Financial Opportunities

In effort to help our prospective students, current students, and alumni, the following information has been provided to assist with the various financial needs students may experience during their education. Information about scholarships, fellowships and loan repayment opportunities have been included.

Scholarship Opportunities
Fellowship Opportunities
Loan Repayment Opportunities


Scholarship Opportunities:

School of Social Work Scholarships
The ACU SSW has various scholarship opportunities year to year that are given to students that qualify.

Graduate Assistantships
The MSSW program offers both full time and part time GA positions to students based on merit, experience and financial need. GA positions can include responsibilities of academic support, research, teaching, and attending to various other program needs.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Foundation offers opportunities to apply for fellowship, scholarship, and research awards for individuals pursuing a variety of social work specialties. Two specific scholarships that apply to MSSW students is the Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial scholarship and the Verne LaMarr Lyons Scholarship.

The American Clinical Social Work Association (ACSWA) offers scholarship opportunities to graduate student members of the organization. Student members can apply for the Judith Holm Memorial Award that offers $2,000 prizes for second year students; and the Shelomo Osman Memorial Award that offers $1,500 prizes for first year students.

There is a comprehensive list of various scholarships available to social work students here.

A specific scholarship is available to students in financial crisis (whether due to change in income or support, loss of a job, fire or natural disaster, pending eviction or foreclosure, or family emergency} from Macy’s, and can be found here.

Fellowship Opportunities:

Yale Child Study Center Advanced Clinical Social Work Fellowship (Post MSW Program)
This is a yearlong competitive fellowship that is offered to further advance the practice within clinical social work. The Child Study center is located in New Haven, CT and offers a multidisciplinary practice in the Yale School of Medicine. Social Work Fellows will receive and participant in multidisciplinary training and practices that include didactics, intensive supervision, and direct practice. Direct practice areas occur in either the Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic for Children or the Intensive Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services In-Home Programs. Benefits of this fellowship include a stipend of $25, 200 and a comprehensive health care through the Yale Health Plan.

Menninger’s Fellowship (Post MSW, MSSW Program)
The Menninger Clinic located in Houston, TX offers a one year fellowship in their inpatient adult specialty program. Fellows will participate as members of interdisciplinary teams and work directly with patients and their families. Training will occur through course work, clinical practicum opportunities and intensive supervision. Qualifications for this fellowship include: Master’s degree in social work from a CSWE accredited university; concentration in clinical social work; and a LMSW or LCSW from the TSBSWE before beginning the fellowship. Benefits include a stipend up to $27,000 and health insurance, vacation and sick leave.

University Health Services at Berkeley Post-MSW Fellowship in Clinical Social Work
The University of California, Berkeley offers a year-long fellowship that begins in the summer. The fellowship focuses on providing comprehensive training experiences in order to guide fellows’ professional development and personal growth. Training focuses on clinical and consultation skills; as well as supervision, case conferences, seminars and opportunities to gain experiences in specialty areas. Fellowships are full-time (40 hours per week), with a stipend of $28,119 for the year. Benefits are provided as well.

Other fellowships that have been found that apply to social work graduates can be reviewed at the following links:

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Loan Repayment Opportunities:

NHSC Loan Repayment Program
The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program offers fully trained and licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapist, and licensed professional counselors up to $50,000 to repay student loans in the exchange for two years of service at a qualifying Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). Many mental health facilities in Texas qualify as HPSA. The entire counties of Taylor, Callahan, Coleman, Haskell, Houston, and Midland qualify as having all mental health facilities meet the HPSA. Most counties in Texas have at least one facility that qualifies as well.

More information about loan forgiveness for Licensed Clinical Social Workers can be found here.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program
The PSLF Program offers individuals that have received Federal Direct loans forgiveness of their remaining loan balance after making 120 qualifying payments towards their loan, and are now working in public service jobs. In order to qualify for loan forgiveness, you must be employed full time by a public service organization when:

  • Making each of your required 120 qualifying payments to your loan
  • Applying for loan forgiveness
  • The remaining balance on your eligible loans is forgiven

Being employed full time (in any position) at a public service job or as an AmeriCorp or Peace Corps position is a key qualification of this loan forgiveness program. Such organizations that qualify as a “public service organization” are: government agencies, a not-for profit 501(c)(3) organization, a private, and not for profit organization that provides a form of public service to a community or population.

In order to benefit most from this program it is recommended that borrowers should repay loans using one of the income-driven repayment plans such as the Income-Based Repayment plan, Pay as you Earn Repayment Plan, or the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan. After making 120 qualifying loan payments using one of the aforementioned plans, a borrower can then apply to have the remainder of their loan balance forgiven. It is important to keep track of your employment over the 10 years that it takes to make the 120 qualifying payments.

More information about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program can be found here.

Perkins Loan Forgiveness Program
Upon qualifying and accepting a Perkins Loan through FAFSA, Perkins borrowers may qualify to have their loan postponed/cancelled by up to 100%. The cancellation takes place over five years of working in qualifying public service fields. For every year of service, a percent of the borrower’s loan is cancelled. To qualify the borrower must be employed full time in a public or private nonprofit agency that serves children and families in at risk situations. Such examples of qualifying job fields are within Early Intervention Services and the Child or Family Service Agencies. Teachers, nurses and law enforcement professionals may also qualify for this program as well. To learn more, Perkins Loan borrowers should contact the loan servicer or the Perkins office at ACU.

For individuals employed within AmeriCorps programs such as the VISTA or NCCC Program, there is opportunity to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award after a number of years of service. Alternative to an educational award, AmeriCorps Vista members can choose to receive a post service cash stipend and may be eligible for up to 15% cancellation on certain types of loans for their service. Qualifications for such benefits are dependent upon the job placement and service of working within AmeriCorps Programs.

Peace Corps
When working as a volunteer through the Peace Corps there is opportunity to obtain a school loan deferment or volunteers may qualify to receive a 15-70% cancellation benefit. Peace Corps is a qualifying employment opportunity to meet the criteria of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

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