Financial Aid

The School of Social Work serves 264 MSW students; 25 of those students study at our satellite campus in Imperial Valley. The School is committed to finding opportunities for our students to obtain scholarships and stipends to ease the financial burden of higher education.

Currently tuition and fees are approximately $7,800 per year for full-time MSW students. MSW students scholarships or stipends range from $500 to $18,500.

Other opportunities include the Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students, with awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.  Community Organizing students also have the opportunity to apply for $5,000  stipends, and the School offers various individual scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,500.


Are You a Student in an Immediate Economic Crisis?

The Economic Crisis Response Team, or ECRT, is a group of staff, administrators, students, and faculty from across campus working together to ensure students experiencing food or housing insecurity, or other immediate, unforeseen financial crises are connected with short-term and long-term aid quickly and without stigmatization.


The SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships lists numerous additional scholarships specific to social work students as well as opportunities open to all students. Adjust the search terms for even more results!

The School of Social Work Scholarship provides support for students in the School of Social Work. The scholarship funds will be awarded to first-year MSW students who are interested in Direct Practice. Awards range from $500-$1,300. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

The School of Social Work Scholarship provides support for students completing an internship in the School of Social Work. Awards are up to $500. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

The Norma Funderburk Scholarship is an endowment whose annual income distributions will be used to support student scholarship(s) within the School of Social Work. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Dr. Tom Beers has established a scholarship fund in memory of his wife, Jane Beers, who passed away. Jane was a graduate of our BSW program and always aspired to attend our MSW program. She worked in a variety of social work positions including 24 years at the Armed Services YMCA. Jane also served as field instructor. Jane was never able to return to the Master’s program at SDSU for her MSW but she helped plan this Memorial Scholarship and was very excited about the opportunity to assist students. The scholarship funds will be awarded to first year MSW students who are interested in Direct Practice.  To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Named after the founding dean of the School of Social Work, Ernst Witte, this fund provides one $500 annual scholarship. Criteria include student activities in community organizing and community development as well as academic achievement. Application is made through the School of Social Work Consensus Organizing Center in the spring semester. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Dr. David Pritchard devoted his life to helping others through a 35-year career in the field of social work, much of it spent teaching and mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Social Work at San Diego State University. After first working for the San Diego County Department of Social Services, Dr. Pritchard came to SDSU in the early 70’s where he was instrumental in developing the University’s Center on Aging. Upon receiving his PhD in 1978, Dr. Pritchard became a full-time faculty member in the School of Social Work, where he taught graduate MSW students in the aging concentration. His research and course offerings focused on issues confronting the aging population of society, and he played a role in establishing both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in Gerontology which did not previously exist. Dr. Pritchard later became the undergraduate faculty advisor and director of the undergraduate Social Work program. First and foremost, Dr. Pritchard was committed to teaching. He said his greatest satisfaction came from working with students. He had the unique ability to mentor and inspire students and to share with them his expertise; moreover, he was an untiring advocate on their behalf. As a result, he was honored with numerous Outstanding Faculty and Exemplary Academic Advisor awards during his tenure at SDSU. Many of his former students attribute their success in their social work careers to the influence of Dr. David Pritchard. Under his supervision as their Field Supervisor or Educational Liaison, SDSU graduate social work interns were instrumental in developing and establishing several key community agencies, including ElderHelp, UPAC, and San Diego Hospice. Dr. Pritchard valued cultural and language diversity and was always sensitive to the needs of students who were struggling to overcome odds. He was director of the SDSU chapter of CIP (Council on International Programs), an organization that brings social work professionals from around the world to the U.S. for an internship experience. As Professor Emeritus following his retirement in 1996, he helped develop an SDSU tutoring program to assist students for whom English is a second language, and actively participated as a tutor in the program. He emphasized the need for bilingual social workers to meet the needs of an ever-changing population. Through his students, Dr. Pritchard left a lasting legacy that endures in the community today. The David C. Pritchard Memorial Scholarship was established by Dr. Pritchard’s family, friends, and colleagues to assist dedicated students in attaining their educational and career goals in social work and gerontology. The David C. Pritchard Memorial Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the Gerontology program or undergraduate Social Work majors.This fund provides two $1,000 awards annually. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

The Kathleen Kopels Celebration Scholarship is to provide scholarship support to master’s students within the College of Health and Human Services and who have an emphasis in Mental Health. This fund provides two $500 awards annually. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.


