Students who are seeking master's degrees in counseling can look to online databases, professional organizations and school-based resources when looking for scholarship opportunities.
Scholarship databases are available on financial websites such as SallieMae.com and government websites, such as the Federal Student Aid site, which is owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Education. Sites like these feature a searchable database of scholarships. Free registration may be required on some sites in order to access the database and apply for scholarships.
Students can search by keyword or by other criteria, such as:
- Degree level
- Religious affiliation
- Hobbies and interests
Once the search is complete, a list of related scholarships is shown. Students can view key information about awards, including:
- Dollar amount of the award
- Number of awards available
- Contact information
- Application deadline
- GPA requirements
- Major requirements
- Degree level requirements
Students can also consult professional organizations to find available scholarships. For instance, the American Counseling Association (ACA), along with the ACA Foundation, sponsors a yearly graduate student scholarship competition for students seeking a career counseling elementary, middle and high school students. These competitions require essays and have entry requirements, such as proof of enrollment in a professional counseling program.
Another professional organization that provides scholarships for master's degree students is the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation (NBCCF). They provide a list of scholarships on their website. They award scholarships to master's degree students specializing in certain fields, such as mental health or addictions, as well as to specific groups of students, like minority students, military students and rural students.
Financial Aid Office
Calling or visiting the financial aid office at the college of the student's choice is a helpful option. Financial aid offices generally have access to a wealth of scholarship information and are usually willing to assist students in their search. These offices have access to information about scholarships offered by the school, as well as scholarships available from outside sources.
Talking to college professors is another choice. Those working in the appropriate departments, such as the psychology or counselor education departments, may be able to point students in the right direction. A professor may also sometimes nominate a student to receive a scholarship.
Prospective students may be able to find books at school and local libraries that provide information on scholarships available to counseling majors, graduate students, minorities and others.
In summary, there are a variety of websites providing general information about scholarship opportunities for master's degree programs. Students can also learn more about scholarships through counseling-focused professional organizations, or by asking professors or financial aid officers at their schools.