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Community foundations across the United States have implemented scholarships for human services to inspire the next generation of compassionate leaders.
Human services positions typically require at least an associate or bachelor’s degree. Attending college certainly isn’t cheap with projected annual costs of $28,387 at public and $59,341 at private institutions. However, earning a human services degree will develop important communication skills and interpersonal awareness for good citizenship. After graduation, human services majors enter a market poised for 10-year job growth at 10 percent. Students could excel as child life specialists, case managers, rehabilitation therapists, addiction counselors, social workers, policy analysts, probation officers, and more.
Gain the financial footing to follow your heart into the “helping professions” with these human services scholarships.
Alice Yuriko Endo Memorial Scholarship - The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) offers over $70,000 each year through 30 national scholarships, such as the Alice Yuriko Endo Memorial Scholarship. Named for an activist who proudly participated in the 1964 Civil Rights March in Washington, DC, the fund supports residents of the Eastern District Council who exhibit interest in social and human services fields. Undergraduates of any ethnicity who attend accredited U.S. colleges full-time may apply.
Angie Houtz Memorial Scholarship Fund - To honor a generous United States Navy analyst who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, the Angie Houtz Memorial Scholarship Fund gifts $3,000 yearly. Human services majors matriculated at two- or four-year colleges in Maryland with a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0 would qualify. Applications must include official transcripts, three sealed recommendation letters, a resume of extra-curricular activities, documentation for 200+ community service hours, and a one-page essay response.
Camp Roy-El Scholarship Endowment - The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation (GTRCF) administers the Camp Roy-El Scholarship Endowment to recognize Roy and Ellen Brigman’s work helping handicapped campers during the 1950’s polio epidemic. Their legacy lives on with $1,000 awards granted to juniors and seniors at four-year Michigan colleges who strive to work with persons with disabilities. Students with a minimum 2.5 GPA in fields like human services, social work, and occupational therapy are welcome.
Caswell-Morgan Memorial Scholarship - The Northern New York Community Foundation (NNYCF) presents the Caswell-Morgan Memorial Scholarship with an average award of $2,000 to full-time or part-time undergraduate students who aspire to work in human or social services professions. Eligibility criteria includes residing in New York’s Jefferson or Lewis counties, entering the third year of study, participating in community service efforts, demonstrating respect for others, and giving three references.
David C. Maloney Scholarship - The National Organization for Human Services (NOHS) is unsurprising the top source for finding scholarships for human services across the United States.
Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship - The Truth Initiative endows the Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship for $5,000 to support undergrad and post-graduate students attending four-year U.S. colleges with a minimum 2.0 GPA in majors like public health, human services, social work, education, and counseling. Showing documentation of community service with people affected by smoking, especially low-income, LGBT, and minority populations, is required. Entrants will use creativity to design a campaign that inspires tobacco-free lives.
Elmer Ediger Memorial Scholarship - Mennonite Health Services (MHS) established the Elmer Ediger Memorial Scholarship in 1968 to support Mennonite, Brethren in Christ, and Anabaptist congregants in North America who are pursuing graduate study in the health and human services. For $1,000 to $1,200, qualified candidates must attend a Church-related college, have voluntary service experience, hold a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better, and show vocational interests serving the mentally ill or developmentally disabled.
Equality Leadership Fund Scholarship - Living in the Beehive State could make human services majors eligible for the Community Foundation of Utah’s Equality Leadership Fund Scholarship. Offering $500 to $1,500, the program selects college students registered at in-state universities with a minimum 3.0 GPA who show exceptional leadership advocating the rights of the LGBTQ community. High school seniors could apply for Utah’s Spoden-Moore Leading with Heart Scholarship too.
Harold McPheeters Scholarship - Named after the field’s “Founding Father,” the Harold McPheeters Scholarship is another of the NOHS’ human services scholarships providing $500 per year toward tuition in associate, bachelor’s, or master’s programs nationwide. Eligible student members must present a college GPA of 2.8 or better, have successful volunteer/work experience, and exhibit strong interpersonal skills. Before May 1st, application packets must arrive with a resume, transcript, two-page, double-spaced essay, and non-faculty human service recommendation.
Helen Hamilton Scholarship Fund - The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts awarded over $2 million last year alone to finance the higher education endeavors of residents in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. The Helen Hamilton Scholarship Fund specifically presents $1,000 to Massachusites who are studying human services, social services, urban planning, housing studies, or related areas for community development. Funding can be applied for tuition and fees at any accredited U.S. institution.
James M. and Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship - Valued at $8,000 over four years, the James M. and Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship is conferred by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to assist undergraduate students, including returning adults, who are studying the arts, human services, music, or ministry.
Lique Human Services Scholarship - Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) initiated the Lique Human Services Scholarship for $5,000 to honor the Executive Director’s 35-year career advocating that people be treated with dignity. Two recipients are selected yearly from high schools in Lynn, Lynnfield, Nahant, Saugus, and Swampscott. College-bound students must display genuine interest in human services professions to primarily help the frail elderly and vulnerable persons with disabilities.
Luthra Family Scholarship Fund - Endowed by Drs. Madhu and Vinay Luthra in 2014, the Luthra Family Scholarship Fund is organized under the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin (CFONCW) to distribute one-time $1,000 awards. Graduating high school seniors in the DC Everest and Wausau area of the Badger State who are pursuing careers in health or human services can apply. Selection is based upon attendance at a University of Wisconsin campus, academic merit, community involvement, and potential.
