If you're interested in turning your passion for community service into a viable and rewarding career helping those in need, human services scholarships will be essential to pave the way during your educational endeavors.
Human services degree programs are structured to deliver an interdisciplinary curriculum that equips graduates with the interpersonal abilities, problem-solving skills, and intervention tactics needed to tackle major global challenges for the human condition.
In this broad field, human services degree holders could find job opportunities in social work, social service, child welfare, criminal justice, counseling, therapy, education, ministry, and more.
For help financing your years of post-secondary schooling, the following are 20 of the most lucrative scholarships offered to caring college students seeking a human services degree.
1. Alex Esclamado Scholarship for Human Services
Deadline: October 10th
Through the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), the Alex Esclamado Scholarship for Human Services is awarded for $1,000 annually to five Filipino students who are currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution to receive a bachelor's degree in a human services field, including social work, psychology, counseling, and sociology. Qualified applicants must be at least sophomores, carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.7, and show a clear dedication to civic engagement. Students must submit one letter of recommendation from a community service organization, proof of enrollment, and an essay highlighting how they'll fortify the Filipino American community.
2. Andrus Foundation Graduate Scholarships
Deadline: January 15th
In collaboration with AARP, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) offers the Andrus Foundation Graduate Scholarships to grant up to $5,000 for advanced graduate students in human services who are specializing their master's or doctoral degree in aging or gerontology studies. Eligible candidates must be enrolled full-time in an accredited U.S. graduate school belonging to the AGHE, plan to pursue a career in the aging field, and maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.3. Recipients will be chosen based on their academic performance, faculty recommendations, membership in professional societies, involvement in community service, and career aspirations.
3. Bethesda Lutheran Communities Scholarships
Deadline: May 1st
Annually, Bethesda Lutheran Communities awards two scholarships for up to $3,000 apiece to active communicant members of the Lutheran congregation who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in a human services field to eventually work with people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Eligible applicants must be enrolled full-time at an accredited U.S. university in their first or second year, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, exhibit financial need, and display a commitment to improving the inclusion of disabled individuals. Applications must include documentation of 100 hours of volunteer or paid service, four letters of reference, official college transcripts, and a 300-word personal essay.
4. Caroline Rose Foster Scholarship
Deadline: April 29th
In honor of a devoted Morristown resident who served blind and visually impaired people until her death in 1979 at the age of 102, the Caroline Rose Foster Scholarship is presented annually for $1,000 by the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) of New Jersey. To qualify, candidates must be U.S. citizens, be pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies in a human services field within New Jersey, carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, demonstrate unmet financial need, and volunteer with visually impaired individuals. Applications must be accompanied by a 300-word personal statement, SAT/ACT scores, academic transcripts, proof of enrollment, and three letters of recommendation.
5. David C. Maloney Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st
Administered through the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS), the David C. Maloney Scholarship is granted for $2,000 annually to outstanding college students who are currently matriculated in an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree program for human services. Qualified candidates must be current student NOHS members, have attained a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, attend an accredited U.S. institution, submit two letters of reference from faculty members, and write a 500-word personal essay revealing their dedication to helping others. Special consideration will be given to applicants with disabilities, minority status, or significant financial need.
6. Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 1st
Created in 1961 in memory of two life-long justice advocates who battled for human rights, the Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund will award up to $10,000 each year for college students who are pursuing a degree in human services to join the struggles against racism, sexism, homophobia, gender inequality, and other forms of oppression. Eligible recipients must attend an accredited U.S. higher learning institution, be actively involved in movements for social or economic justice, and plan to continue their advocacy career in America. Candidates will be responsible for submitting an online application with two signed letters of reference, official college transcripts, financial aid information, a personal statement, and a headshot photo.
7. Derivative Duo Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 15th
Founded by Sue Nivert and Barb Glenn in 2002 through the Pride Foundation, the Derivative Duo Scholarship Program is designed to award up to $2,500 to residents of Washington State who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in mental health, human services, or social services. Qualified candidates must be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or straight ally students who are attending an accredited U.S. post-secondary school to start a human services career within the LGBTQ community. Applications must include a letter of recommendation, unofficial college transcripts, and three essay responses.
8. Frederick J. Krause Scholarship
Deadline: November 15th
In honor of his illustrious career in disability advocacy as a special education teacher, rehabilitative therapist, and COO of the National Head Injury Foundation, the Frederick J. Krause Scholarship is awarded annually for $1,000 by the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD). Eligible candidates must be full-time undergraduate or graduate students with disabilities who are enrolling in an accredited U.S. institution for a degree in public health, health promotion, health science, disability studies, human services, special education, or a related major. Applicants must write a three-page essay discussing their personal history, extra-curricular involvement, and future goals working with the disabled.
9. Harold McPheeters Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st
Also offered by the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS), the Harold McPheeters Scholarship is granted each year for $2,000 to deserving college students who are earning an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree in a human services field at an accredited U.S. institution full-time. Eligible applicants must be current NOHS student members, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in human services coursework, demonstrate outstanding interpersonal skills, and have successfully completed volunteer or paid work experience in human services. Application packets won't be complete without a current resume, official college transcript, letter of recommendation from a human service professional, and one-page personal essay.
