Obtaining a graduate degree in psychology can prepare students for jobs in counseling services, social worker positions, forensic psychologists and other professional careers that concentrate on an enhanced understanding of the human mind. But higher education is not cheap, and can easily leave students with piles of debt. The purpose of this guide is to provide scholarship opportunities and other financial resources for current and prospective students looking to graduate with a psychology degree.
A great source for obtaining scholarships is the college in which the student is enrolled in their psychology program. They will provide the students direct assistance and aid to assist in studies. Despite this aid, there are many other resources that a student can get additional scholarships, grants and assistance from. Here are some current scholarships available to psychology students:
According to APA,
43% of psychology students in a master’s program receive some sort of funding, while up to 10% earn full funding through tuition waivers and stipends.
80-100% of students in PhD programs receive part funding and 60-90% receive full funding.
14-40% of students in PsyD programs receive part funding and 1-10% receive full funding.
It is possible for students to fund their education and get their degree debt-free. Loan alternatives are great ways to get free money and beat the record high levels of student debt.
As you begin your search for scholarships, make sure they are tailored to your personal profile to ensure that the scholarships you find are available for use in your online psychology program.
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Check out all of your options when looking for scholarships. Awards specific to psychology can be given for grad research, essay scholarships, community service scholarships, science, health and social sciences scholarships, professional psychological organizations and state agencies. Once you have compiled a list of scholarships to apply to, make sure your application stands out from all the rest. Here are some tips to make sure your application shines:
Contain a focus on psychology/counseling/therapy experience: Only try to include experience relevant to the field of psychology. Recent and relevant volunteer, internship or other experience will be a good addition to any scholarship application.
Key items a psychology student applicant should include in their personal statement: Personal statements should entail a student’s personal and professional background and their future career goals. Do not go into too much information detailing personal health problems or overly broad personal goals. The tone needs to be more professional and less conversational.
Relevant mental health/therapy and academic activities and honors important for scholarship consideration: Any achievements obtained in regards to this field will be important to include in your scholarship application. Include high scoring GPA’s and other honors that show your dedication, motivation and responsibility in your studies.
Tips for writing, proofreading, editing and revising scholarship essays:
When starting your essay, identify your audience. Who will be reading your essay and how can you personalize it to them?
Make sure you understand the question, or rephrase it so it makes more sense. Once you have done this, get to writing.
The introduction is the first thing anyone will read and needs to be enticing to draw the reader in. Tell them what the essay is going to be about.
Once you are in the body of your essay use descriptive and active word choices. Show, don’t tell.
After the essay is written, revise, and then revise again. Read through it multiple times, and even out loud to correct any mistakes.
Get someone else to proofread your essay before it is submitted. Go to your college resource center and have professionals read it over and make suggestions. Make sure there are absolutely no errors.
Once you feel it is the best it can be, submit it.
Financial Aid for Online Colleges details other sources for funding and gives tips to optimize your FAFSA in order to receive the most federal aid as possible.
Besides the basic options of financial aid or grants, there are many other ways to fund an education that are often overlooked. Here are some examples of innovative ideas to save or earn money towards an education:
There are many personal choices potential students can make in everyday life that can help build funds to apply to a graduate degree in psychology. Every little dollar adds up in the end and can help tremendously in that future psychology degree.
Allot certain amounts of money to certain aspects in your life. If you have reached your clothes allotment for the month, do not spend any more money. Be strict with yourself and create distinctions between necessities and niceties.
Put 10% of your paycheck into a savings account every time you get it and make it off limits. Do not use that money for anything else.
Record your money input and output. Keep a checkbook and write down all your expenses so you know exactly where your money is going every month.
The government offers higher education tax breaks to students pursuing a university education. These tax reductions allow students to subtract college-related expenses from the tax they owe, giving a little benefit.
Reduce college costs to start with by applying work experience towards credits. Some colleges allow students to apply their work experience as course credits, creating a lighter load of classes for students to take, and thus less money. So research your options to find the best fit and the best savings.
Crowdfunding sites are a great way for students to raise money for education by getting donations from sponsors and the community. These sites allow anyone to launch a campaign for personal, charity, events or other causes. Students can personalize and launch their own education campaign to request funds.
This platform lets anyone launch donation-based campaigns to fund personal, charity or educational purposes. Create your campaign, then share with family and friends, and receive donations to help pay for tuition, board, books and other student expenses. GoFundMe has a 5 percent fee, and a processing fee of 2.9 percent plus $0.30.
This is another platform that enables students to create a personal campaign to receive funding for their education. Whether the money goal is met or not, you still get to keep all the money you raised and there are no deadlines to meet your goal by. Free accounts charge a 5 percent fee on money raised, and paid accounts charge a 3 percent fee, with the processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30.
This is a free platform that is open to anyone wanting to fund a project, including funding for educational purposes. Campaigns on this platform establish a set amount that you want to fundraise and a deadline to achieve that goal, and donors are given rewards based on their donation amount. When your campaign raises funds, a 5 percent fee is charged as well as a fee of 3 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.
Some companies offer complete reimbursement or tuition assistance for their employees to gain a college degree at a university. Some companies offer assistance for their employees to achieve any degree, while others only reimburse for specialized degrees specific to the job they are employed under. Also, some employers only supply assistance for certain universities, so make sure you check with your employer before applying to colleges. By getting a degree through funding from your company, your job stability and pay can increase substantially.
There are many professional organizations, associations, clubs and other resources that provide funding to students looking to pursue their education in psychology. Grants, fellowships, research grants and other awards are among some of many opportunities that are provided to psychology students at these sites
On this site are multiple organizations, private foundations, school, government and other sources that are specifically geared towards psychology students at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Organizations such as the American Psychological Foundation and the Association for Psychological Science offer scholarships geared straight for your psychology interests and will aid in psychology research, conference travels and projects.
This site offers psychology scholarship resources specifically for women. Sort the scholarships based on family, religion, education level, minorities and even height to get as many scholarship opportunities as possible.
This is an essential site to women looking to pursue their studies in psychology as it offers a comprehensive list of the possibilities available in multiple platforms such as psychology in sports medicine, politics or religion.
This award search has over 650 scholarships, grants and awards specific to psychology majors, and can be tailored to deadline, topic, type or the kind of recipient.
This is essential in that it allows students to narrowly tailor their search to the scholarships that are the perfect fit for them, skipping the arduous process of wading through scholarships that don’t apply to you.
The Federal government offers billions of dollars of aid to students every year in the form of grants. Fill out an application for free and see what free aid you qualify for.
The International Society in Psychology gives away over $400,000 annually to psychology students. Most are available to members only, and are available to undergraduates, graduates and faculty members.
This site offers grants, stipends and awards necessary for psychology research, conventions and travels.
For those interested in psychological science, this site has an abundance of funding opportunities for members and non-members of APS to enhance psychological research and other projects in this field. This is good for students looking to pursue the science of mental life and in need of funding along the way.
This is a resource that offers information on loans, scholarships, savings and military aid that can help students fund their college experience by matching them with psychology centered opportunities.
APF specifically works to provide financial support to students or early-career psychologists looking to make a difference in someone’s life. This is good for students looking for funds in specific fields, like human reproductive behavior psychology.
This site seeks to increase the participation of Black students in the field of psychology by offering awards specifically to African American students. This is for students who want to focus on the unique historical experiences and cultural expressions of African American identity. For many of the scholarships, students have to be a member.
This site offers information and scholarships on specialized fields, such as child, clinical or counseling psychologists. Scholarships here are specifically tailored to psychology students from large or private organizations.
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