Michele obtained her Bachelor of Science and Master of Social Work degrees from San Diego State University in the early 1980’s and worked in the Social Services field. She pioneered the Lifeline Senior Alert System in San Diego during her tenure at Mission Bay Memorial Hospital. Michele held positions as social worker, family counselor, and alcohol and drug treatment counselor at the Harbor View Medical Center and the U.S. Navy’s Family Service Center in San Diego. Michele served the San Diego community volunteering her time to several organizations bringing awareness to domestic violence related issues. Michele was highly regarded in her field of Social Work and was a valuable asset not only to Scripps Mercy Hospital but to the greater San Diego community. Her dose of realism and honesty with her patients and colleagues will remain her trademark, as she will long be remembered in the hearts and minds of those who had the pleasure of knowing and working with her. This fund provides two $1,000 awards annually. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

The Mark Todd Sandways Memorial Scholarship is to provide scholarship support for graduate students majoring in Social Work. This fund provides an award of up to $475 annually. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

The Jamie Brenner Geller Memorial Scholarship is an endowment whose distributions will be used to support 2nd year Social Work graduate students who are interested in enhancing the welfare and well-being of children. This fund provides an award of up to $1,000 annually. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

The NASW Foundation is accepting applications for scholarships and doctoral fellowships to help provide financial resources to social work students pursuing a variety of social work specialties. Apply online. Applications are accepted through March. See

The U.S. Department of Education has implemented legislation that will allow some social work students who have received Federal Perkins Loans to have their loan obligations reduced or canceled. The cancellation provision was developed by the National Association of Social Workers as part of a larger strategy to facilitate recruitment of social work students into areas of practice where they are particularly needed. To qualify for a reduction or cancellation of a Perkins loan debt you must work full time after graduation in an agency serving high risk or disabled children, families from low income communities, or in early intervention. Each year the student remains employed in one of these capacities, the Perkins loan obligation is partially reduced with full cancellation after five years. The U.S. Department of Education has allocated a limited amount of Perkins Loan funds to SDSU. The SDSU Financial Aid Office determines who is eligible for the Perkins Loan and traditionally awards Perkins Loan to the neediest financial aid applicants. Perkins loan awards at SDSU range from $300 to $3,000 per academic year. To be considered you must be enrolled at least half time and have completed the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA), which is available in the SDSU Financial Aid Office.  See for details.

This program supports thirty individuals a year for up to two years of graduate study. A New American Candidate, if born abroad, must hold a Green Card or be a naturalized citizen. Candidates who were born in this country to parents who were both born abroad as non-US citizens are also eligible if at least one parent is a naturalized citizen.  The Fellowship provides $25,000/year and half tuition (up to $20,000 per year). The deadline to apply is October and announcements are made in April. See for details.

The Chancellors Office provides Equity Fellowships to Graduate students who are economically disadvantaged especially aimed at but not limited to students from groups that are underrepresented within their respective disciplines (about $1,000 per semester.) Applications and further information is available from the Graduate Division at SDSU

The primary goal of this program is to provide exposure to the legislative process for participants and research and administrative assistance to Senate members and policy committees. Fellows are expected to have strong interests in public policy and politics. Eighteen fellows are selected each May. Fellows receive stipends of $2,964 per month during their eleven-month fellowship. Senate fellows are assigned to the personal or committee staff of a senator and work as part of the professional staff. For more information contact: David Pacheco, Director, Senate Associates Program, Center for California Studies, 6000 J. Street, Sacramento, CA 95819- 6081 or call (916) 278-6906. Applications are due February of each year.  See

