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How Can I Find a Good Counseling Scholarship?

counseling-scholarshipsAs the hefty price tag of earning a graduate degree continues to steadily climb, so does the importance of finding good counseling scholarships.

With the assistance of additional scholarship funding, students pursuing a master's degree in counseling can reduce the financial burden of affording tuition expenses and lessen the amount of debt needing to be repaid after graduation. Since there are luckily many sources of scholarship funding available, it is important to realize that conducting a successful scholarship search takes plenty of time, patience, and effort to investigate all the possibilities.

If you are looking for scholarships to fill the financial gap towards achieving your professional dreams as a counselor, the following is a short guide on how you can unearth the counseling scholarships specific to your specialty area.

Where to Look for Counseling Scholarships

In order to connect with scholarship programs available in the counseling field, it is important to think broadly because many diverse organizations and professional associations offer scholarships to qualifying students studying counseling. Since some of the most abundant counseling scholarships are school-specific to a particular accredited counseling degree program, one of the best places to search is your college's financial aid office. Contact the financial aid office to learn more about the campus-wide or departmental scholarship options that are available at your school based on your academic major, merit, or financial need.

Beyond the counseling scholarships provided by your university, there are numerous other sources of funding that can be useful when pursuing a master's degree in counseling. It is highly recommended that you search through the websites of professional associations, scholarship-focused non-profit organizations, foundations, advocacy groups, large corporations, religious organizations, and service associations that may be connected to your specialty area. Furthermore, if you are working, interning, or volunteering at any organizations related to counseling, be sure to check with your employer for employee-based awards available.

Popular Scholarship Options for Counseling Students

Depending on your own specific academic specialty in the dynamic counseling field, there are many popular nationwide financial award programs that can used as additional funding for accredited counseling degrees. For instance, the highly respected American Psychological Association (APA) offers the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Predoctoral Fellowship to support the training of counseling psychology doctoral students pursuing careers in behavioral health services.

Furthermore, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) offers the Minority Fellowship Program to all graduate students enrolled in accredited marriage and family counseling doctoral programs. For those specializing their graduate studies in child or adolescent counseling, the Esther Katz Rosen Fund Grant provides up to $50,000 to young scholars in research-based programs enhancing the knowledge about gifted children. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) also awards several grants to students interested in pursuing a master's or doctoral degree related to rehabilitation counseling.

As you can see, there are several scholarship and grant programs offered across the United States for graduate study in counseling to help students alleviate the skyrocketing costs of achieving higher education. Since scholarships are based mostly on academic achievement, leadership qualities, community involvement, and financial need, they can provide students with the funding to cover tuition without the need for repayment. If you are searching for a means to close the gap between your financial aid package and personal financial capabilities, it is strongly recommended that you start searching for counseling scholarships early to have the best chances of finding the program that perfectly fits your funding needs.

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