A psychology degree prepares you for a variety of professions focused on making a positive difference in people's lives. You'll also learn how to analyze data, understand human behavior, and communicate effectively.

The ever-increasing costs of higher education has made financial aid resources for psychology students more important than ever. These resources may include subsidized federal loans, grants, and general or psychology degree scholarships.

This page offers key information and guidance as you examine financial aid for psychology students. You will find answers to frequently asked questions, an overview of financial aid, and a list of some of the best scholarships for psychology students.

A mental health professional holds a discussion with a small group of young people arranged in a circle inside of a classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you pay for a degree in psychology?

To help cover the costs of higher education, you should explore the various financial aid resources for psychology students, including grants, low-interest loans, and scholarships. These resources can significantly reduce the amount you ultimately pay out of pocket for tuition and other expenses.

Are there many scholarships available for psychology students?

Yes, you will find numerous scholarships offered specifically to students studying psychology at the undergraduate and graduate level. National and state psychology professional associations typically offer these opportunities.

Where can I find scholarships for psychology degrees?

You can start your search for psychology degree scholarships online. Then, speak with your high school guidance counselor or college academic advisor to learn about specific scholarship opportunities in your state or through your college or university.

Are there grants for psychology students?

Professional organizations like the American Psychological Association and psychology departments within colleges and universities offer grants that students do not need to pay back. These grants mostly go to graduate students engaged in a psychology research project.

How do I qualify for a psychology scholarship?

To qualify for most psychology scholarships, you will need to demonstrate a track record of academic success and a commitment to the psychology field. You likely will need to provide an essay and your high school and/or college transcripts to apply for psychology degree scholarships.

Financial Assistance for Psychology Students

Most college students use loans to cover the costs of higher education. Federal loans offer relatively low interest rates, and students usually do not need to start paying them back until after graduation. They also may come with deferred interest. Private loans offer greater borrowing amounts but may have higher interest rates.

Students can also explore grants, which they do not need to pay back after graduation. The U.S. Department of Education provides four types of grants: Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grants, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.

Students can start the process of applying for federal loans, grants, and work-study opportunities by filling out a FAFSA form.

Additionally, professional organizations like the American Psychological Association and university departments offer grants and fellowships to graduate-level students, typically to engage in a research project.

A variety of psychology scholarship opportunities allow students to apply for financial assistance, as well. These scholarships go to individuals with a strong academic record and who demonstrate a commitment to the psychology field.

Finally, the federal work-study program allows students who qualify to work an on-campus job, usually within an academic department. Students receive a paycheck and can often study or do homework during slow periods on the job.

Students can start the process of applying for federal loans, grants, and work-study opportunities by filling out a FAFSA form.

Psychology Loan Repayment and Forgiveness

Psychology students may use the following loan forgiveness programs to reduce or eliminate their debt:


Psychology Grants

Psychology students — especially those at the graduate level — can find a variety of funding opportunities as they further their education and take on research projects. These include the following:


Psychology Scholarships

Students seeking an undergraduate or graduate psychology degree will find a variety of scholarship opportunities to help them achieve their academic and career goals. Although some scholarships provide funds for general studies in the field, many others assist students focused on a particular specialization. Below you will find some of the top scholarships for psychology students:

Featured Psychology Scholarships

These psychology degree scholarships offer some of the best opportunities for students to fund their higher education and work toward a career across a variety of psychology fields.

Division 53 Student Achievement Award

Who's Eligible? Division 53 of the APA is the classification for clinical child and adolescent psychology. A student achievement award is available annually to one undergraduate student (and two graduate students) for their contribution to this specialty field in the form of research, teaching, clinical work, mentoring, or community engagement.

Award Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April

View Scholarship
AP-LS Award for Best Undergraduate Paper

Who's Eligible? This annual award recognizes an exceptional research paper written by an undergraduate student on an interdisciplinary topic exploring psychology and law (Division 41 of the APA.) Applicants must submit their manuscript or thesis in less than 20 pages of text, along with a letter of support from their faculty supervisor. Award recipients are encouraged to take part in a presentation at the annual AP-LS conference.

Award Amount: $500 award for first place, $300 award for second place, $150 award for third place

Deadline: June

View Scholarship
Routh Research and Dissertation Grant

Who's Eligible? Designed to promote intensive, innovative research in Division 53 of the APA (child and adolescent psychology), the Routh award supports student research that is intended to significantly enrich and enhance research literature in this specialty area. Awards are granted to as many as four students annually.

Award Amount: $2500 award

Deadline: January

View Scholarship
Kay Wilson Presidential Leadership Award

Who's Eligible? This award is granted annually to a Psi Chi chapter president that shows exceptional leadership skills. Awards are granted to as many as four students annually. Candidates must be nominated by members of their local chapter of Psi Chi, as opposed to submitting their own application. Recipients of this award are granted a cash prize, travel expenses to attend the annual APA convention, and a commemorative plaque.

