental health developmental disabilities. Students must maintain a 3.25 GPA and demonstrate financial need and be interested in working in the Christian Church. Students must be members or active participants in a Mennonite, Brethren in Christ or Mennonite Brethren congregation. For more information, contact Jenny Yoder at Mennonite Health Services, 234 Main St., Suite A. Goshen, IN 46526. Fax: 219-534-9689.

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Fund for Lesbian and Gay Scholarships (FLAGS)

Amount: Varies

Description: This fund provides financial assistance to gay, lesbian, and bisexual students involved in the community. The scholarship amount varies and depends on financial need. The deadline is mid-September for the current school year. For more information about FLAGS scholarship programs or for an application, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Whitman-Brooks, The Scholarship Fund, PO Box 48320, Los Angeles, CA 90048-0320. Phone: 1-213-650-5752.

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The Hooyman Intergenerational Fellowship

Amount: $1,000 -- $2,000

Description: The Hooyman Intergenerational Fellowship is a merit-based scholarship for students committed to working with older adults and their families within a multigenerational context. Award amounts depend on the number of qualified applicants. Funded students must complete the Multigenerational Concentration and their advanced field placement where they have opportunities to work with older adults.

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The Leopold Schepp Foundation

Amount: Varies

Description: The foundation offers scholarships to U.S. citizens enrolled on a full-time basis. Awards are given to those under forty years of age pursuing a graduate degree. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

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National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, Inc. Graduate Scholarship Program

Amount: Various

Description: Applicants must be working or planning to work directly with children and pursuing graduate level studies for one year in fields which address the special needs of children and youth. Scholarships are NOT awarded for graduate work in administration or general education. Applicants must also be a U.S. citizen and a permanent resident of a state with a Junior Auxiliary Chapter: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, or Texas.

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The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

Amount: Varies

Description: The NIAF will award scholarships and grants to Italian American students who demonstrate outstanding potential and high academic achievements. The awards will be made on the basis of academic merit and divided between two groups of students.

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The Point Foundation

Amount: Varies

Description: The Point Foundation provides financial support, mentoring, and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity. The application is open to all LGBT students nationwide regardless of level of education.

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The Roothbert Fund, Inc.

Amount: $2,000-$3,000

Description:  The Roothbert Fund provides scholarships for persons who are motivated by spiritual values and who can demonstrate financial need.

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Sarah Haley Memorial Fund

Amount: Up to $5,000

Description: Awards are available to MSW and PhD student, as well as to applicants with a "good reputation as a clinician over a significant period; advocacy as demonstrated by, for example, public and media appearances, consultancy to large organizations on issues of policy, or advice and training for clinicial, and dissemination of clinical excellence through, for example, publications and regular training initiatives." Applicants must concentrate on issues related to post-traumatic stress disorder with particular interest in childhood sexualabuse, family violence and/or violence against women. For more information, contact Eileen M. Donoghue, Esq., at 112 Middle St., Lowell, MA 01852 or call 978-458-7070.

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Sons of Italy Leadership Grant

Amount: $5,000 -- $25,000

Description: Through the Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF) and more than 650 state and local lodges, the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) has awarded nearly $50 million in scholarships to date to U.S. citizens of Italian descent (at least one Italian or Italian American grandparent) enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a four-year, accredited academic institution during the fall term. Previous SIF scholarship winners are not eligible. Additional eligibility requirements may apply to specific scholarships.

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Transgender Scholarship and Education Legacy Fund (TSELF)

Amount: Varies

Description:  The International Foundation for Gender Education offers scholarships to provide supplemental funding for undergraduate and graduate students who have a demonstrated ability in and commitment to affecting change in the transgender communities through their commitment to working and being educated in the helping and caring professions: Social Services, Health Care, Religious Instruction, Teaching, and the Law.

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Virtual Academic Center Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Description: Virtual Academic Center Scholarships are special grants offered by the USC School of Social Work exclusively to MSW@USC students pursuing their Master of Social Work online. They are meant to supplement financial aid to students whose needs cannot be met through need-based loans. The award amounts vary in accordance to academic merit. The website also provide information on GI Bill initiatives, USC Scholarships and Fellowships, and other scholarship opportunities.