The Executive Fellowship Program is a graduate education, public service and leadership development program designed to extend knowledge of California government, prepare leaders for public careers and promote civic education. The program gives recent graduates and midcareer applicants of all backgrounds and academic disciplines a unique opportunity to gain understanding of California government. Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $1972 plus health benefits. For applications and more information contact: The Center for California Studies, California State University, Sacramento, 6000 J Street, Sacramento CA 95819-6081, (916) 278-6906, [email protected]. For more information,

Scholarships in the maximum amount of $30,000 for up to three years of study are intended to fund graduate study for college juniors currently preparing for public service careers. Awards in the past have gone to outstanding students in diverse fields who have significant record of public service involvement. Must be a full-time junior, be committed to graduate study and a career in public service, be in upper quarter of his/her class, have a record of community service. For information contact: Frederick Slabach, Executive Secretary, Truman Scholarship Foundation, 712 Jackson Place, NW Washington DC 20006 (202) 395-4831 or visit

The IVE program provides stipends to students who plan a career in public child welfare. BSW students receive 1 year of support, and MSW students receive two years of support, at $18,500 per year. County Social Service and Child Welfare workers currently employed at county agencies are eligible for a special part time program that pays for registration, books and travel expenses. Preference is given to current employees of public child welfare agencies and minority students. Upon graduation students must complete a work commitment in public child welfare in San Diego County. Students must be enrolled in the Children, Youth and Families concentration. For more information call: (619) 594-6888 or (619) 594-8709.  See the School of Social Work Title IV-E page.

Program Value $8,000 A primary aim of the geriatric Master of Social Work (MSW) Training Stipend Program is to develop ADRDspecialized gerontological social workers who are well equipped to meet workforce needs. The GEWP- MSW Training Stipend focuses on MSW students in their advanced year. The program will provide eligible students in their final year of the MSW program with Training, education, and opportunities necessary to work with ADRD patients, their families, caregivers, and other inter-professional teams of social work professionals. Applications open in December. For questions please contact Kellie Scott, MSW [email protected]

The County employs student workers to perform limited social work services to clients in selected programs. Pay is $13 to $19.79 per hour, not more than 20 hours per week. These positions depend on county funding and are not always available. Preference is given to ethnic minority students. See County of San Diego site for details.

This Annual Scholarship Award for $1,000 is to be used for educational purposes of worthy, talented, industrious men and women who are planning a career or presently working in a child development program or in the field of developmental disabilities. The scholarship has been made available through an endowment established in recognition of more than 25 years of service by Raymond M. Peterson MD-MPH in the field of developmental disabilities, child development, and prevention. An application form is required, transcripts, two letters of reference and a one page letter stating interest, background, future plans and how you plan to make a difference. Applications are due October of each year. Any questions should be directed to the Office of Raymond M Peterson, MD, MPH, telephone 619-576-2909, Foundation for Developmental Disabilities, 4355 Ruffin Road, Suite205, San Diego CA 92123-1648. For application visit

Three non-renewable awards in the amount of $2,500 each will be awarded to currently enrolled full time students of the California State University System. The selection process will recognize students who demonstrate financial need and attributes of merit, including academic performance, community and personal achievements. Students must be nominated by faculty/staff members before they can apply. Due date is in February of each year.

Up to 10 scholarships of up to $4,000 each will be awarded for the academic year. Applications are due in March and can be found on the NASW Foundation website.

SDSU students whose parents, grandparents or great grandparents are employed or retired from SDSU are eligible to apply for a special scholarship. Interim, temporary or adjunct appointments do not qualify. A one page essay is required; finalists will be interviewed and several awards, each valued at $1,500 will be made-usually in April. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

The Elie Wassail Foundation for Humanity has offered- in past years- five prizes ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for an essay focusing upon contemporary ethical questions, issues or dilemmas involving complex human and social problems. Essays should be 3,000-4,000 words, can be in the form of a case study, a personal experience, or an analysis that is literary, philosophical, historical, biographical, sociological, theological or psychological. For more information about availability of funds this year and application procedures see

Students who are legally blind have received scholarship support in the past from this organization. Applications due in March. Contact: National Federation for the Blind, California Chapter,

Money is available for childcare for low income Native American Indian parents who are working in educational/vocational training. Tribal members must live in the county where their tribe is located. Interested persons may write to California Indian Manpower Consortium, Inc or call (916) 920-0285. 

