Counseling is a broad field and there’s no such thing as a “typical day” for a counselor. Some counselors help students navigate through academic, personal, and familial issues, while other counselors focus on marriage and family therapy. As so many of these issues impact a person’s mental health short and long term, counselors must complete a rigorous master's program that can take between one and a half to four years.
Earning a graduate degree can be a heavy financial burden, and as a result, many counselors-in-training turn to scholarships to reduce their debt burden. This article highlights 25 scholarship opportunities that might help you pay for your degree should you qualify and be selected. Each scholarship includes a brief description, the award amount, and a link to the scholarship website. As you read, please keep in mind that some information may have changed since this article's publication (November 2019)
List of Counseling Scholarships
NBCFF Minority Fellowship Program
Amount: up to $20,000
Description: Awards up to 80 masters-level minority fellows each year and is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The program seeks to improve mental health resources and availability of marriage and family therapists to underserved minority populations.
Description: The Pride Foundation offers over 60 scholarships to support students pursuing post-secondary education, including any graduate school. The scholarships are available to residents of the northwest on a yearly basis, including Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington, but they may study in a different state.
Description: The Scott and Paul Pearsall Grant grants graduate students working to increase awareness of stigma towards people with physical disabilities. Applicants must be full-time graduate students in good academic standing.
Description: The David H. and Beverly A. Barlow Grant supports graduate students who are researching anxiety and anxiety related disorders. Applicants must be affiliated with a nonprofit organization in order to be eligible for this award..
Description: The Services for Transition Age Youth Fellowship supports students pursuing their master’s in mental health services. The fellowship specifically targets those who are training to serve transition age youth (ages 16 to 25) as well as their families.
Description: The Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship supports student research and projects that aim to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Stigma is often a barrier to treatment even though millions of Americans are living with mental illnesses.
AAC’s Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship Program
Description: The Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship is funded by the American Addiction Centers and is awarded to students in social work, psychology, nursing, counseling, marriage and family therapy and substance abuse programs.
Description: The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is for students of Hispanic heritage working towards a university degree. Graduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be eligible to receive this award.
Description: The Nassau Counselors Association supports students pursuing a master’s degree in counseling. Students must be residents of Nassau County in New York and demonstrate commitment to counseling in order to be considered.
Description: The Melanie Foundation Scholarship supports students who align with Melanie Merola O’Donnell’s legacy of helping others through wisdom and compassion. It is awarded to one candidate earning their master’s in the mental health field each year.
Description: The Betty W Robbins Endowed Scholarship is funded by The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, which addresses the needs of children and youth. Scholarships are awarded each April to graduate students.
Description: The Henry and Susanne Clay Scholarship is awarded to members of Michigan School Counselor Association who are earning an advanced degree in school counseling. The scholarship is awarded each year and intended for tuition and/or books.
Description: The Ab Irvine Scholarship is granted to two students in either undergraduate or graduate programs studying psychology, counseling, or social work in the Great South District (Colorado, New Mexico, or El Paso).
Description: The Cheryl Hamel School Counselor Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a master’s in elementary or secondary school counseling at West Chester University. Students must have at least a 3.5 GPA.
Description: Emeliza Swain was an educator and invaluable in the development of the Georgia School Counselors Association. The scholarship is awarded to students at Georgia University earning a masters in guidance or school counseling.
Description: The Ohio State Counselor Association (OSCA) Graduate Student Scholarship is awarded to two students in school counseling programs in Ohio. Students must also maintain an active membership at the OSCA.
Amount: $1,000 (other amounts for first and second prize)
Description: The ACA Tomorrow’s Counselor Awards is technically not a scholarship, but a yearly award for students preparing for counseling careers with excellent academic standing. There is a grand prize of $1000, first prize of $750 and second prize of $500.
Description: The Sandra Koscielniak Graduate Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a masters in social work, counseling, psychology, or family therapy with a focus on youth in Illinois. Applicants must plan to work with youth in social services.
Description: The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority awards graduate students enrolled in a counseling degree program an award between $500-$1000 each year. Students must submit an essay detailing their community service activities and goals.
Description: The Nancy Howell Scholarship is awarded to two graduate students each year - one pursuing a master’s and one pursuing a doctoral degree in counseling. Students must demonstrate leadership potential as future counselors.
Grungo Colarulo Giving Back to the Community Scholarship
Description: The Grungo Colarulo Giving Back to the Community Scholarship is for students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in the US and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants must submit an essay on community service to be eligible for this award.