San Diego State University

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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 serves 265 MSW students at a given time; 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.

The School of Social Work offers about 44% of its MSW students scholarships or stipends that range from $500 to $18,500 through programs such as the Title IV-E program and the Integrated Behavioral Health Program.

Other opportunities include the Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students, with awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.  Advanced  Standing Program students and 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.


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Jane Beers

Jane Beers Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Tom Beers has established a scholarship fund in memory of his wife, Jane Beers, who passed away this past year. 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, and enter ‘Social Work’ and ‘Graduate’ in the search.


Project CARES

For MSW students – Project CARES is an interdisciplinary collaborative designed to recruit, retain, and prepare 24 students from underrepresented groups in school psychology, school counseling, and school social work programs as highly qualified Culturally Affirming and Responsive Education Specialists (CARES).  Download Project CARES flyer (pdf).


Federal Loan Forgiveness Program – Perkins Loan – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

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.

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships For New Americans – Eligibility: Senior Undergraduates

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. Undergraduates who will be seniors in Academic Year 2011-2012 are eligible. The Fellowship provides $25,000/year and half tuition (up to $20,000 per year). The deadline to apply is November 1, 2011 and announcements are made in March of 2012. See for details.

McNair Scholars – Eligibility: Undergraduate Students

The McNair Scholars program is trying to locate deserving students. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are eligible. Must meet the following requirements: low income and custodial parent did not graduate from college. This requirement could be waived if student is a member of an underrepresented group. Students must be interested in becoming a faculty member in a college or university. Students must be involved in scholarly research. Students attend monthly seminars on topics of interest to students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. They are eligible to apply for a stipend of $2,800. For information call the McNair Scholars Office on campus: (619) 594-1473.

Equity Fellowship – Eligibility: Graduate Students

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: (619) 594-5215.

California Senate Capital Fellows Program – Eligibility: Must have a four-year degree to apply

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 $1,972 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

Executive Fellowship Program

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, For more information,

Harry S. Truman Scholarships – Eligibility: College Juniors

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

Title IVE California Child Welfare Training Program – Eligibility: Undergraduate and Graduate Students

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.

County Department of Social Services, CPS – Eligibility: undergraduate or graduate students

The County employs student workers to perform limited social work services to clients in selected programs. Pay is $11.67 to $19.78 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.

Peterson Scholarship Fund – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

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

Mental Health Training Program (MHTP)

The San Diego State University School of Social Work is pleased to announce its participation in the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) II, Mental Health Initiative. The current initiative provides a training stipend of $18,500 per year for second-year graduate level social work students who are selected into the Mental Health Training Program.  See the MHTP page for details.

Maria Sardinas Scholarship – Eligibility: Graduate Students

To be eligible an individual must have been accepted to the MSW program at SDSU and demonstrate competence with Spanish speaking populations. Students must be in the mental health concentration and enroll in a special elective class. Students must have a commitment to work with the adult mentally ill. The scholarship is provided by Mental Health Systems in honor of Maria Sardinas, Professor Emeritus, for her many years of service to the mentally ill. Two to four scholarships will be awarded annually in the amount of $1,000each. Scholarship applications are available each spring and may be obtained from the SDSU Scholarship office or the School of Social Work. Deadline is May 1st.

Emma Pellettiri Memorial Scholarship – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

Value: varies. Open to students currently enrolled in public health, health science, counselor education, nursing or social work whose area of specialization will relate to sex education or sex therapy, emphasizing prevention of unwanted pregnancy and S.T.D. A completed application needs to include a one page essay that responds to the following: How would you encourage people to make responsible choices related to their sexual activity and/or your work or interest in sexually transmitted diseases? Finalists may be interviewed. Deadline is February 6th. For more information contact: SDSU Financial Aid and Scholarship Office (619) 594-6323 or visit


Witte Scholarship Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

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.

University and Departmental Awards – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

Two to three scholarships in the amount of up to $1,000 each are provided to social work students through the Scholarship Office. Criteria include a 3.5 GPA or above and completion of a brief statement. Applications are available from Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship, Student Services West, Room SSW-3605 or phone (619) 594-6323. Due date is in February of each year.

Trustees Award for Outstanding Student Service – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

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. Applications are available each spring in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship, Student Services West, Room SSW-3605 or phone (619) 594-6323. Interviews are also required. Due date is in February of each year.

Gognell Memorial Scholarship – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

Up to 10 scholarships of up to $2,000 each will be awarded for the 2011 – 2012 academic year. Questions should be directed to: Scholarships & Awards Hotline: (202) 408-8600 EXT. 504. E-mail:

SDSU Employee/Relative Scholarship – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

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. Applications are available in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship, Student Services West, Room SSW-3605 or phone (619) 594-6323. Interviews are also required.

Elie Wassail Prize In Ethics – Essay Contest – Eligibility: full time undergraduate juniors and seniors

The Elie Wassail Foundation for Humanity has offered- in past years- five prizes ranging from $500 to $5,000 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

Claire Burgener Scholarships in Human Service Eligibility: Disabled Graduate Students

One or two scholarships are available each year for approximately $3,000 for disabled graduate students who plan on working with the disabled after graduation. Awards can be renewed on an annual basis. For more information contact: Disabled Student Services (619) 594-6473

National Federation for the Blind Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students who are blind

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

Grants Offered to Native American Indians – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

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.

Emergency Loans – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

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 usually in the amount of $300 but could go up to $500. Students must complete an application and usually have to prove that they have the capacity to pay back the loan. Please check with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships: SS-3605, (619) 594-6323.

Emergency Grants – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

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. Please send a written description of your special need to: The Nice Guys at PO Box 881456, San Diego CA 92168.

Scholarship in Memory of Cesar Chavez – Eligibility: Undergraduate or Graduate Students

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. For information or applications contact the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, (619) 594-6452. Application for the spring award is in late October.

SDSU Women’s Association Scholarship

Five or more scholarships are awarded annually in the amount of $1000 – $1500. 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. Applications are available usually in spring semester in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship, Student Services West, Room SSW-3605 or phone (619) 594-6323. Interviews are also required.  See SDSU Women’s Association Scholarship details.

Soroptimist International – Eligibility: Undergraduate Students

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 $3,000, and the recipient will be eligible for an additional award of $5,000 at the Soroptomist regional level, and three will be eligible for $10,000 awards at the national level. Applications are available in October of each year and due mid December . For more information contact: Soroptomist International, PO Box 1052, La Jolla CA 92038 .

Study abroad: The California State University International Programs (IP)

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.

Fulbright Scholars

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.