With the cost of education growing each year, especially for graduate programs and students conducting extensive research projects, many people are facing high levels of debt through student loans. Luckily, a large number of psychology scholarships are available to help subsidize the cost of an education for a number of these students. Although most of these scholarships are offered by private organizations, others are available through specific universities and sometimes even the federal government.
Without a doubt, obtaining a degree in psychology can be rewarding in a number of different ways. For many people, the joy of furthering our understanding of the human mind is the most rewarding benefit of a career in the field.
The advantages of a psychology degree do not end there, and the pay associated with having it can be a deciding factor for some people to pursue this career path. The pay you receive will vary depending on your specific job and your educational milestone reached. While entry-level salaries for those with a bachelor’s degree in psychology can start at around $30,000, obtaining a master’s or PhD can easily mean a salary of $150,000 or more each year.
Getting to that level can be a costly process, and the further you advance up the educational ladder, the greater the amount of money that you will be investing in your future.
Luckily, there are a number of groups and organizations out there that provide various different scholarships to psychology students. Some scholarship opportunities apply to specific focuses such as developmental psychology, while others are open to members of a certain gender or racial background. Regardless of whether you are pursuing an undergraduate or advanced degree, exploring the different scholarship and fellowship opportunities available to you can greatly reduce the financial strain that obtaining a quality education can cause.
Here are seven different organizations in the United States that sponsor scholarship opportunities for students:
Through its foundation, the American Psychological Association is one of the country’s largest providers of scholarships in the psychological field. The Benton-Meier Scholarship is awarded in the amount of $2,500 per year to students pursuing graduate degrees in the field of neuropsychology. Another scholarship offered by the organization is the Annette U. Rickel Dissertation Award which provides funds to students conducting research into public policy through their dissertation which benefits young children and populations at-risk.
The National Science Foundation offers one of the largest scholarship opportunities out there, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. This is a broadly focused scholarship that can be applied to any area of psychology. Each year this organization’s scholarship provides a tuition grant of $10,500, as well as an additional $30,000 for research projects. Created by Congress in 1950, the National Science Foundation has an annual budget of around $7 billion and is responsible for around 20% of the federally supported research projects across the United States. Grants and scholarships offered by the organization are not limited to the field of psychology and span across every discipline of science.
Each year the American School Health Association Scholarship provides three different college students with $1,000 scholarships. Although the organization is based on improving the public school system in the United States, applications for the scholarships are accepted from any students studying developmental psychology with a focus on working with young children and adolescents.
The Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation Fellowship is an annual award for the sum of $25,000. This large fellowship is open to psychology students whose primary focus is understanding and improve the science of psychology as it is related to Asian-Americans and American Pacific Islanders. This scholarship can be applied to the areas of research and study, furthered training and work in the field.
Annually, the Epilepsy Foundation of America provides scholarships to both graduate and undergraduate psychology students that specialize in studying epilepsy and its causes and effects, as well as those enrolled in behavioral psychology programs. The goal of the Epilepsy Foundation of America is to improve the lives and acceptance of the more than two million Americans currently living with Epilepsy. Specific focus is put into understanding the disease and developing a cure and ways to combat its effects.
Another program designed for both graduate and undergraduate students is the National Pathfinder Scholarship offered by the National Federation of Republican. While not specifically an organization focused on science or psychology, the National Federation of Republican Women is dedicated to promoting the ideas of the Republican Party and increasing the activeness and effectiveness of women in government and society. Each year, three female behavioral psychology students are chosen to receive scholarships in the amount of $2,500 for research and studies in the field of substance abuse and addiction.
The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Research Grant is issued in the amount of $1,000 each year to two college students who are studying the psychological aspects of sexuality and issues related to gender identity. The organization’s primary focus is to advance our knowledge of sexuality through science-based research across a number of different fields.
Just as vast as the different areas of study in psychology, there are countless scholarship opportunities available for students dedicated to their education and the benefit it will have upon others through research and service. While the costs of obtaining a degree in psychology, especially in graduate programs, can be quite high, the availability of scholarships makes it an affordable and viable goal for many individuals who otherwise may be deterred from the field. In the long run, a career in psychology is not only rewarding monetarily, but also can provide a deep sense of self-worth and accomplishment from the knowledge that your education and work can help improve the lives of not only the clients you work with directly, but society as a whole through innovative research and an enhanced scientific understanding of the field.