Scholarships Undergraduates and Graduate Students
Students majoring in psychology can pursue various financial aid opportunities, including institutional and departmental grants, low-interest loans, and private scholarships. Many organizations administer psychology scholarships for learners majoring in the field or a related academic subject.
According to ValuePenguin, as of 2021, the average student debt exceeds $32,000 per graduate. This is more than three times the 2004 average. Scholarships for psychology majors help learners reduce their reliance on student loans and work toward a brighter financial future. Graduates with little-to-no debt can typically put more money toward saving for retirement and a down payment on a house. Generally, graduating debt free also results in better credit.
The following article introduces some of the top psychology scholarships for college students, along with scholarship application tips and financial aid fundamentals. The final section details psychology scholarship resources that include professional organizations. Students can consult their school’s financial aid department for information about additional scholarships and financial aid opportunities.
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Search and Apply for Psychology Scholarships and Grants
The following scholarship opportunities accept applications from psychology majors in 2021 or 2022. Learners should consult each award’s website to review the latest information regarding admission requirements and deadlines. Typical scholarship application materials include official transcripts, recommendation letters, and an essay. Some restrict applicants to women or members of a minority group.
NASP-ERT Minority Scholarship Program
Who Can Apply: This scholarship from the National Association of School Psychologists supports minority group members preparing for school psychology careers. The scholarship committee considers full- and part-time students. Applicants must be in good academic standing and must have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and NASP membership.
Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Psi Chi awards eight psychology scholarships worth $3,000 each. Only Psi Chi members may apply, and the organization uses a July 5 application deadline. Applicants submit a resume, FAFSA results, and an essay. Scholarship recipients can use the award to pay for tuition and education-related expenses, such as textbooks and fees.
AP-LS Award for Best Undergraduate Paper
Who Can Apply: Undergraduate students passionate about academic research can apply for this competitive scholarship. Applicants must submit a paper not exceeding 25 pages by the June 30 deadline. Other application materials include a recommendation letter from the faculty member who advised the applicant’s research. The first-prize winner receives $500 and an invitation to the American Psychological Association annual conference.
Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program
Who Can Apply: This award supports graduating high school seniors. Applicants must attend a four-year school and must have a minimum 3.5 high school GPA. The scholarship committee recommends but does not require that candidates submit a teacher recommendation letter.
Foundation for Rehabilitation Psychology Dissertation Award
Who Can Apply: Doctoral students can apply for this award, which provides funding for dissertation research. Applicants submit an approved dissertation proposal, a resume, and one recommendation letter by the October 15 deadline. The program awards $1,000-$4,000 to recipients.
National Register Credentialing Scholarships
Who Can Apply: These psychology scholarships help Ph.D. students and recent graduates cover credentialing costs. Degree-seekers must join the National Register Associate Program and pursue an internship opportunity. Recent graduates must hold a state-issued license and apply by the October 15 deadline.
Stephanie D. Brown Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students training for a career in therapy or drug treatment can apply for this $500 scholarship. Applicants must be an undergraduate upperclassman or graduate student and must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants submit a cover letter detailing their career goals and academic accomplishments. The scholarship awards $500.
Future Counselors of America Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Undergraduate psychology majors can apply for this scholarship from DatingAdvice.com. Applicants for this $1,000 award submit an essay describing the relationship between psychology and online dating. The scholarship committee disburses funding one month after the application window closes on June 30. Past scholarship recipients may not reapply.
Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship
Who Can Apply: This one-year graduate student fellowship supports degree-seekers pursuing a doctorate in child psychology. Applicants submit a five-page research project proposal detailing methods, goals, and a timeline. Other application materials include an abbreviated resume and two recommendation letters. Interested learners must apply by November 15. The scholarship committee does not provide feedback on applicants’ project proposals.
Roy Scrivner Memorial Research Grants
Who Can Apply: These grants from the American Psychological Foundation provide funding to graduate students researching LGBTQ family psychology. Applicants submit a five-page project proposal, a project timeline, a detailed budget, and a resume. Other required materials include one recommendation letter from a faculty advisor. The grant awards $8,000 and uses a November 15 deadline.
Scott and Paul Pearsall Grant
Who Can Apply: This grant supports doctoral students and recent graduates researching the psychological effects of physical disabilities. Applicants submit a detailed project proposal. The scholarship committee considers each proposal’s overall quality and alignment with program goals. Interested students and professionals apply by October 1. The American Psychological Foundation awards $10,000 to one recipient.
Mortensen Academic Scholarship in Psychology
Who Can Apply: University of Minnesota undergraduate students majoring in psychology can apply for this $1,000 scholarship. The scholarship committee considers each applicant’s academic record, personal statement, recommendation letters, and extracurricular involvement. Candidates need at least 30 undergraduate credits. The next application window opens in late 2021, and recipients can stack the award with other institutional financial aid.
Lizette Peterson-Homer Injury Prevention Grant
Who Can Apply: Graduate students researching the behavioral and psychological factors behind childhood injuries can apply for this competitive grant. Applicants submit a comprehensive project proposal, a resume, and one recommendation letter. The grant awards up to $5,000.
