If you’re determined to pursue your psychology degree, you’re not alone. From criminal psychology to political psychology, there is a wide spectrum of available opportunities in countless careers geared towards students with a psychology degree. For those who want to positively impact others while making a good living, there’s never been a better time to pursue the field of psychology.
Still, while a wide world of opportunity awaits psychology students, the seemingly constant rise in the cost of college has made it more difficult for aspiring psychology experts to earn their degree. When the cost associated with college becomes too steep, students are forced to take on unwanted debt by taking out loans. Fortunately, the entire debt-producing process can be averted by students who discover the benefits of scholarships.
Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about scholarships for psychology students, including:
- what psychology scholarships are,
- how you can apply for them,
- specific scholarships and grants intended solely for psychology students, and
- how to identify and use the most reliable resources for finding psychology scholarships.
What Are Psychology Scholarships?
A psychology scholarship is a type of funding that you can use to help pay for the cost of the books, fees, and tuition you’ll encounter as you pursue your psychology degree. It is a form of financial assistance that you can earn based on either your prior academic achievement or your level of financial need. Scholarships are also available through memberships in relevant organizations and via certain types of competitions.
The reason why a psychology scholarship is so appealing to students seeking their degree is that it never has to be paid back. Unlike a student loan, students who receive a scholarship get to keep every penny they earn, whether it’s $500 or $100,000.
This obviously makes a psychology scholarship a hot commodity for anyone interested in obtaining their psychology degree without enduring the stress that comes from the debt associated with student loans.
How to Apply for Psychology Scholarships
There are four specific steps you can take to apply for the psychology scholarships that are right for you:
1Start Searching Today
Keep in mind that the entire process of earning scholarships is a competitive one. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of students actively pursuing the same available funds you want. That’s why it’s important to begin your psychology scholarship pursuit as early as possible.
The earlier you begin the process, the more likely you are to get the scholarships you need. Be inquisitive. Be resilient. Be resourceful. But most important, be aggressive in your pursuit of the scholarships that will help make your dream of earning a psychology degree a reality.
2Narrow Down Your Psychology Field
There are several fields for which you can pursue a psychology degree. Within these fields are organizations and companies that offer scholarships aimed at preparing students for work in their specific area.
In order to get the right scholarship for you, choose which field you want to pursue and then search for related scholarships. Then ask a teacher or guidance counselor who you trust to help you choose the right scholarship.
3Gather All the Application Documents You’ll Need
& Pay Attention to Deadlines
As with all things academic-related, preparation is key to turning in a successful psychology scholarship application. You’ll want to be fully aware of the many different items you must submit.
If you’re required to turn in one or more letters of recommendation, be sure to ask someone who can vouch for your character and work ethic, and ask them early in the process. That’ll give them plenty of time to craft an effective recommendation.
On that note, be sure you’re aware of the deadlines for submission of your application documents. Missing a deadline is a surefire way to lose out on a scholarship.
4Do the Best You Can on Your Application Essays by Preparing Early
Scholarship essays are a wonderful opportunity to showcase your achievements and all the many reasons why you deserve a particular scholarship. Hence, it is to your benefit to begin writing them as soon as possible, rather than putting them off to the last minute.
Making your application essays a top priority will allow you to write the honest, highly reflective responses that could earn you valuable scholarship money.
Scholarships, Awards, Fellowships, and Grants for Psychology Students
Of course, the most important (and often most difficult) part of applying for scholarships or grants is actually finding an award that suits your needs and circumstances. Some scholarships are very specific, others are a bit more broad, but all the scholarships listed below focus on financially supporting students studying psychology, social work, counseling, or other related fields. The awards range from undergraduate to graduate to postdoctorate support. Some are geared toward helping defray the cost of tuition while others are specifically designed to fund research. Read through each description to find the scholarships most suitable to you. And check back often! We update this list as we find more scholarships for psychology students!
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Predoctoral Fellowship
Amount: Up to $21,600 Deadline: January 15
This fellowship is for students actively enrolled full time in doctoral programs in counseling, clinical or school psychology with a focus on entering a career in behavioral health services. Applicants must not be in an internship year and must demonstrate a strong commitment to serving communities of color.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Postdoctoral Fellowship
Amount: Up to $43,476 Deadline: January 15
Lullellia W. Harrison Counseling Scholarship
Amount: $500-$1,000 Deadline: February 1
HIAS Chicago Benton Bernstein Scholarship
Amount: $25,000 Deadline: February 1
The Benton Bernstein Scholarship is awarded to students studying social work or psychology who have directly (or indirectly through their parents or grandparents) benefited from the services of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a Jewish American nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian aid and assistance to refugees.
E. Louise Carter Scholarship Application Form
Amount: $2,300 Deadline: March 1
The E. Louise Carter Scholarship is awarded annually for junior or senior undergraduate students or graduate students who are planning a career in psychology, social work or counseling. Candidates who are returning to school after an interruption in their education are preferred. Multiple candidates may be chosen each year to receive the scholarship.