Award Amount: $1,200

Deadline: March

View Scholarship
Grawemeyer Award in Psychology

Who's Eligible? The Grawemeyer award is open to nominated candidates with original and creative ideas that are intended to significantly impact the field of psychology. The purpose of the award is to recognize and celebrate an innovative and insightful idea in regards to psychological medicine, as opposed to a large scope of work or research in the field. Candidates must be nominated by someone other than themselves in order to be eligible.

Award Amount: No less than $100,000

Deadline: February

View Scholarship
Frank X. Barron Award

Who's Eligible? Created in 2006 as an annual gift and sponsored by Division 10 of the APA, the Barron Award recognizes significant contributions to the psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts. Applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation, their current vitae and 3-4 publications that are representative of the applicant's talents and accomplishments in this specialty.

Award Amount: Varies

Deadline: December

View Scholarship
Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program

Who's Eligible? Each year, Fontana Transport Inc. sponsors a full-time undergraduate student enrolled in an accredited four-year college or university program. Preference is given to students who are from low-income or underrepresented populations, or who are first-generation college students; psychology is among the accepted majors for those applying for this award.

Award Amount: $5,000

Deadline: March

View Scholarship
Franklin D. Boyce Scholarship

Who's Eligible? The namesake of this scholarship was the first CEO of the John Randolph Foundation, which sponsors this award. The purpose of the scholarship is to promote professional health occupations, including psychology, for students majoring in a health-related field who demonstrate financial need and have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Award Amount: $2,500 award, eligible for renewal for up to three consecutive years

Deadline: Varies

View Scholarship
Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in Psychology and the Arts

Who's Eligible? This award, under Division 10 of the APA (psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts), recognizes outstanding achievements in this specialty and contributions made to creative psychology in general by candidates in various stages of their career. Applicants may be self-nominated or nominated by others. Winners deliver the Arnheim address at the annual APA convention.

Award Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

View Scholarship
PHN Charitable Foundation Scholarship

Who's Eligible? One of four scholarships available through the Primary Health Network Charitable Foundation, this signature namesake award is specifically for students in select PA counties working toward a certificate or degree in administrative or clinical healthcare. Three scholarships are awarded each year to students who meet the stringent criteria, including submitting a 600-word essay outlining future career goals in healthcare and maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA.

Award Amount: $2,000

Deadline: March

View Scholarship

Psychology Scholarships for Graduate Students

Graduate students can apply for the following psychology scholarships to cover costs like tuition, research, supplies, and credential and review fees.

National Register Credentialing Scholarships

Who's Eligible? Sponsored by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, these scholarships are intended to cover the cost of credentials and review fees for postdoctoral trainees and doctoral students seeking certification. Applicants must either be currently enrolled in a doctoral psychology program and doing an internship or completing their postdoctoral supervised experience.

Award Amount: Varies

Deadline: October

View Scholarship
Stephanie Nicole Ross Foundation Graduate Scholarship

Who's Eligible? This foundation offers two annual scholarships to graduate students studying psychology, cognitive or behavioral science, or a related field at a college or university in the state of Florida. Scholarships are intended to further education and understanding of the human brain, in honor of the namesake of this scholarship, who lost her life pursuing this cause.

Award Amount: $1,500

Deadline: April

View Scholarship
Esther Katz Rosen Fund Grants

Who's Eligible? Sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation, this scholarship is intended to help fund and promote research and programs aimed at the advancement of studying psychologically gifted children and adolescents. Applicants may seek funding for research-based pilot or ongoing programs, and may be in graduate or postgraduate study.

Award Amount: $1,000-$50,000

Deadline: March

View Scholarship
Benton-Meier Scholarships

Who's Eligible? This annual scholarship is offered by the American Psychological Foundation to two graduate students studying neuropsychology. Applicants must demonstrate competence in and commitment to this specialty area of psychology. Applications must be co-signed by the applicant's mentor or director-of-training.

Award Amount: $2,000

Deadline: June

View Scholarship
F. J. McGuigan Dissertation Award

Who's Eligible? This award facilitated by the American Psychological Foundation supports dissertation research centered on a greater understanding of the connection between the brain's neurological components and psychological behaviors. Applicants must have completed doctoral candidacy and proposed research must be in accordance with specific guidelines of this program's goals.

Award Amount: $2,000

Deadline: June

View Scholarship
Scott and Paul Pearsall Scholarship

Who's Eligible? This American Psychological Foundation scholarship was created to support graduate psychology students who are researching public stigma surrounding physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy and the psychological effects of social stigma in adults. Applicants must be graduate students in good standing at an accredited U.S. college or university.

