For most online MSW students, the primary sources of financial aid will be scholarships, grants and loans. Scholarships and grants, while technically two different things, are very similar in practice in that they are usually awarded based on academic merit or financial need (or sometimes both). These are the best forms of financial aid because they do not need to be paid back. Scholarships tend to be offered by colleges, universities and charitable organizations, while grants can come from the same institutions, as well as the state and federal government.
Loans are the next primary financial option. While private loans are always available for consideration, most master’s students will want to apply for state or federal school loans. These tend to have more favorable terms than most private loans, such as deferred payments or low interest.
Regardless of how a graduate student seeks to pay for the MSW degree, there are two things they need to keep in mind. First, they need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA ® ). This is required for anyone seeking not just federal financial aid, but state and school based financial aid as well. And in some cases, scholarship organizations require the FAFSA ® (especially those that are need-based).
Second, MSW students must ensure their school is accredited. Almost all forms of financial aid, especially government-based aid, will require attendance at an accredited school. To find out if a particular school is accredited, students can go to the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Post secondary Institutions and look for their school. Keep in mind that the U.S. Department of Education itself doesn’t accredit schools but does recognize independent organizations that provide accreditation of schools and programs.
Scholarships for Online MSW Program Students
Paying for online masters programs can get very expensive. Online MSW programs are also not inexpensive. The tuition fee can get expensive. Luckily there are scholarships available for online MSW program students. It is important to note that these scholarships may not fully pay the entire tuition fee, but they reduce the burden. Here are a few scholarships for which online MSW program students can apply for.