10. Harry S. Truman Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: February 3rd
As a highly competitive national program raking in over 600 applications annually, the Harry S. Truman Foundation presents up to $30,000 to junior and senior-level students wanting to work as change agents to improve the human condition. Qualified applicants must be enrolled full-time in an accredited bachelor's degree, have U.S. citizenship, participate extensively in community service-related activities, demonstrate strong leadership potential, and carry a solid academic record. Priority is given to graduating students wishing to further their education with a Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Public Health (MPH), or Master of International Affairs (MIA).
11. Ima Hogg Graduate Scholarships
Deadline: May 3rd
With the hope of solving the critical mental health workforce shortage in Texas, the Ima Hogg Graduate Scholarships are presented each year for $5,000 to 12 talented graduate students who are pursuing a master's degree in social work to begin a career in the mental health or human services field. To qualify, students must be accepted at one of the CSWE-accredited social work programs in Texas, plan to enroll full-time this upcoming fall, be nominated by the dean or director of the program, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and show a strong commitment to a career of service upon graduation.
12. James F. Reville Scholarship
Deadline: January 9th
In remembrance of one of the most respected Presidents for the NYSARC, the James F. Reville Scholarship is presented annually for $3,000 to outstanding students enrolled full-time in a human services major to receive the training needed to help individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Qualified candidates must reside within New York State, be attending an accredited in-state university, maintain good academic standing, and have recent volunteer or work experience serving people with disabilities. Applicants must submit a letter signed by their local NYSARC chapter's President and three recommendations from other community service supervisors.
14. John Moline Undergraduate Scholarship
Deadline: May 20th
Through the Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA), the John Moline Undergraduate Scholarship is bestowed annually for $1,000 upon two exemplary college students who are currently matriculated in an accredited bachelor's degree program for a human services field within Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Iowa. Qualified recipients must exhibit significant unmet financial need, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, have a clear commitment to a career helping others in need, and be supported by two signed letters of recommendation. Recipients will be chosen based on their academic achievement, financial need, compassionate attitude, career aspirations, and leadership potential.
15. Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarships
The Leopold Schepp Foundation proudly presents scholarships annually for up to $8,500 apiece to undergraduate students under 30 years of age and graduate students under 40 years of age who are pursuing a degree in the human services for a career of transformational leadership. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, attend an accredited university full-time or part-time, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, have financial need, and exhibit strong moral character through their references. All candidates will be asked to complete a personal interview in New York City without a reimbursement for travel costs.
Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarships
551 Fifth Avenue Suite 3000
New York, NY 10176
16. Presbyterian Church USA Opportunity Scholarships
Deadline: May 15th
Every year, the Presbyterian Church USA Opportunity Scholarships provide up to $2,000 for sophomore, junior, and senior-level undergraduate students who are seeking a bachelor's degree in the fields of education, health science, religious studies, sacred music, social science, or human services. Applicants must be members of the Presbyterian Church USA, have completed their freshman year, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, attend an accredited U.S. institution full-time, exhibit financial need, and be actively involved in a worshipping or campus ministry program. Preference will be given to racial or ethnic minority students.
17. Scott and Paul Pearsall Scholarship
Deadline: October 1st
Sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Scott and Paul Pearsall Scholarship is granted each year for $10,000 to extraordinary students pursuing graduate work in the human services field to improve the public's understanding of the psychological pain and stigma caused by physical disabilities in our society. For consideration, candidates must be enrolled full-time in an accredited U.S. institution, be earning a master's or doctoral degree, plan to conduct research for eliminating misunderstandings about disabilities, and have attained IRB approval if needed. Applicants must submit a maximum five-page project proposal, one-page budgeting plan, current resume or CV, and letter of faculty recommendation.
Scott and Paul Pearsall Scholarship
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
18. Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships
Deadline: December 5th
Named in honor of the unstoppable champion for the battle against hunger, the Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships are available through the Sodexo Foundation to award $5,000 to students from kindergarten through graduate school who have an on-going commitment to human services impacting hunger in America. Eligible candidates must be 25 years old or under, attend an accredited U.S. educational institution, have performed hunger-related volunteer service in the last year, have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and be recommended by a community service supervisor. Recipients will also be given a matching 5,000 grant to deliver to their favorite hunger-related charity.
19. The New Leader Scholarship
Deadline: March 10th
Established by 10,000 Degrees, the New Leader Scholarship program is designed to award up to $8,000 annually to upper-division undergraduate or graduate students who are actively pursuing a degree in social work, human services, public interest law, or a related field. Qualified individuals must have finished at least 60 credits of college coursework, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, carry 12 or more credits each semester, and display outstanding leadership potential for changing the world. Applications are only accepted from students enrolled at California State University East Bay, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, Sonoma State University, or the University of California at Berkeley.
20. Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 4th
In memory of a beloved social worker who died in 1989 while awaiting a heart transplant, the Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial Scholarship was created by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) to award $5,500 for graduate students pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Eligible students must attend a CSWE-accredited institution in the United States, have a demonstrated ability to work in the mental health or human services field, be committed to serving African American communities, be NASW members in good standing, possess a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and write a two-page biographical essay.
Human services careers may not be best known for their income potential, but they come with the emotional rewards of truly touching the lives of others. Since the average cost for a human services degree is now $19,366, you'll likely need to find several sources of financial aid to ensure student loan debt doesn't occupy your paychecks later on though. Consider applying to some of these great human services scholarships designed for compassionate students battling against unjust social problems just like you.