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Grants and Scholarships for Master’s in Counseling Degree Programs

Key Takeaways:

  • Grants and scholarships can significantly reduce the cost of pursuing a Master’s in Counseling.
  • Visit your college’s financial aid department as a starting point in finding grants and scholarships.
  • Start your search early and be aware of the due dates.
  • Grants and scholarships serve as encouragement for students to pursue their passion for counseling without financial concerns holding them back.

While a master’s degree in counseling can be expensive, most people do not end up paying the full tuition cost. Instead, you can get master’s in counseling scholarships and grants to cover the cost of tuition. Typically, you have to apply for master’s in counseling scholarships on your own time. While some schools automatically submit your application for master’s in counseling grants, most degree programs expect students to apply for aid money on their own. 


Where Can I Find Scholarships and Grants for Master’s in Counseling Students? 

If you are looking for scholarships and grants for counseling graduate students, the first place to visit is your college’s financial aid department. Often, colleges will keep track of master’s in counseling scholarships for economically disadvantaged students. There may be scholarships for specific degree programs as well as merit-based programs. 

Your college may ask you to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a part of your graduate application. While FAFSA generally doesn’t have scholarships or grants for master’s degrees in counseling programs, scholarship committees need to see your FAFSA results to determine your estimated family contribution and financial need. In addition, FAFSA applications are often required for state-based programs and some graduate loans. 

Before you start your degree program, you should also look up master’s in counseling grants for your state. For example, the state of Texas will repay $10,000 or more in college debt for mental health counselors who practice in specific areas for at least two years. If you don’t qualify for enough master’s in counseling scholarships and grants to cover the cost of school, you may be able to save money on loan repayment through a state-based program.

The Top Master’s in Counseling Scholarships and Grants 

Can you get grants for master’s degree programs? While FAFSA and other federal programs generally don’t cover master’s in counseling grants, you may be eligible for grants through local organizations and your state government. The following list includes some of the best scholarships and grants for counseling graduate students. 

1. The Esther Katz Rosen Graduate Student Fellowship

Through the American Psychological Foundation, you may qualify for the Esther Katz Rosen Graduate Student Fellowship. This grant fund was created in 1974 to encourage psychologists and counselors to focus on topics related to the advancement of gifted children. Applications are due by the start of March each year. While award amounts can vary, the scholarship is available for up to $50,000. 

2. The Melanie Foundation Scholarship 

The Melanie Foundation Scholarship is for $2,500. This is one of the master’s in counseling scholarships that is available for graduate and doctoral students. It was created in honor of Melanie Merola O’Donnell, who died while trying to get her doctoral degree. To qualify, you must be enrolled in an accredited program and have experience volunteering or researching in the field. 

3. Tomorrow’s Counselors Essay Competition   

Another one of the top grants for master’s degree in counseling students is the Tomorrow’s Counselors essay competition. Offered by the American Counseling Association, this program provides a grand prize of a $1,000 honorarium to one essay writer. While a prize for first place is worth $750, getting second place involves an honorarium worth $500. The winner is chosen based on a 500-word essay.

4. Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund was created in honor of Norton Putter and Marian Davis. They were known as civil rights activists. Since 1961, the scholarship has been given to 1,500 people. To qualify for up to $15,000 in scholarship funds, students must be working toward social and economic justice. Additionally, they must attend a graduate or undergraduate program in the United States.  

5. Scott and Paul Pearsall Grant

Another one of the top master’s in counseling grants is the Scott and Paul Pearsall Grant. Provided through the American Psychological Foundation, this grant is designed to honor someone who is working to spread awareness about people who have disabilities. It is available for up to $10,000. To qualify, you must turn in your budget, a justification of your budget, recommendation letters from professors, and a CV. 

6. William White Scholarship

The William White Scholarship is run by the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC). Each year, one graduate and one undergraduate member of the NAADAC is given this scholarship award for their addiction research paper. The graduate scholarship is worth $2,000. 

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7. NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program

If you have already gone to school, this is one of the best master’s in counseling scholarships and grants. With the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program, you can get up to $75,000 of your loans repaid by working in a high-need area. To qualify, you must turn in an application and be willing to work for three years at an NHSC site. 

8. Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

The Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship is hosted by the American Psychological Foundation. It is offered for graduate students who are committed to ending the stigma around mental illness. These grants for counseling graduate students are given for $5,000 to successful applicants. 

9. Psi Chi Scholarship

If you are a member of Psi Chi, you may qualify for additional master’s in counseling scholarships and grants. The Psi Chi Scholarship is given to eight undergraduate or graduate students each year. Each scholarship is worth $3,000, and it must be used to cover direct educational costs.

10. NBCC Foundation Rural Scholarship

If you live in a rural area, you may want to check out these grants for master’s in counseling programs. The NBCC Foundation Rural Scholarship was created by the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation (NBCCF). Its goal was to increase the number of counselors in rural regions. With this goal in mind, this grant provides $8,000 to someone who lives in a rural area. You must commit to becoming a National Certified Counselor to qualify. 

What to Expect from the Application Process 

Applying for scholarships and grants can take a significant amount of time. Each one typically requires recommendation letters, personal essays, and CVs. In addition, these programs are generally quite competitive. To make the most out of your scholarship applications, remember the following tips. 

Start Your Search Early 

It is important to start applying for scholarships as soon as possible to make sure you complete every step. In addition to requiring a lot of paperwork, many scholarships involve an interview process. They also tend to have different application deadlines, so you have to be incredibly organized if you want to apply for all of the master’s in counseling scholarships you are eligible for.  

Never Pay Fees 

Unfortunately, some scam artists make scholarship applications and websites that look real. As a general rule, scholarships should never involve any fees. Legitimate scholarships are free to apply for, and you can easily call the provider by phone. If you can’t call or email anyone, the scholarship probably isn’t real. 

Likewise, real scholarships have been given in the past to other students. They have a list of prior winners. If you can’t see any names or pictures of people who have been awarded scholarships before, the scholarship probably isn’t real. 

Start by Making a List of Schools

Before you jump into your scholarship search, make a list of the schools you want to go to. Write down the contact information for the school’s financial aid office. Then, you can email the financial aid office to find out information about their scholarships and work-study programs. Whenever possible, you should try to apply for these programs when you apply for college so that you know what type of aid you will receive. 

Search for Your Field of Study 

Type your field of study into Google. Then, add the word “scholarship” or “grant.” If there are specific scholarships for your academic field, they should come up in a search. You can also use the master’s in counseling grants on this list to get started. 

Write Down the Due Dates 

Once you have created a list of scholarships and grants, you should write down the application due dates. Create a timetable for getting the right recommendations for each scholarship. By staying organized, you can make sure that everything will be completed in a timely way. 

Brainstorm a List of Accomplishments 

Before you write a single scholarship essay, brainstorm a list of your best achievements and career goals. This will make it easier to write essays for each scholarship. You may also be able to use your accomplishments to search for merit-based scholarships as well. 

Use Master’s in Counseling Grants to Lower Your Educational Costs 

With the right master’s in counseling scholarships and grants, you can save money on getting your master’s degree. While you have to apply for some master’s in counseling scholarships before you start school, there are grants for master’s in counseling that you can get after you graduate as well. In addition, there are master’s in counseling grants for specific regions, counseling certifications, and specialization areas.