Studying for a master’s degree in social work can be a substantial investment ranging from around $8,700 to more than $68,000 per academic year. With tuition costs being so high the thought of pursuing a career in this area can be off-putting.
Thankfully, there are social work scholarships available that can either reduce or even eliminate the cost of undertaking this line of study. Securing funding for your studies will not only allow you to focus on your education but will also remove the stress and financial hardship you may otherwise have to endure.
In a sea of qualified candidates, applying for a scholarship can seem like a futile exercise. However, with the guidance set out in this article, you can greatly improve your scholarship chances.
Types of Funding
Social work scholarships are a type of financial support which are awarded to students to help them fund their studies and can help to offset the cost of further education. The two main types of scholarship are merit-based or need-based. The former is awarded to students based on their academic achievements whereas the latter is based on financial need.
Define Your Niche
Once you have identified the various funding opportunities available, it is important to position yourself correctly by getting clear on your niche. If you have already been working as a social worker and are now thinking of pursuing a Master of Social Work degree, defining your niche can help you to focus on the scholarships that are most relevant to you and your line of work.
For example, your work might focus on mental health issues, substance abuse and addictions or on child and family social work. Visit this site for more information on MSW degrees. This will increase your chances of meeting the eligibility criteria and will also challenge you to consider how your work is applicable to other academic areas and fields of work, giving you exposure to funding opportunities in areas you may not have previously considered.
Expanding your network and making use of your contacts is a great way to gain insight into available funding opportunities. Keep informed by attending events, conferences and lectures as well as signing up to email newsletters from relevant professional organizations and social work societies as well as by speaking to colleagues, researchers and academic staff.
Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn and other online platforms can offer news, share insights and helpful resources such as information on institutions, organizations and businesses that are awarding scholarships for which you can apply.
If you have yet to gain work experience, volunteering in the field you are interested in studying in is a great way to demonstrate your passion and dedication to your particular cause as well as your commitment to pursue a career in this area after your studies.
Volunteering will also set you apart from those candidates who only have academic experience as you will be able to showcase the professional skills you have gained through volunteering such as leadership, communication and cultural competence.
By following the guidance in this article, you can begin preparing your application and improve your chances of securing a social work scholarship to fund your studies.