At least a master's degree is usually required to become a mental health counselor. While there are scholarships available through colleges and universities, the ones covered below are offered through professional organizations or private foundations.
Graduate-Level Counseling Scholarships
|Scholarship||Awarding Entity||Scholarship Amount*|
|Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship||American Addiction Centers (AAC)||$2,500-$5,000|
|Schepp Foundation Scholarship||The Leopold Schepp Foundation||up to $9,000|
|American Psychological Association (APA) Society Convention Research Award||Psi Chi||$500|
|Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship||American Psychological Foundation||$5,000|
|American Psychological Foundation (APF) Graduate Student Scholarships||APF and Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology||$2,000-$5,000|
Sources: *Organization and foundation websites
Scholarship Eligibility Requirements and Application Process
Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship
This scholarship offered through AAC is awarded to graduate students studying counseling or therapy in other associated fields for addiction-related and behavioral health issues. First-place recipients receive $5,000, $2,500 to second place and $2,500 to third place. Students must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher and be currently enrolled in a degree program. The application process consists of an essay of up to 500 words on a given topic.
Schepp Foundation Scholarship
Graduate students who display academic excellence, strength of character, and a commitment to service, as well as financial need, can apply for the Schepp Foundation scholarship. Other eligibility requirements include the following:
- GPA of at least 3.3
- Graduate students must be under 40 years old
- Doctoral students must be enrolled as a full-time student
Students will need to submit their academic records and income tax returns to reflect financial need. They will also need to complete a personal interview in New York City as part of the application process. Students can receive up to $9,000 in assistance if selected for the scholarship.
APA Society Convention Research Awards
Psi Chi is an international honor society in psychology. Students who present research posters at the yearly APA convention have the chance to win this award. Two graduate students will receive $500 each. Eligible students are members of Psi Chi, listed as first author, and present at the APA conference. Students will also have to submit an application on the Psi Chi website.
Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship
The Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship awards assistance to graduate students focusing on mental illness. Winners will receive $5,000 to put toward better understanding the stigma surrounding mental illness. Students must be in good academic standing at the institution they are attending. The application involves submitting a project description that includes a budget, resume, and letter of recommendation.
APF Graduate Student Scholarships
The APF has 21 scholarships for graduate students, ranging from the $2,000 Dr. Judy Kuriansky scholarship to the $5,000 Harry and Miriam Levinson scholarship. Students pursuing their master's or doctoral degrees can apply for the various scholarships offered. All of the awards are intended to defray research costs associated with master's theses or doctoral dissertations. Institutions that are members of the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology can nominate students for scholarships. Students will need to complete an online application that consists of a resume, academic transcripts, research outline, and a recommendation letter from their graduate research advisor.
These scholarships require students to display academic proficiency, and in some cases, an interest in a specific area of mental health counseling. Students can determine which option best fits their needs and skills.