Mary Louise Buckley Scholarship - Belonging to the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired program, the Mary Louise Buckley Scholarship bestows $5,000 yearly to honor the Mercer County RN who volunteered religiously with Learning Ally. Eligible U.S. citizens or legal residents must be active NJCBVI clients, reside in New Jersey, carry a minimum 2.5 GPA, major in the health or human services, and demonstrate continued service to others, especially the blind. There’s also the Sarah Churchill Scholarship for Leadership.
Montage Memory Makers Scholarship - Montage Hotels & Resorts offers the Memory Makers Scholarship to recognize youth leaders between 13 and 17 years old nationwide who are positively touching their community. Five recipients earn a $10,000 college scholarship, complimentary two-night stay at any resort destination, and a feature in Montage Magazine. Future human services majors can apply by simply writing a 300-word essay outlining how you make the world a better place with an optional YouTube video.
MSSA John Moline Scholarships - The Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA) awards two John Moline Scholarships for $1,000 apiece to enhance the professional development of Upper Midwest students seeking careers in the health and human service field. Enrolling as a junior or senior at accredited four-year colleges in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, or South Dakota is mandatory. Other requirements include unmet financial need, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and community service involvement.
New Leader Scholarship Program - Funded by the Marin Community Foundation (MCF), the New Leader Scholarship Program sends $8,000 awards to Bay Area students who are pursuing education in human services, healthcare, public administration, or the social sciences. Full-time enrollment at CSU East Bay, San Francisco State, San Jose State, Sonoma State, or UC Berkeley with high academic achievement is expected. Priority is given to applicants from financially and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.
Timothy S. Ray Scholarship Fund - The College of Health and Human Development at California State University Fullerton created the Timothy S. Ray Scholarship Fund to present $500 yearly to full-time juniors and seniors majoring in human services or child development. Being eligible requires maintaining a minimum 2.5 GPA, participating in community service activities, exhibiting unmet financial need, and being dedicated to the helping professions. The SA application consists of seven questions with an attached resume.
Virgil Taylor Memorial Scholarship - The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Association started the Virgil Taylor Memorial Scholarship in 2009 to honor his 33-year career serving individuals with disabilities. This fund assists undergraduate seniors attending East Central University full-time to receive the bachelor’s major in human services counseling with a rehabilitation or services to the deaf concentration. Interested applicants must submit a transcript showing a 3.0 GPA or higher, one-page career aspirations essay, and one recommendation.
Wozumi Family Scholarship - Activist Brian M. Day began the Pride Foundation in 1993 to overcome the barriers to post-secondary degrees. Over two decades later, the Foundation gifts 50+ scholarships to Northwest residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Wozumi Family Scholarship specifically offers $500 to $3,000 for goals-oriented LGBTQ students and straight allies who are HIV positive or pursuing human services careers for the eradication of HIV. Majors could also pursue the Soaring Heart Scholarship.
Getting rich isn’t the goal for kind, altruistic individuals choosing the human services field. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for human services jobs is $42,010. Although this figure is larger than America’s median salary of $36,200, repaying student loan debt can drastically cut your money source later. Luckily, financial aid opportunities like scholarships, grants, and work-study can resolve the loan burden. These are just 20 of the scholarships for human services available to reward your community leadership with free tuition coverage.
Alex Esclamado Scholarship in Human Services - Sponsored by the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NAFFAA), the Alex Esclamado Scholarship in Human Services is granted annually for $1,000 for students of Filipino descent who are currently registered as sophomores at a U.S. college in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in a human services field. Eligible candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7, submit a letter of recommendation, and write an essay describing how they will work to strengthen the Filipino American community.
Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics - Human services majors can choose to enter the Elie Wiesl Foundation Prize in Ethics to win up to $5,000 by writing a 3,000 to 4,000-word essay analyzing an ethical issue they have encountered from a psychological, sociological, philosophical, or biographical perspective. Eligible participants must be registered full-time at an accredited four-year U.S. college, have at least junior or senior level undergraduate status, submit an original unpublished work, and demonstrate a genuine grappling with ethical dilemmas.
Ida G. and L. Leonard Ruben Scholarship - As part of Maryland’s Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant (WSSAG), the Ida G. and L. Leonard Ruben Scholarship was created to provide $4,000 annually to students enrolled full-time in four-year undergraduate human services programs related to counseling, gerontology, mental health, nursing, social work, psychology, physical therapy, special education, or disability services. Applicants must be Maryland residents and sign a promissory note to work at least one year for each year of funding in the state’s human service agencies.
Marjorie K. Simmons Endowed Scholarship - At Oakland University, the Marjorie K. Simmons Endowed Scholarship is available to provide $1,000 annually for up to five consecutive years to full-time undergraduate students in the School of Education and Human Services who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills. To qualify, applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, provide proof of financial need, and take on leadership roles in community service agencies or professional organizations.
Timothy S. Ray Scholarship Fund - At California State University Fullerton, the Timothy S. Ray Scholarship Fund was established to provide at least $500 in academic funding to an outstanding full-time junior or senior student majoring in human services of child development in preparation for a rewarding career in the helping professions. Recipients will be chosen annually based on scholastic achievement, financial need, involvement in community service, campus leadership positions, and dedication to the human services field.