Counseling Scholarships

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Are There Counseling Scholarships for College Students?

Yes, there are scholarships for college and graduate students in counseling degree programs. This useful form of financial aid could make a master’s degree or doctoral degree more affordable. Scholarships for a counseling graduate degree may come from many sources. Colleges with CACREP accredited counseling programs are one option. 

You might need the following in order to meet eligibility:

  • Minimum GPA & Good academic standing 
  • Financial need 
  • Community service
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident 
  • Enrollment in an accredited prelicensure program

USC Rossier offers the Kelsey P. Dresser Memorial Scholarship. It is for a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) student. The award is $15,000 and doesn’t require a separate application.

Associations may also be a resource to check out. Often these groups may want to prepare the next wave of counselors with the skills to handle pressing issues. NBCC Foundation offers military and rural counseling scholarships. These also offer financial assistance to master’s in counseling students. In addition, graduates must commit to a service period.

Licensed professional counselors work with many groups and mental and social issues such as: 

  • Military 
  • Children and adolescents
  • Addiction and substance abuse 
  • Trauma
  • Sexual abuse 
  • Domestic Violence
  • Behavior and learning disorders
  • School counseling 
  • Pastoral counseling 
  • Healthcare 

10 Counseling Scholarships You Should Apply for in 2021

Check out these ten scholarships for counseling for both undergrads and graduate students. If you are an eligible applicant, apply now!

  1. Kelsey P. Dresser Memorial Scholarship
  2. NBCC Military Scholarship
  3. NBCC Rural Scholarship
  4. Roy Scrivener Memorial Research Grant
  5. Dr. Nicolas Vacc Scholarship 
  6. APF Queen-Nellie Evans Scholarship 
  7. Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship Program 
  8. APF Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship
  9. Future Counselors of America Scholarship
  10. UNF Ashley Barnes Memorial Fellowship for School Counseling

What Different Types of Counseling Scholarships Could Help Pay for College?

Scholarships for counseling are either merit or financial need based. These awards could be for undergraduate and graduate counseling students. Many orgs also provide counseling scholarships to students of color. The scholarship fund could also cover tuition, fees and extras and you don’t have to pay it back. 

If you’re a high school senior, then check out the AAC. The American Addiction Center offers 3 annual awards. If you’re majoring in behavioral health and related fields, you may qualify. Financial aid may be available from your school if you’re a college student. There are also many groups that want to promote diversity and a culturally savvy counseling workforce. The APA offers the Queen Nellie Evans Scholarship. It is for minority students pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate. 

What Counseling Organizations Offer Awards?

You should check out the American Psychological Association. They represent the psychology field. Their American Psychological Foundation (APF) provides many counseling scholarships and research grants. One award is the Roy Scrivener Memorial Research Grant of $8,000. It is for applied research into LGBTQ family therapy.

American School Counselor Association

The ASCA also offers resources for school counselor members. They also fund research grants. If you’re interested you have to submit a proposal. It should describe how to make school counseling programs or counselors more effective. 

National Association of Black Social Workers 

NABSW has special interests in advocacy for the needs of African Americans. Each year they offer the Cenie “Jojo” Williams Tuition Scholarships. If you’re a NABSW member, you may apply as an undergrad. You may also apply if you’re a master’s degree or doctoral degree student. 

National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation

The NBCC also strives to help more meet the needs of undeserved groups. To do this, they offer counseling scholarships and fellowship programs. If your goal is to work as a licensed professional counselor, check their offerings. You may qualify based on several factors, including who you want to help once you start your career. 

The NBCC military scholarships are for service members, veterans, and their spouses. To qualify, you must be enrolled in a CACREP accredited counseling master’s program. In return for this counseling scholarship of $8,000, you also must commit to provide mental health services to service members and veterans. 

Council on Social Work Education

The CSWE has an accrediting wing for social work programs. CSWE also supports the mission of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They offer the Minority Fellowship Program. Its goal is to reduce the effects of mental illness in undeserved groups by preparing capable social workers. 

National Association of Junior Auxiliaries

NAJA is about the special needs of children and youth. They offer the NAJA Graduate Scholarship for those who plan to work directly with these groups. Eligible applicants include both full time and part time students.

Why You Should Study or Major in Counseling?

A counseling major could yield the listening skills needed in booming mental health fields. Jobs in community and social services could also be some of the fastest growing. For many of these jobs, you usually need a master’s degree or doctoral degree and state license in your field. Salaries in these fields could vary. The average annual wage was $47,520 in May 2020.

According to the, demand in clinical mental health counseling is also very high. Mental health counselors know how to work with substance abuse, behavior problems and addiction. By the end of the decade, they predict 79,000 new jobs in this field.

Let’s say you prefer working with couples and families. Marriage and family therapists are also in demand. This field should add 66,200 new jobs through 2029. School and career counselors also face a bright outlook. Rising enrollment and people transitioning out of the field are creating opportunity. About 26,800 new jobs are forecast for this period. For instance, some licensed marriage counselors earned more than $87,700 per year. So, majoring in counseling may also fulfill a purpose that rewards you with job satisfaction. That’s why you should apply for as many counseling scholarships in order to achieve your goals.

List of Counseling Scholarships

Check out our list of 39 counseling scholarships worth $354K.

AAMFT/SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program

AAMFT/SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program provides financial support to graduate students pursuing degrees in Marriage and Family therapy in return for a two year service commitment.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1


APF Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

The APF Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship is a $1,000 award that supports graduate level research into mental illness.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: May 15

NBCC Foundation Military Scholarship (Master’s)

The NBCC Foundation military scholarships are $8,000 awards for service members, veterans, and their spouses pursuing a career in professional counseling in exchange for a work commitment.

Total: $8000

Awards: 1


NBCC Foundation Rural Scholarship (Master’s)

The NBCC Foundation Rural Scholarship (Master’s) are $8,000 awards for rural students enrolled in a CACREP accredited master’s program in return for a work commitment.

Total: $8000

Awards: 1


NBCC Foundation Dr. Nichola Vacc Scholarship (Doctoral)

The NBCC Foundation Dr. Nichola Vacc Scholarship (Doctoral) is a $8,000 award for a doctoral level counseling student.

Total: $8000

Awards: 1


NBCC Minority Fellowship Program for Mental Health Counselors

The NBCC Foundation will administer up to 30 master’s level counseling fellowships of $10,000in exchange for a commitment to teach, serve or counsel minority populations post graduation.

Total: $300000

Awards: 30


APF Queen-Nellie Evans Scholarship

The APF Queen-Nellie Evans Scholarship is a $4,000 award that supports minority students going for a master’s or doctorate degree in an accredited program.

Total: $4000

Awards: 1

Deadline: January 23

Roy Scrivener Memorial Research Grant

The APF Roy Scrivener Memorial Research Grant is an $8,000 grant towards scientific and applied research focused on LGBTQ family therapy.

Total: $8000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 15

NAJA Graduate Scholarship

The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, Inc offers graduate scholarships to those planning to work directly with children.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01