Scholarships Application Tips
Learners researching scholarships can begin by reviewing professional organizations that sponsor awards. The advice below can help applicants stand out from the competition. Graduate degree-seekers should begin applying for scholarships as early as possible. According to data from the American Psychological Association (APA), less than 50% of graduate students receive institutional or departmental funding.
- Compile a List of Scholarships
- APA curates a list of scholarships, grants, and awards for undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers. Visitors can filter results by application window, subfield, and sponsor. Other websites feature similar tools, helping prospective and current students locate funding. To stay organized, learners can bookmark websites and create a spreadsheet of potential scholarships.
- Focus on Experience and Achievements
- Many psychology scholarships for college students require an up-to-date resume. Degree-seekers can enhance their resume by emphasizing their experience and achievements. For example, applicants may note that they have completed an internship, published a research paper, or assisted a professor with research. These accomplishments demonstrate a passion for psychology and a desire to positively contribute to the field.
- Create a Personal Statement
- A personal statement allows applicants to introduce themselves to the scholarship committee and make a good impression. Some scholarship programs require personal statements to follow a prompt. Regardless of topic, a personal statement should demonstrate the applicant’s potential to become a successful psychology or counseling professional.
- Review and Revise Your Documents
- Even a simple grammatical mistake may cause a scholarship committee to pass on an application. Before submitting their application, learners should ask someone to review their materials. A second pair of eyes often catches mistakes, even issues that grammar-check software misses. A peer or advisor may also provide feedback regarding paragraph structure and tone.
How to Make Your Psychology Degree More Affordable
In addition to applying for psychology scholarships, prospective and current students can research other ways to make their psychology degree more affordable. Options include the American opportunity tax credit. Degree-seekers taking courses at least part time can qualify for up to $2,500 per year in assistance. Tax filers submit Form 8863 to claim the credit.
Creating a budget helps many college students save on a degree. Learners should compare their current income to the cost of rent, utilities, and personal expenses. Students can put aside money for school by cutting down on luxuries and other nonessential costs. Small savings can add up over time and may reduce learners’ reliance on loans and other financial aid.
Students often save money on college by taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses during high school. Hundreds of colleges and universities offer credit to learners who score a three or above on an AP exam. Good scores can also help students graduate faster than their peers, potentially saving them thousands of dollars on tuition. Some degree-seekers achieve the same result by testing out of prerequisite courses.
College students who change their mind about taking a course after enrolling should drop the class as soon as possible. Schools typically lower the refund amount the longer a learner remains enrolled. Dates for dropping a class without financial penalty vary among colleges and universities.
Other ways to save money include buying used textbooks from online retailers. However, learners should make sure to buy the correct edition. Older editions typically lack the latest information and may make completing coursework more difficult. Students can also locate free online educational resources.
Paying for College with Financial Aid
|Grants support college students who demonstrate financial need. Typical application requirements include FAFSA results, which grant committees analyze to identify qualified degree-seekers. Recipients do not repay grants as long as they remain in good academic standing and meet any grant-specific requirements, such as maintaining full-time enrollment.
||The federal government offers low-interest subsidized loans to college students whose FAFSA results demonstrate financial need. Unsubsidized loans do not incur interest as long as learners remain in school, and borrowers start paying back loans after graduation. Degree-seekers should explore private loans only after exhausting federal loans, as private loans typically feature higher interest rates.
||Degree-seekers can participate in federal work-study programs, which pair students with on-campus or off-campus jobs. Participants work part time while earning their degree. Both undergraduate and graduate students can qualify for federal work-study positions, and part-time learners mayqualify. Participants can receive a paycheck or tuition assistance.
||Many employers help fund employees’ undergraduate or graduate studies. These programs usually reimburse students for each course they pass. Although participants do not generally pay tuition or fees, their employer may require them to repay reimbursement funds if they leave the company before a specific date.
Psychology Scholarship Resources
Undergraduate and graduate students can use the resources below to research the latest psychology scholarships. Learners can also join professional organizations, many of which accept student members. Common membership benefits include access to mentorship programs, job boards, and psychology journals. Students can discuss psychology organizations and scholarships with a career or academic counselor.
American Psychological Association
In addition to sponsoring numerous scholarships for psychology majors, APA publishes the latest research in the psychology field. The association also provides links to partner organizations, many of which help degree-seekers access funding and plan their career.
American Psychological Foundation
APF helps graduate students and early-career professionals fund research projects. These grants feature deadlines throughout the year, and interested learners create an APF account to apply.
Association for Psychological Science
APS administers student research awards for undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers. The association also hosts meetings, publishes multiple psychology journals, and maintains a job board.
Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology
Psychology students with good grades can join Psi Chi. Undergraduate students may qualify for up to $600 in scholarships, and graduate students can receive up to $1,200. Application deadlines for Psi Chi awards vary.
Psychology Scholarships for Women
This website highlights many of the top psychology scholarships, grants, and fellowships. Visitors can search for awards from political, religious, and government organizations.
The Association of Black Psychologists
African American college students majoring in psychology may qualify for one of this association's 11 annual scholarship opportunities. Applicants must join ABPsi and submit a research project proposal. Each scholarship awards $1,000-$15,000.
Psychology.org curates scholarships for psychology majors from multiple online sources. The website also features application strategies, information about other forms of financial aid, and answers to frequently asked questions.