Award Amount: $10,000

Deadline: October

View Scholarship
Ungerleider/Zimbardo Travel Scholarships

Who's Eligible? Seven Ungerleider/Zimbardo travel scholarships are awarded each year to qualified graduate students to present their research in psychology at the annual APA convention. Applicants must be full-time graduate psychology students in good standing at an accredited U.S. college or university. They must also be student affiliates/associate members of the American Psychological Association.

Award Amount: $300 award

Deadline: April

View Scholarship
Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

Who's Eligible? This scholarship offered by the American Psychology Foundation supports study at the graduate level of the limitations created by the societal stigmas of mental illness, and the ways in which reducing such stigmas can help aid in the psychological recovery of those living with mental illness. Applicants must be full-time graduate students in good standing at an accredited U.S. college or university, with demonstrated experience in this topic.

Award Amount: $5,000

Deadline: May

View Scholarship

Psychology Scholarships for Minorities

These psychology degree scholarships help people of color and minorities fund their higher education and give them opportunities to use their knowledge to assist underserved populations.

Predoctoral Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (MHSAS) Fellowship

Who's Eligible? This award offered through the Minority Fellowship Program of the American Psychological Association supports psychology and behavioral health practitioners-in-training. Like all MFP scholarships, the fellowship is designed to increase job growth for qualified minority practitioners in the field. Candidates must be working toward a career in ethnic minority behavioral health services or policy.

Award Amount: Award amount varies, may be renewable for up to three consecutive years

Deadline: January

View Scholarship
Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Fellowship

Who's Eligible? This award supports graduate students training to provide mental health services to ethnic-minority transition age youth (ages 16 through 25) and their families. Under the Minority Fellowship Program, this award assists in the development of qualified care providers who belong to, and treat patients who belong to, ethnic minorities. Candidates must be enrolled full-time in a terminal master's psychology program with a commitment to this specialty.

Award Amount: Up to $10,000

Deadline: January

View Scholarship
Pioneer Award

Who's Eligible? Under division 35, section five of the APA, the Pioneer Award is granted to a mid-career psychologist of Asian-Pacific descent who is dedicated to research involving the psychology of feminist Asian-Pacific identity. Candidates must be current members of APA division 35, section 5 and be mid-career in professional psychology. In addition to the monetary gift, the recipient also receives a meal with the current president and chapter mentor, an APA authorship opportunity and a certificate of appreciation.

Award Amount: $250 honorarium

Deadline: May

View Scholarship
Psychology of Black Graduate Student Women Award

Who's Eligible? Sponsored by division 35, section one of the APA, this scholarship is intended to support black women who are graduate psychology majors researching gender roles of black females in society. To be considered for this scholarship, candidates must submit an empirical or theoretical paper, dissertation, book chapter or other written work or publication.

Award Amount: $250

Deadline: May

View Scholarship
Carolyn Payton Early Career Award

Who's Eligible? One of two awards offered through division 35, section one (Psychology of Black Women) of the APA, this scholarship recognizes the achievements of early-career black women professionals in the field of psychology. Candidates must be postdoctorate for no more than 10 years, and their written submission for consideration must be published.

Award Amount: $500

Deadline: May

View Scholarship
Henry Tomes Awards for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Psychology

Who's Eligible? Sponsored by the Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs of the APA, this scholarship recognizes the achievements of psychologist belonging to ethnic minorities. Awards are granted on a rotating basis to a psychology professional from African-American, Alaska Native/American Indian, Asian-American/Pacific Islander and Latina/o American ethnic communities. Recipients receive a cash award as well as a commemorative trophy at the APA's National Multicultural Conference and Summit.

Award Amount: $500

Deadline: Varies

View Scholarship
Ethnic Minority Mentorship Award

Who's Eligible? Sponsored by Division 27: Society for Community Research and Action of the APA, this scholarship recognizes an NCA member who has positively impacted the early career of a person studying psychology and belonging to an ethnic minority through mentorship and professional guidance. Candidates may be nominated by others or self-nominated, and must be an active member of the SCRA for at least one year.

Award Amount: Award amount varies

Deadline: December

View Scholarship

Additional Financial Aid Resources

An Overview of Financial Aid

As a psychology student, you'll likely use loans to help fund your education, but you should also explore the variety of grants, savings plans, budgeting resources, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid for psychology students.

Financial Aid for Online Students

The financial aid resources for psychology students who study online are largely the same as those in more traditional programs. Learn about psychology scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities for distance learners.

Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities can face considerable challenges when it comes to paying for higher education. Find information on scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid for psychology students who are disabled.

Scholarships for Single Parents

The flexibility of an online psychology program can help single parents secure a degree while meeting their personal and professional obligations. Check out this list of psychology scholarships, grants, and other financial aid resources offered specifically to single parents.

Financial Aid for Veterans and Active Military

Through a variety of scholarships, grants, and government programs, U.S. service members, reservists, veterans, and military family members can significantly reduce the cost of seeking a psychology degree. Learn more about all the resources available.


Explore More Psychology Pages