JED Student Voice of Mental Health Award
Amount: $3,000 Deadline: March 1
Credentialing Scholarship for Early Career Psychologists
Amount: $150 Deadline: April 15
John and Polly Sparks Early Career Grant for Psychologists Investigating Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED)
Amount: Up to $22,000 Deadline: April 15
The Clara Mayo Grants
Amount: $1,000 Deadline: May 15, October 1
Teens Path to Success Scholarship
Amount: $500 Deadline: May 31
Future Counselors of America Scholarship
Amount: $1,000 Deadline: June 30
Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarship
Amount: $3,000 Deadline: July 5
Morgan T. Sammons Doctoral Student Award
Amount: $10,000 Deadline: July 15
The National Register of Health Service Psychologists offers this award annually to a full-time enrolled doctoral student researching psychological interventions in applied settings. The award is designed to help students further their research and emphasize the important role psychology plays in healthcare.
NASP Graduate Student Research Grants
Amount: $1,000 Applications open: September 1
Stephen Mitchell Award
Amount: $500 Deadline: October 1
This award is sponsored by the academic journal Psychoanalytic Psychology and the Board of the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology. The award includes $500 for an outstanding graduate student paper and $500 to cover travel expenses to present the paper as well as publication in the Psychoanalytic Psychology journal.
Foundation for Rehabilitation Psychology Dissertation Award
Amount: $1,000-$4,000 Deadline: November 1
Roy Scrivner Research Grant
Amount: $8,000 Deadline: November 1
The American Psychological Foundation sponsors this research grant to encourage psychology students to focus research on lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender family psychology and therapy. Preference is given to students who demonstrate an interest in following LGBT family issues through their career.
Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship
Amount: $25,000 Deadline: November 15
Psychological Science Research Grant
Amount: $1,000 Deadline: November 30
Psychology Scholarship Resources
While it’s good to know that there are numerous resources out there to help guide you towards the right psychology scholarships, the sheer amount of information readily available to you can feel a bit overwhelming. By focusing your attention on a handful of reputable resources, you’ll be able to better navigate the many options that await you.
Here are six highly distinguished associations, clubs, and organizations that can help provide the scholarship funds you need to seek your psychology degree.
The American Psychological Association (APA) offers a plethora of sources aimed specifically at psychology students at both the undergraduate and the graduate level. Some of these sources include private foundations, schools, and government organizations. The APA has positively impacted the lives of countless psychology students by giving them financial assistance for projects, research, and travel.
The Association for Psychological Science states quite clearly why they have chosen to help fund the academic careers of psychology students: “The APS recognizes that students are the psychological scientists of tomorrow and that’s why we offer a host of member-only research awards and grant opportunities.” If you’re interested in the science aspect of psychology, becoming familiar with this site is well worth your time.
If you are determined to use your future psychology degree to help others, you’ll want to look into this site. The American Psychological Foundation actively seeks to provide funding for psychology students who want to make a difference in the world. They provide several different opportunities to connect with comprehensive scholarships that are based on a number of criteria.
According to The Psi Chi International Society in Psychology, the scholarship money gained by applying to their organization is just one benefit of the entire process: “We encourage you to apply for multiple grants and awards throughout your college career because you will learn from the process. Each time you complete an application, you will gain experience and insight.” Tangibly speaking, Psi Chi awards psychology students more than $400,000 each year.
This site provides women with all sorts of psychology scholarship resources. It’s a helpful source that allows them to organize their scholarship options according to education level, ethnicity, and family (as well as other factors). Psychology Scholarships for Women is an essential site for any woman wanting to pursue her degree in psychology.
FinAid is an all-purpose site that will tell you everything you need to know about loans, scholarships, and anything else that will help prepare you to earn your psychology degree. It provides a comprehensive list of scholarship opportunities, so bookmark it as soon as you can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pursuing scholarships for your psychology degree can be complicated. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the entire process.
What are the different types of psychology scholarships available?
There are several different types of scholarships available to students seeking their psychology degree:
- Merit-based scholarship: A merit-based scholarship is a scholarship based on a student’s previous academic success. It’s important to note that this type of scholarship is not limited solely to a student’s grades. Other factors such as leadership roles and involvement in extracurricular activities can also be considered.
- Essay-based scholarship: The essay-based scholarship is a chance to prove to an organization why you deserve their reward money. Use this opportunity to demonstrate the uniqueness of your candidacy. While your application for a scholarship should inform, your essay for a scholarship should persuade.
- Community service scholarship: Colleges and universities want to recruit well-rounded and community-focused individuals. Show them you belong on their campus by using your prior experience within the community to earn a community service scholarship.
- Travel scholarship: Travel scholarships give recipients money to be used for interning, studying, or working abroad. The award money can be used for anything related to a student’s travel, including airfare, fees, and even spending money.
What financing options are available for psychology students beyond scholarships and fellowships?
Scholarships and fellowships are just two of the financial options available to psychology students. Other ways to fund a psychology degree include:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF): The PSLF allows students who have a direct loan through the federal government to have the remainder of their loan forgiven after they’ve made 120 payments on it.
- The National Health Service Corps (NHSC): The NCHS gives licensed social workers up to $50,000 in loan repayment once they’ve served two years at an approved site designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).
- Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP): This program allows students who work at least two years full-time at a previously approved health profession institution to earn as much as $40,000 in loan repayment.
Scholarship Options Abound, So Discover the Ones That Are Right for You
According to the American Psychological Association, there are more than 600 scholarships, grants, and awards available to students interested in pursuing their psychology degree. That leaves you with plenty of options as you prepare for this exciting stage of your academic career.
With its inherently intriguing course load and its ability to help you help others, earning a degree in psychology will be one of the most rewarding adventures of your life. Now that you’re equipped with a wide range of scholarship options, paying for that degree won’t have to ruin the experience.