Counseling and Psychology Scholarships and Grants


Updated July 15, 2024 · 5 Min Read

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This page describes 25 scholarships and grants for aspiring counselors and psychologists looking for ways to defray the cost of their undergraduate and graduate degrees. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Paying for school poses a significant challenge for many prospective psychologists and counselors. With most counseling and psychology careers requiring a graduate degree, students often look for ways to reduce their overall financial burden, beginning with their undergraduate studies. Unlike loans, which require repayment, scholarships and grants typically provide direct awards that students can apply to tuition and fees, books, research, and other expenses.

Check with the funding organization's website for up-to-date eligibility requirements. While most of these scholarships and grants determine eligibility based on academic merit, financial need, or both, some awards target specific specializations, geographical areas, or underrepresented groups.

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20 Scholarships for Counseling and Psychology Students

Scholarships for Undergraduate Counseling Students

Women's Independence Scholarship Program

WISP maintains a mission of empowering female victims of domestic abuse by offering financial resources to make education access possible. The program is open to applicants who identify as women and are also survivors of intimate partner abuse. Candidates must also be physically separated from their abuser for at least one year and no more than 10 years.

  • Amount Awarded: Varies
  • Eligibility: The scholarship is open to women who meet the WISP criteria and who are also U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or FAFSA-eligible international students attending an accredited postsecondary institution

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

This program connects academically talented recipients with valuable postsecondary funding opportunities. Scholarship recipients are drawn from the HSF Scholars program, which recognizes 10,000 Hispanic high-achieving students each year. HSF Scholars have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (high school) or 2.5 (undergraduate and graduate studies) on a 4.0 scale.

  • Amount Awarded: $500-$5,000
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be of Hispanic racial or ethnic heritage and U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.

Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarship

Awarded by the Schepp Foundation to "citizens who are pursuing careers aimed at improving the human condition," this scholarship funds young people committed to volunteerism. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need and participate in an in-person interview in New York. Past winners may reapply for future awards.

  • Amount Awarded: Up to $10,000
  • Eligibility: College-bound high school seniors and undergraduates below age 30 at the time of application are eligible. Key criteria include personal character, academic ability, and financial need.

Michael Vivian Scholarship for Mental Health Professionals

This scholarship is for students seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees in a mental health field. Applicants must submit an essay on strategies for destigmatizing issues related to mental health and well-being. The evaluation process favors candidates who demonstrate creative problem-solving aptitudes.

  • Amount Awarded: $1,000
  • Eligibility: This scholarship is open to applicants with a strong academic record, a personal commitment to growth, and a passion for mental health care.

Behavioral Health Scholarship Program

Offered by the California Department of Health Care Access and Information, this scholarship is available exclusively to California-based students and provides generous funding to undergraduate or graduate students preparing for mental health careers. Winners must agree to a year-long service obligation at an approved site.

  • Amount Awarded: Up to $35,000 for undergraduates
  • Eligibility: Candidates must have and maintain a GPA of at least 2.0, be physically present in California, and attend an accredited California-based school either online or in person.

Scholarships for Graduate Counseling Students

Courtland C. Lee Multicultural Excellence Scholarship

This program is offered by the American Counseling Association (ACA) in conjunction with Chicago School of Professional Psychology professor Courtland C. Lee. The award funds graduate counseling students with an academic and extracurricular focus on theoretical and practical issues in multicultural counseling.

  • Amount Awarded: $2,500
  • Eligibility: Applicants must excel academically and be actively enrolled in a graduate-level counseling program. Awardees must hold ACA membership.

FAHS Minority Fellowship Program

This award for the Foundation for the Advancement of Human Systems aims to facilitate growth in the number of culturally competent mental health, substance abuse, marriage, and family therapists. The program also encompasses multiple American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy fellowships for master's and doctoral students.

  • Amount Awarded: $6,000-$21,000
  • Eligibility: Students in graduate programs related to mental health and substance abuse counseling are eligible to apply. Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to serving racial or ethnic minorities, or other underrepresented population groups.

NBCC Foundation Scholarships

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) operates multiple scholarship programs for master's and doctoral students. Funded by NBCC donors and government agencies, awards mainly prioritize members of minority groups and students planning to work with underserved and high-priority clients.

  • Amount Awarded: Varies
  • Eligibility: Specific eligibility criteria vary among scholarship programs, but generally require applicants to be enrolled in a master's or doctoral program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The Melanie Foundation Scholarship

Awarded by The Melanie Foundation to a master's or doctoral student in a mental health field, this scholarship provides funding for which recipients are eligible to reapply.

Applicants must be enrolled in a program accredited by CACREP, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, American Psychological Association (APA), Council on Social Work Education, or Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.

  • Amount Awarded: $2,500
  • Eligibility: Applicants must demonstrate evidence of involvement in professional, volunteer, extracurricular, or research activities in mental health.

