Scholarships for Psychology Majors
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Earning 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.
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This page offers key information and guidance that can help you find financial aid for psychology students. You can find answers to a few frequently asked questions, an overview of financial aid, and a list of some of the best scholarships for psychology students.
Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships for Psychology Majors
How do you pay for a degree in psychology?
To help cover the costs of higher education, you should explore various financial aid resources for psychology students, including grants, low-interest loans, and scholarships. These resources can significantly reduce out-of-pocket costs 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 levels. National and state psychology professional associations often 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 available in your state or through your college or university.
Are there grants for psychology students?
Professional organizations like the American Psychological Association and individual 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 psychology research.
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'll likely need to provide an essay and transcripts to apply for psychology degree scholarships.
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Is There Financial Assistance for Psychology Students?
Many college students use loans to help cover the costs of higher education. Federal loans offer relatively low interest rates, and students often do not need to start paying them back until after graduation. They also may come with deferred interest. In contrast, private loans may offer greater borrowing amounts but typically have higher interest rates.
Students can also explore grants, which do not need to be paid back after graduation. The U.S. Department of Education provides four main 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.
Additionally, professional organizations (e.g., the American Psychological Association) and university departments offer grants and fellowships to graduate students — typically to support students completing research projects.
A variety of psychology scholarship opportunities allow students to apply for financial assistance, as well. These scholarships are typically awarded to individuals with a strong academic record who demonstrate a commitment to the psychology field.
Finally, the Federal Work-Study program provides qualifying students with jobs on or near campus job — often within an academic department. Students receive a paycheck for their work.
Students can start the process of applying for federal loans, grants, and work-study opportunities by filling out the FAFSA.
Psychology Loan Repayment and Forgiveness
Psychology students may use the following loan forgiveness programs to reduce or eliminate their debt:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness: This program forgives federal loans for individuals working in the public and nonprofit sectors after they make 120 qualifying monthly payments.
- National Institutes of Health: Loan relief is offered to psychologists taking on certain types of research projects.
In addition, most states have at least one student loan forgiveness program. These programs are especially common for graduates pursuing careers in healthcare and education.
Some states that offer loan forgiveness programs include:
- New York: Graduates of New York high schools and colleges may qualify for the Get on Your Feet Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
- Minnesota: Minnesota offers several loan forgiveness options, including programs for mental health practitioners.
- Texas: Texan teachers working in high-demand areas can apply for the state's Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers.
Search online for loan forgiveness programs in your state. Your state's government website should contain information about loan repayment and forgiveness options. Keep in mind that various programs might exist in your state across different agencies, such as departments of health, finance, or education.
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 grants provided by the following organizations:
- American Psychological Foundation: APA offers a variety of research grants for students examining issues related to trauma, sexual assault, psychotherapy, and behavioral health — among many other areas.
- The International Honor Society in Psychology: Psi Chi offers grants for undergraduate and graduate students engaged in psychology-focused research projects.
- National Association of School Psychologists Graduate Student Research Grants: NASP offers three $1,000 grants to graduate students pursuing research in school psychology.
- Institutional Research Grants: Several universities and foundations fund graduate student research projects by providing mini-grants. Search your prospective school's website for opportunities.
In addition, once you've graduated, you can take advantage of the NASP Strategic Goal Grant to kickstart early-career research.
Students seeking an undergraduate or graduate psychology degree can 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, others assist students focused on a particular specialization. Below, you can find some of the top scholarships for psychology students.
Featured Psychology Scholarships
These top psychology degree scholarships offer some of the best opportunities for students to fund their higher education and work toward a career in psychology.
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. Applicants must submit their manuscript or thesis (25 pages maximum), 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: JuneView 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
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 families or historically excluded populations, or who are first-generation college students. Psychology is among the accepted majors for those applying for this award.
Award amount: $5,000
Psychology Scholarships for Graduate Students and Postgraduates
Graduate students, such as those pursuing a doctorate or master's in psychology, as well as postgrads can apply for a variety of psychology scholarships to help cover costs like tuition, research, supplies, and credential and review fees.
National Register of Health Service Psychologists Credentialing Scholarships
Who's eligible? These scholarships are intended to cover the cost of credentials and review fees for postdoctoral trainees and doctoral students seeking certification. Applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral psychology program and doing an internship or completing their postdoctoral supervised experience.
Award amount: Varies
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 Pennsylvania counties working toward a certificate or degree in administrative or clinical healthcare. Three scholarships are awarded each year. Applicants must submit a 600-word essay outlining future career goals in healthcare and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Award amount: $2,000
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 pilots or ongoing programs, and they may be pursuing graduate or postgraduate study.
Award amount: $1,000-$50,000
J. McGuigan Dissertation Award
Who's eligible? This award — facilitated by the American Psychological Foundation — supports dissertation research centered on obtaining a greater understanding of the connection between the brain's neurological components and psychological behaviors. Applicants must have completed their doctoral candidacy and their proposed research must align with specific guidelines of this program's goals.
Award amount: $2,000
Ungerleider/Zimbardo Travel Scholarships
Who's eligible? Seven Ungerleider/Zimbardo travel scholarships are awarded each year to qualified graduate students, allowing them 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
Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship
Who's eligible? This scholarship, offered by the American Psychology Foundation, supports study at the graduate level into 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. They must also have demonstrated experience in this topic.
Award amount: $5,000
Psychology Scholarships for Students of Color
These psychology scholarships for students of color help make higher education more affordable and give learners the opportunity to use their knowledge to assist underserved populations.
American Psychological Foundation Queen-Nellie Evans Scholarship
Who's eligible? This scholarship is for graduate students in accredited programs who are committed to improving structural issues that negatively impact people of color through academic research, clinical practice, or public policy. The scholarship judges especially want to see applicants who are members of the communities they seek to serve.
Award amount: $4,000
The NASP Education and Research Trust (NASP-ERT) Minority Scholarship
Who's eligible? Eligible candidates include American Indian and Alaskan Native, Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, and Hispanic full-time or part-time students in an approved psychology program. In addition, candidates must be U.S. citizens and in good academic standing -- with a GPA of at least 3.0.
Award amount: $5,000
Benjamin Schneider Scholarship
Who's eligible? Ph.D. students pursuing a degree in industrial and organizational psychology (or a related field) can apply for this award. Applicants must also be a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and identify as Native American/Alaskan Native, Asian/Pacific American, African/Caribbean American, or Latino/Hispanic American.
Award amount: $3,000
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 may face challenges when it comes to paying for higher education. Find information on scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid for 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 scholarships, grants, and other financial aid resources for 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 the financial aid resources for military service members and student veterans.