Funding & Scholarships | Department of Social Work


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Child Welfare Scholars Program:

The UMD Title IV-E Child Welfare Scholars Program is available to MSW students through collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The primary goals of the stipends are to:

  • Reach out to practitioners in county and tribal child welfare agencies, recruit them to return to school and obtain an MSW, and provide financial support for them to do so.
  • Encourage others entering the MSW program to commit to beginning a career in public or tribal child welfare by offering financial support and excellent, relevant educational opportunities.
  • Provide graduate-level educational opportunities that prepare scholars to be culturally competent child welfare practitioners.

NEW: ICWA Scholars Program

Are you committed to creating better outcomes for American Indian children and families?

Are you interested in becoming a leader in American Indian child welfare practice?

Are you interested in receiving an $18,000 training stipend for your MSW program and receive professional development opportunities to prepare you as an advanced child welfare practitioner?

If so, consider applying for the new, Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies' ICWA Scholars Program! Learn more on the Child Welfare Scholars Homepage.

Students receive a financial stipend that can be used to cover a portion of tuition. In return, graduates who receive this fellowship are required to seek, and if available, accept employment in public or tribal child welfare services for a period of time. Other requirements include completing field placements in county or tribal child welfare agencies, completing curriculum requirements specific to child welfare practice, and completing a final project on a child welfare topic.

More complete information about the Child Welfare Scholars Program is available in the Child Welfare Scholar Handbook located on the Department of Social Work website. Applications for both the Child Welfare Scholars Program and ICWA Scholars Program are due May 15, 2016!!

Internal (University of Minnesota) Scholarship Opportunities

Will Dodge Memorial Scholarship (MSW Students)

This award was established to support students with experience, expertise, and long-term interests in grass roots community organizing. Community organizing activities could include locality development, social planning, or social action. Grass roots organizing refers to working directly with vulnerable or under served populations to achieve goals identified by that community. Application process will be announced to admitted students.

Peggy L. Scheller Memorial Scholarship (MSW Students)

Don and Sylvia Schimd American Indian Child Welfare Leaders Scholarship (MSW Students)

Graduate School Awards:

A limited number of fellowships and scholarships are available through the Graduate School. Please check their web site.

Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowships (MSW Students):

The Graduate School Diversity Office administers the DOVE fellowship. The fellowship is awarded to approximately 20 first-year students from under-represented groups (U.S. citizens or permanent residents). The fellowship provides a $22,500 stipend, tuition at regular graduate school rates (up to 14 credits per semester), and subsidized health insurance for one academic year. Graduate programs must nominate prospective students by the deadline, usually early February. Students who wish to be nominated should contact the Student Support Assistant, at umdsw@d.umn.edu. For more information, visit the Office for Diversity in Graduate Education (ODGE) web site.

The Graduate School of the University of Minnesota has designated at least two of its DOVE fellowships McNair Scholars are encouraged to be awarded to McNair Scholars. McNair Scholars are ideal candidates for the DOVE Fellowship since they meet the DOVE Fellowship definition of diversity of views and experiences.

Carol E. Macpherson Memorial Scholarship (MSW Students)

This scholarship was established in Carol's memory to assist "non-traditional" women in completing their education at the University of Minnesota. Scholarships are one-time awards and range from $1,000-$6,000. Deadline is 4:30pm on the 1st Friday in June. Please see this website for eligibility, application process and more detailed information.

Dr. Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo' Scholarship (BSW and MSW Students)

This scholarship assists University of Minnesota women students with financial need in completing their education at the University, with special focus on women of color, new immigrants, and first generation college students. Scholarships are one-time awards and range from $1,000-4,000 for the academic year. Deadline is 4:30pm on the 1st Friday in June. Please see this website for eligibility, application process and more detailed information.

External Sources for Scholarship Opportunities

American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work

Judith Holm Memorial Student Awards (MSW Students) are named for Judith Holm, the first President of the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work. Awards of $2000. Must be in good standing in the final year of a master's program in social work. Deadline usually in February

Christine Smith Graduate Studies Scholarship (MSW Students)

This scholarship was established for graduate level studies specializing in children and family issues.

Council on Social Work Education:

Carl A. Scott Memorial Fund (BSW and MSW Students): The components of the Fund includes an annual lecture series given at the annual program meeting, a publication program, and scholarship assistance. Two scholarships in the amount of $500 each are awarded to students who have demonstrated a commitment to work for equity and social justice in social work. Deadline usually beginning of May.

Minnesota Social Service Association

  • MSSA Diversity Scholarship (BSW Students) for $1000 will be given to a student from a diverse background. Scholarship application must be received in the MSSA office usually between the beginning of April and the middle of May.
  • MSSA Graduate Scholarship (MSW Students) is for $1500 and will be given to a graduate student in the human service field. Scholarship application must be received in the MSSA office between the beginning of April and the middle of May.