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Virtual Academic Center Dean's Leadership Scholarship

Amount: $23,000

Description: This scholarship is for incoming full-time Virtual Academic Center students with demonstrated leadership capacity and experience. All interested and eligible students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, with two or more years of human/social service and leadership experience. Students will be considered based on the aforementioned criteria, leadership skills, experience and interests detailed in the resume and statement of purpose, as well as the overall quality of the admissions application.

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The Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial Scholarship

Amount: Up to $2,000

Description: This scholarship is offered by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for one academic year to a Master of Social Work degree candidate who demonstrates an interest in or has experience with health/mental health practice and has a commitment to working in the African American community.

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Social Work Scholarships for Minority Students

American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC)

Amount: $250 -- $3,000

Description: Graduate fellowships are offered for American Indian and Alaskan Native students. AIGC awards range from $250 to $3,000 based on unmet need. Applicants must be pursuing a master's or doctorate degree as a full-time student. For an application contact AIGC at  3701 San Mateo, NE, #200, Albuquerque, NM 87110.

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Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program

Amount: Varies

Description: The Scholars Program brings talented African American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native college seniors and recent graduates to Washington, D.C., where they work in congressional offices and learn about health policy. The program is for undergraduate students only.

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Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF)

Amount: $1,000-$15,000

Description: Student must be of Hispanic or Latino heritage, and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Student must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident pursuing their first graduate degree, and must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Each HSF scholarship and grant may also have its own specific requirements. Scholarships are available for both undergraduate and graduate students.

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Indian Health Services – Health Professionals Program

Amount: Varies

Description: The Health Professions Scholarship Program is for American Indian and Alaska Native students who are members of their Tribe (federally recognized only), enrolled in a Master of Social Work degree program. Students incur service obligations and payback requirements on acceptance of funding from this program. Health Professions Scholarships are awarded for a one year period (12 months of support), with re-application required for each year of continuation.

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NAACP Jackson Graduate Fellowship Program

Amount: Up to $2,000

Description: This program of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) provides $2,000 stipends to members who are full-time graduate students. Applicants must be U.S. citizens under the age of 25. To request an application, write to Dr. Beverly P. Cole, director of education, at NAACP, 4805 Mt. Hope Dr., Baltimore, MD 21215, or call 410-358- 8900.

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Jewish Community Center (JCC) North American Graduate Scholarship

Amount: $3,000 -- $10,000

Description: Recipients of this scholarship must be committed to a career in the JCC Movement and agree to work in the JCC Movement for two years after graduation.

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The Kosciuszko Foundation

Amount: $1,000 -- $7,000

Description: The Kosciuszko Foundation provides tuition scholarships for U.S. citizens of Polish descent to be used for graduate studies in any field at colleges and universities in the United States, and to Americans of non-Polish descent whose studies at American universities are focused primarily on Polish subjects. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis for one academic year.

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The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Lena Chang Internship

Amount: Stipend of $3,200

Description: The Lena Chang Internships are open to students currently enrolled in an accredited college or university in the United States at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Applicants must demonstrate superior academic achievement and financial need. Preference will be given to students of color. Internships are offered only in the summer, and consist of 400 hour, 10 week programs.

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National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW)

Amount: Various

Description: NABSW offers a number of scholarships to African American social work students, such as the Dr. Joyce Beckett Graduate Tuition Scholarship, the Selena Danette Brown Book Scholarship, and the Cenie Jomo Williams Tuition Scholarship. NASBW scholarships are for active, paid members enrolled for full-time study at an accredited United States social work program. Applicants must be enrolled in the semester the award will be granted, be of African descent, have demonstrated service to the community, express a research interest in the black community, and have at least a 2.5 GPA.

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National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers (NAPRHSW)

Amount: Varies

Description:  NAPRHSW provides scholarship awards to first or second year full-time graduate students presently enrolled in a School of Social Work program. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a strong interest in community organization and community advocacy that could potentially impact the Puerto Rican/Latino community. Applicants should demonstrate financial need and proficient academic performance.

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Navajo Nation Graduate Fellowship

Amount: $5,000 -- $10,000

Description: Navajo Nation Graduate Fellowship is established to provide financial assistance in the form of grant awards to eligible Navajo students wishing to attend or attending graduate school, utilizing the Navajo Nation Graduate Trust Fund. For all full-time graduate students, the award shall be a minimum of $5,000 and up to a maximum of $10,000 for nine to twelve semester credit hours, per academic year based on points system as outlined in the ONNSFA program policy and procedures. All graduate applicants shall provide to ONNSFA official academic transcripts with conferred degree and/or type of graduate degree granted.