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office on campus has available short-term loans to handle emergency situations. Loans must usually be paid back by the end of the semester in which the loan is taken out or in some cases by the end of the school year (spring semester). Loans are up to $1,000. Students must complete an application and usually have to prove that they have the capacity to pay back the loan.

The San Diego Nice Guys, a local charitable organization, has in the past provided our students with funds to handle dire emergencies. These are one time only grants usually awarded to disabled students or single parents who need funds to handle a specific emergency-perhaps providing one months rent, purchase of a wheel chair, or assistance to crime victims.

The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies offers a scholarship each year in memory of Cesar Chavez. Awards of up to $200 are given in the spring semester for the purchase of class materials or books. Applicants must be majors or minors in Mexican American Studies, Liberal Arts or Social Sciences (which includes social work), have completed at least 60 units with GPA of 2.5. Selection will be made on the basis of an essay, which describes the student’s community service and future plans. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Five or more scholarships are awarded annually in the Spring up to the amount of $1000. Preference given to re-entry women. Recipients can receive the award for more than one year. Several social work students have received scholarships in the past. To apply for this scholarship, visit the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

As one of the world’s largest international service organizations for executive and professional women, Soroptomist offers TAP (Training Awards Program) awards, to assist women who are in need of financial aid to upgrade their economic status through education. Candidates should be heads of households completing undergraduate programs. Amount of award is up to $16,000. Applications are available in August of each year and due November. For more information contact:

IP’s guiding principle is that students should be immersed in the academic and living environments in their host countries. All instruction is offered by recognized host universities or by distinguished host country faculty. Students live in the communities where their studies are pursued. Learning the language of the host culture is always a high priority. For over 33 years, IP is recognized as an exemplary study abroad program and is a valuable means for fostering an international perspective among students of the CSU. Nearly 12,000 CSU students have participated in the IP. Financial aid is available. From all over California, thousands of REAL PEOPLE just like you study abroad. Study in Asia, Australia, Europe or North or South America, and add an international dimension to your education and your outlook. Undergraduate and graduate students may participate in IP. For more information contact call (562) 951-4791 or visit Deadline is February 1st for academic year programs and May 1st for calendar year programs. Awards are $500.

For nearly 50 years the Fulbright Program has offered students, faculty, professionals and others to conduct research, teach or study abroad. At the same time, participants contribute to the growth of mutual understanding among countries and individuals. Each year grantees come from over 500 colleges in all 50 states. Every academic rank and professionals outside academe are encouraged to apply. The completion opens on March 1 with a deadline of October 17th. An awards booklet is available beginning March 1. Write or call for information: Fulbright Scholars, Council for International Exchange of Scholars, 3007 Tilden St., NW, Suite 5M, Box GBRO, Washington DC 20008-3009.

UPAC’s Beverley Yip Scholarship 2022-2023: (1) $2,500 Undergraduate Award and (1) $2,500 Post-Graduate Award

Due: April 15, 2022

Qualifications: Each applicant must submit a completed application and meet the following qualifications to be eligible for consideration:

  • Have completed at least a secondary (high school) education by the 2022-2023 academic year for undergraduate scholarship or have completed undergraduate education by the 2022-2023 academic year for post-graduate scholarship;
  • Be a current resident of San Diego County;
  • Be pursuing a degree or career in social work, behavioral health, addiction treatment and recovery, or related fields on health and human services;
  • Demonstrate financial need; and
  • Have demonstrated academic and leadership ability and/or community involvement.

More information:

UPAC’s Beverley Yip Scholarship 2022-2023 Application (pdf)

Contact Us

SDSU Social Work

Hepner Hall room 119
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-4119