National Association of Social Work Foundation Fellowship, Scholarship and Research Awards

  • Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial MSW Scholarship (MSW Students) is awarded to a masters degree candidate in social work who demonstrates an interest in, or has experience with, health/mental health practice and has a commitment to working in the African American community. Deadline usually in March.
  • Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial MSW Scholarship (MSW Students) is awarded to master degree candidates in social work who have demonstrated a commitment to working with, or who have a special affinity with American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino populations, or in public and voluntary nonprofit agency settings. Deadline usually in March.

Air Force Clinical Social Work Scholarship Program (MSW Students):

The Scholarship pays up to two years of academic study for the MSW program. Pays for all tuition, fees, supplies, books, and any special equipment that is required. Also pays a stipend of over $2100 per month. Click here for information on how to apply.

University of Minnesota GLBTA Awards & Scholarships:

The GLBTA Programs Office awards and scholarships are open to all five University of Minnesota campuses (Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and Twin Cities). The GLBTA Student Scholarship Award (BSW and MSW Students) awards between $1,000-3,000 every academic year.
GLBTA Leadership Awards (BSW or MSW students)

The White House Fellows program (MSW Students):

This nonpartisan program is designed to provide emerging leaders an opportunity to experience the process of governing the nation while working alongside public servants at the highest levels of the Federal Government. The President's Commission on White House Fellowships chooses 11-19 professional men and women to spend a year in Washington, D.C. learning about public service and leadership. Fellows are placed in the offices of Cabinet Secretaries, senior White House staff, and other high-level Executive Branch officials. In addition, they regularly meet in roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors and travel domestically and internationally to study U.S. policy in action.

Post-MSW Fellowship (MSW Students)

Opportunity through the University Health Services at the University of California, Berkeley. Seeking two qualified applicants for the joint Fellowship in the Counseling and Psychological Services and Social Services units. Fellowships are full-time (40 hours per week) for a twelve month period. The stipend for the fellowship is $26,500 for the year. Applicants must have a master's degree in social work from an accredited institution.

Judd Fellowships (MSW Students)

Designed to support the continued internationalization of the University of Minnesota by providing critical assistance to students enrolled in masters and professional degree programs, and to increase opportunities for students to study, undertake internships, and conduct research projects abroad.

Minority Fellowship Program (Doctoral Students): 

Provides mentorship and training to ethnical minority social work professionals, preparing them for leadership roles in mental health research and in the delivery of mental health services. MFP accomplishes this by supporting students in completing their doctoral degrees in the field of social work. 

Policy Research Inc.

Policy Research, Inc (PRI) is pleased to announce a new, federally-funded stipend program for graduate-level research, the Disability Determination Process (DDP) Small Grant Program (MSW Students). This one-year stipend program will allow graduate students to conduct supervised independent research on improving disability determination processes.  This grant program will award $10,000 stipends to graduate students to conduct research on improving disability determination processes

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans (BSW Seniors or MSW Students)

Hungarian immigrants and American philanthropists, Paul and Daisy Soros, established their fellowship program for New Americans. 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. 

The Wellstone Fellowship for Social Justice (MSW Students):

Designed to foster the advancement of social justice through participation in health care advocacy work that focuses on the unique challenges facing many communities of color. 

The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (Licensed Health Care Providers)  provides $60,000 (or the outstanding balance of qualifying student loans if it is less than $50,000), tax free, to mental health clinicians in exchange for two years of service at an approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area.

The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) is preparing a second funding opportunity for the Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Grants (MBHET) program (BSW and MSW Students). Updates on the status of this funding opportunity may be obtained by visiting the HHS Grants Forecast website (select "HRSA" from the choice of agencies) and signing up to receive e-mails on new program details. The MBHET is designed to enhance mental and behavioral health care services by increasing the number of professionally prepared mental and behavioral health providers, including social workers.

The Eldercare Workforce Alliance has developed the National Health Service Corps: A Guide for Geriatrics & Gerontology Providers ( MSW Students). This guide is to assist in attracting more health professionals in geriatrics to the LRP. Although geared for aging-related professions, the guide is a helpful resource for others interested in pursuing NHSC funding.

The Indian Health Service's Loan Repayment Program (BSW and MSW Students) offers loan repayment for graduate and undergraduate educational loans for health professionals in return for full-time clinical service in Indian health programs. Social workers are eligible for the program. Policy Update for 2013.

Federal Student Aid Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees (MSW Students): Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees Program. The new program provides for the cancellation of the remaining balance due on eligible federal student loans after the borrower has made 120 monthly payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed in certain public service fields.

NASW's Loan Forgiveness for Social Workers (MSW Students) has information on loan forgiveness programs available to Social Workers. Review their website on "Frequently Asked Questions" on the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 and Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

Student Loan Borrower Assistance (BSW and MSW Students): National Consumer Law Center's Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project is a resource for borrowers, their families, and advocates representing student loan borrowers. This site is for people who already have student loans and want to know more about their options and rights.