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The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Amount: Up to $90,000 for two academic years

Description: The Fellowships honor and support the graduate educations of 30 New Americans --- permanent residents or naturalized citizens if born abroad; otherwise children of naturalized citizen parents --- each year.

At the time of their selection, fellows must be college seniors or early in the graduate programs for which they request support. Fellows can study in any degree-granting program in any field at any university in the United States, and are selected on the basis of merit in annual national competitions.

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UJA Federation — The Wiener Educational Center

Amount: Various

Description:  Need-based financial assistance in grants and scholarships offered to selected MSW students who are interested in working in the Jewish community in a career in Federation work. This aid is offered only to New York residents.

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United Jewish Communities Federation Executive Recruitment and Education Program

Amount: Various

Description: Assistance is available to students enrolled in a graduate-level program that will earn them a master's degree in policy sciences, social work, and/or Jewish communal service and public administration. The student must hold a bachelor's degree, have a GPA of 3.0, and demonstrate leadership ability and communication and organizational skills. The student must commit to working at a North American Jewish federation for a minimum of two to three years after graduation.

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William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fellowship for Minority Students

Amount: $2,000-$4,000

Description:  The Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, a grant-making program of the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., annually offers the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship, which is based on academic excellence and need, is open to both undergraduate and graduate students who are members of minority groups.

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Military Scholarships

Post-9/11 GI Bill

Amount: Annual stipends of up to $1,000; additional financial aid varies

Description: The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education to veterans. The bill currently pays tuition and includes an annual book-and-supplies stipend of $1,000. The percentage of benefits received depends on the time spent on active duty. Eligibility restrictions apply. To learn more, visit www.gibill.va.gov/benefits.

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Yellow Ribbon Program

Amount: Varies

Description: The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (also known simply as the Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows American institutions of higher education to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund the tuition expenses of service members and veterans that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. Eligibility restrictions apply. To learn more, visit www.gibill.va.gov/benefits.

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Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)

Amount: Varies

Description: MGIB benefits are available for service members and veterans to help with education and training costs. There are two versions of the MGIB: one for active duty soldiers and veterans (MGIB-AD), and another for members of the Reserves and National Guard (MGIB-SR). To learn more about the MGIB, including eligibility restrictions, visit www.gibill.va.gov/benefits.

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Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

Amount: Varies

Description: The MGIB-SR program may be available to members of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard and Air National Guard. You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of education benefits. To learn more about the MGIB-SR, including eligibility restrictions, visit www.gibill.va.gov/benefits.

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Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

Amount: Varies

Description: REAP is a Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operations, which include the current Iraq and Afghanistan operations, and may include others as well) as declared by the president or Congress. The benefits payable under REAP is a percentage of the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty rate based on the number of continuous days served on active duty. Payments can be earned for 36 months after serving. To learn more about REAP, including eligibility restrictions, visit www.gibill.va.gov/benefits.

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Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

Amount: Varies

Description: VEAP is available if you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. Your contributions are matched on a $2-for-$1 basis by the government. You may use these benefits for degree, certificate, correspondence, apprenticeships, on-the-job training and vocational flight training programs. Depending on the number of your monthly contributions, you may be entitled for up to 36-months of benefits. To learn more about VEAP, including eligibility restrictions, visit www.gibill.va.gov/benefits.

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Survivors and Dependents Assistance (DEA)

Amount: Varies

Description: DEA provides education benefits to eligible spouses and children of certain veterans. You may receive up to 45 months of education benefits, which may be used toward degree programs, certifications, apprenticeships and on-the-job training. To learn more about DEA, including eligibility restrictions, visit www.gibill.va.gov/benefits.

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Armed Forces Tuition Assistance Program (TA) [Top-up]

Amount: Varies

Description: Tuition Assistance (TA) will pay for some or all of the tuition costs of college courses that you take while on active duty. TA is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Active-duty members may choose to use the MGIB “top-up” in addition to their service-provided TA. The use of “top-up” allows for payment up to 100 percent of tuition expenses. TA benefits are separate from your GI Bill benefits and do not count against them. Eligibility restrictions apply. To learn more, visit www.gibill.va.gov/resources.