Vet Center Scholarship Program

Administered by the federal government's Veterans Affairs (VA) department, this funding program covers up to two years of graduate-level studies. Winners must work full time at a VA Vet Center for at least six years in the funding recipient's choice of a critical and hard-to-fill therapeutic vacancy.

  • Amount Awarded: Varies
  • Eligibility: Candidates must be pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in social work, psychology, mental health counseling, or marriage and family therapy.

Scholarships for Undergraduate Psychology Students

CABE Essay Competition

Sponsored by the Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education, this essay competition awards funding to participants who write compelling essays on career options for undergraduate psychology degree-holders. Essays must be no more than 750 words in length.

  • Amount Awarded: $250
  • Eligibility: Past award winners have all been enrolled in undergraduate programs at accredited institutions in the U.S. or Canada.

Student Research Award

Each year, the APA's Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Division 36) offers up to four research awards to undergraduate students. The funding recognizes promising research related to the psychological aspects of spirituality and religion. Proposed research should identify a unique and compelling problem related to the award's focus area.

  • Amount Awarded: $2,500
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students affiliated with APA's Division 36 may apply. The APA encourages applications from members of historically underrepresented groups, including women, racial and cultural minorities, and non-U.S. citizens.

Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology Undergraduate Awards and Grants

Psi Chi members may apply for the organization's many undergraduate award, grant, and scholarship programs. The diverse lineup of available awards generally recognize members with exceptional academic records and promising professional prospects.

  • Amount Awarded: $400-$3,000
  • Eligibility: Variable criteria apply to each award, but applicants must be members of the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology.

The Fund for Racial and Ethnic Diversity Scholarship for Emerging Scholars

This scholarship provides funding to students from underrepresented communities of color and who plan to pursue graduate studies in clinical or research psychology. It is sponsored by the APA's Minority Fellowship Program and is open to undergraduate students in academic programs related to the award's focus area.

  • Amount Awarded: Up to $1,000
  • Eligibility: Students of color from underrepresented communities may apply in their junior or senior undergraduate years. Applicants must be in a psychology or counseling program.

Undergraduate Student Research Award

Undergraduate students who have authored original research on a topic related to conservation, environmental, or population psychology may apply for this APA award. Qualified works include empirical research projects, meta-analyses, and qualitative reviews.

  • Amount Awarded: $150
  • Eligibility: Works must credit at least one undergraduate student as a lead author. Group submissions are allowed.

Scholarships for Graduate Psychology Students

Charles J. Geslo, Ph.D., Psychotherapy Research Grants

The APA's Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy operates this grant program for graduate students, postdoctoral students, and early-career psychology professionals. It provides funding for research into the psychotherapy process, and/or its effects and outcomes.

  • Amount Awarded: $5,000
  • Eligibility: Applicants must have demonstrated competence or experience in the grant's focus area. Graduate students, predoctoral interns, postdoctoral students, and early-career professionals who have published in peer-reviewed journals may apply.

David H. and Beverly A. Barlow Grant

This American Psychological Foundation (APF) award advances innovation in research on anxiety and related disorders. Applications are open to graduate students and early-career anxiety research professionals partaking in qualified clinical research programs.

  • Amount Awarded: Up to $8,000
  • Eligibility: Graduate students and professionals no more than 10 years out from completing postdoctoral studies are eligible. Award recipients must demonstrate the ability to carry out the research described in their application package.

Diversity Research Grant for Predoctoral Candidates

Offered by the APA's Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, this grant provides funding for up to two recipients annually. The program is open to eligible pre-doctoral graduate students. Funding must be used to cover supplies, training programs, or travel related to dissertation research.

  • Amount Awarded: $2,000
  • Eligibility: Applicants must meet the APA's diversity requirements, which are defined as differences based on age, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender or gender identity.

Scott and Paul Pearsall Grant

This APF-funded grant recognizes work that increases public awareness of the stigma and psychological trauma experienced by people with major physical disabilities. The research, initiative, or program funded by the grant must directly address public misconceptions known or capable of causing stigma or psychological harm.

  • Amount Awarded: $10,000
  • Eligibility: Full-time graduate students and early-career researchers who work in the award's focus area and are less than 10 years removed from their postdoctoral studies may apply.

Services for Transition Age Youth Fellowship

This American Psychological Association (APA) award recognizes high-achieving students pursuing mental health careers serving young people aged 16-25. Recipients must display a strong commitment to working with youth from communities of color and qualify for career entry as a practitioner immediately upon graduation.

  • Amount Awarded: Up to $13,000
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in a terminal master's psychology program at a school that also hosts an APA-accredited doctoral program. CACREP-accredited programs, National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission-accredited programs, and marriage and family therapy programs do not qualify.

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