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Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

Amount: Varies

Description: LRP is a military education benefit offered to members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The benefit helps service members reduce student debt incurred while taking college classes before joining the military. You must enroll in the LRP when you enlist in the Armed Forces. The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force each have versions of the LRP. The Army and Navy will repay up to $65,000 of your qualifying student loans, and the Air Force will repay loans up to $10,000. Eligibility restrictions apply. To learn more, visit www.gibill.va.gov/benefits.

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Social Work Scholarships for Women

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Amount: Varies

Description: One of the world's largest sources of funding for women’s higher education, the AAUW provides a series of fellowships and grants to women pursuing graduate studies.

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Business and Professional Women's Foundation

Amount: Varies

Description: The Business and Professional Women's Foundation has a variety of scholarships and fellowships for women who are age 25 or over, are U.S. citizens, and are going back to school either to upgrade skills for career advancement, to train for a new career field, or to enter/re-enter the job market. Students may be full or part time, but must demonstrate critical financial need. Awards are usually in the amount that matches the applicant's need (average award is $700). Applicants must be enrolled or accepted in an accredited program at the time of application.

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Scholarship for Women with Disabilities

Amount: $500 -- $2,000

Description: The Ethel Louise Armstrong (ELA) Foundation Scholarship provides financial assistance to women with physical disabilities who are enrolled in a college or university graduate program in the United States. ELA Scholarship awards are based on merit and are given in an objective and nondiscriminatory basis.

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Fraternity and Sorority Scholarships

Juliette Derricote Scholarships

Amount: $1,500 -- $2,000

Description: Awards are available to members of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. only. Members should write directly to the following address to obtain an application. Delta Sigma Theta, 1707 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20009. Phone:  202-986-2400.

Fax: 202-986-2513. Be sure to include your membership number with your request.

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Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Description: This aid is available only to members of Kappa Kappa Gamma. For complete information and application materials, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the following address. Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, P.O. Box 38, Columbus, OH 43216-0038. Phone:  614-228-6515. Please note your chapter membership in your request. Graduate students, please state whether studying full-time or part-time.

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Mildred Cater Bradhman Social Work Fellowship

Amount: Varies

Description: Several scholarships are available to members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.  To find out more about scholarships or to request an application, include a prepaid envelope and write to: Mildred Cater Bradham Social Work Fellowship, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., 1734 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20009. Phone: 202-387-3103.

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Pi Gamma Mu Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 -- $2,000

Description: Pi Gamma Mu's scholarships are intended for first or second year of graduate work in the areas of sociology, anthropology, political science, history, economics, international relations, public administration, criminal justice, law, social work, psychology, and human/cultural geography. The program is open to members of Pi Gamma Mu who are in good standing.

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George E. Meares Memorial Scholarship (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity)

Amount: $5,000

Description:  These scholarships are granted for the support of graduate study in social work, social sciences, and criminal justice. These scholarships are open to all citizens of the United States. Applicants must be enrolled full time in a four-year accredited collegiate institution, in good standing with the collegiate institution, and seeking a graduate degree in social work, social sciences, or criminal justice. To apply or request information, contact George E. Meares Scholarship Committee, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.,

2714 Georgia Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.

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Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Education Foundation

Amount: Up to $2,500

Description: The foundation annually provides assistance to worthy and needy students pursuing higher education. The awards are open to both men and women of all races on a national and international level. No affiliation with Zeta Phi Beta is required.

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Social Work Loans and Loan Repayment

Bill Raskob Foundation Educational Loan Program

Amount: $3,000 -- $5,000

Description: The Bill Raskob Foundation offers educational loans at no interest to U.S. citizens enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education for the upcoming school year. Students must be attending a school in the U.S. The Foundation does not award scholarships or grants, nor does it accept applications from foreign students. Repayment of loans begins six months after graduation.

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National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program

Amount: Up to $60,000

Description: The NHSC Loan Repayment Program is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and works to offer loan repayment to social workers for a two-year commitment in a shortage area, and who are licensed in the state they plan to serve. The Loan Repayment Program offers funding based upon the need of the community in which a provider work. For more information, contact the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, 2070 Chain Bridge Rd., Suite 450, Vienna, VA 22182.

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Amount: Varies

Description: The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is a government initiative to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full time in public service jobs. Borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their Federal Direct Loans after they have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers. Visit the website for more specific information about eligible repayment plans.

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State-by-State Social Work Scholarships

Find social work scholarships specific to your state by clicking on yours states name below:

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