20 Great Scholarships for Human Services

Community foundations across the United States have implemented human service scholarships to inspire the next generation of compassionate leaders.

Human services positions typically require at least an associate or bachelor’s degree. Attending college certainly isn’t cheap with projected annual costs of $28,387 at public and $59,341 at private institutions. However, earning a human services degree will develop important communication skills and interpersonal awareness for good citizenship. After graduation, human services majors enter a market poised for 10-year job growth at 10 percent. Students could excel as child life specialists, case managers, rehabilitation therapists, addiction counselors, social workers, policy analysts, probation officers, and more.

Gain the financial footing to follow your heart into the “helping professions” with these human services scholarships.

Ranking Best Human Services Scholarships

1. Alice Yuriko Endo Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) offers over $70,000 each year through 30 national scholarships, such as the Alice Yuriko Endo Memorial Scholarship. Named for an activist who proudly participated in the 1964 Civil Rights March in Washington, DC, the fund supports residents of the Eastern District Council who exhibit interest in social and human services fields. Undergraduates of any ethnicity who attend accredited U.S. colleges full-time may apply.


Alice Yuriko Endo Memorial Scholarship

1629 K Street NW Suite 400

Washington, DC 20006

(202) 223-1240


Scholarship Link

2. Angie Houtz Memorial Scholarship Fund

Deadline: April 30th

To honor a generous United States Navy analyst who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, the Angie Houtz Memorial Scholarship Fund gifts $3,000 yearly. Human services majors matriculated at two- or four-year colleges in Maryland with a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0 would qualify. Applications must include official transcripts, three sealed recommendation letters, a resume of extra-curricular activities, documentation for 200+ community service hours, and a one-page essay response.


Angie Houtz Memorial Scholarship Fund

414 Bottsford Avenue

Upper Marlboro, MD 20774


Scholarship Link

3. Camp Roy-El Scholarship Endowment

Deadline: March 1st

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation (GTRCF) administers the Camp Roy-El Scholarship Endowment to recognize Roy and Ellen Brigman’s work helping handicapped campers during the 1950’s polio epidemic. Their legacy lives on with $1,000 awards granted to juniors and seniors at four-year Michigan colleges who strive to work with persons with disabilities. Students with a minimum 2.5 GPA in fields like human services, social work, and occupational therapy are welcome.


Camp Roy-El Scholarship Endowment

250 E Front Street Suite 310

Traverse City, MI 49684

(231) 935-4066


Scholarship Link

4. Caswell-Morgan Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: June 1st

The Northern New York Community Foundation (NNYCF) presents the Caswell-Morgan Memorial Scholarship with an average award of $2,000 to full-time or part-time undergraduate students who aspire to work in human or social services professions. Eligibility criteria includes residing in New York’s Jefferson or Lewis counties, entering the third year of study, participating in community service efforts, demonstrating respect for others, and giving three references.


Caswell-Morgan Memorial Scholarship

120 Washington Street Suite 400

Watertown, NY 13601

(315) 782-7110


Scholarship Link

5. David C. Maloney Scholarship

Deadline: May 1st

The National Organization for Human Services (NOHS) is unsurprising the top source for finding scholarships for human services across the United States. The David C. Maloney Scholarship is one of 11 awards gifted to current members who are completing an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s program in human services with outstanding academic merit above a 3.2 GPA. Applications, including a transcript, resume, reference, and 500-word essay, are evaluated on a five-point rubric.


David C. Maloney Scholarship

P.O. Box 54

Millstone Township, NJ 08510

(732) 786-0950


Scholarship Link

6. Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship

Deadline: April 30th

The Truth Initiative endows the Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship for $5,000 to support undergrad and post-graduate students attending four-year U.S. colleges with a minimum 2.0 GPA in majors like public health, human services, social work, education, and counseling. Showing documentation of community service with people affected by smoking, especially low-income, LGBT, and minority populations, is required. Entrants will use creativity to design a campaign that inspires tobacco-free lives.


Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship

900 G Street NW 4th Floor

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 454-5555


Scholarship Link

7. Elmer Ediger Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: April 1st

Mennonite Health Services (MHS) established the Elmer Ediger Memorial Scholarship in 1968 to support Mennonite, Brethren in Christ, and Anabaptist congregants in North America who are pursuing graduate study in the health and human services. For $1,000 to $1,200, qualified candidates must attend a Church-related college, have voluntary service experience, hold a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better, and show vocational interests serving the mentally ill or developmentally disabled.


Elmer Ediger Memorial Scholarship

1112 North Main Street

Goshen, IN 46528

(574) 534-9689


Scholarship Link

8. Equality Leadership Fund Scholarship

Deadline: April 15th

Living in the Beehive State could make human services majors eligible for the Community Foundation of Utah’s Equality Leadership Fund Scholarship. Offering $500 to $1,500, the program selects college students registered at in-state universities with a minimum 3.0 GPA who show exceptional leadership advocating the rights of the LGBTQ community. High school seniors could apply for Utah’s Spoden-Moore Leading with Heart Scholarship too.


Equality Leadership Fund Scholarship

2257 South 110 East Suite 205

Salt Lake City, UT 84106

(801) 559-3005


Scholarship Link

9. Harold McPheeters Scholarship

Deadline: May 1st

Named after the field’s “Founding Father,” the Harold McPheeters Scholarship is another of the NOHS’ human services scholarships providing $500 per year toward tuition in associate, bachelor’s, or master’s programs nationwide. Eligible student members must present a college GPA of 2.8 or better, have successful volunteer/work experience, and exhibit strong interpersonal skills. Before May 1st, application packets must arrive with a resume, transcript, two-page, double-spaced essay, and non-faculty human service recommendation.


Harold McPheeters Scholarship

P.O. Box 54

Millstone Township, NJ 08510

(732) 786-0950


Scholarship Link

10. Helen Hamilton Scholarship Fund

Deadline: March 31st

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts awarded over $2 million last year alone to finance the higher education endeavors of residents in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. The Helen Hamilton Scholarship Fund specifically presents $1,000 to Massachusites who are studying human services, social services, urban planning, housing studies, or related areas for community development. Funding can be applied for tuition and fees at any accredited U.S. institution.


Helen Hamilton Scholarship Fund

1500 Main Street Suite 2300

P.O. Box 15769

Springfield, MA 01115

(413) 732-2858


Scholarship Link

11. James M. and Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

Valued at $8,000 over four years, the James M. and Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship is conferred by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to assist undergraduate students, including returning adults, who are studying the arts, human services, music, or ministry. Qualifications require a cumulative GPA above 3.0, acceptance at an accredited college, financial need, and commitment to community service. Residents of Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, and Illinois are prioritized.


James M. and Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship

191 Peachtree Street NE Suite 1000

Atlanta, GA 30303

(404) 688-5525


Scholarship Link

12. Lique Human Services Scholarship

Deadline: April 8th

Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) initiated the Lique Human Services Scholarship for $5,000 to honor the Executive Director’s 35-year career advocating that people be treated with dignity. Two recipients are selected yearly from high schools in Lynn, Lynnfield, Nahant, Saugus, and Swampscott. College-bound students must display genuine interest in human services professions to primarily help the frail elderly and vulnerable persons with disabilities.


Lique Human Services Scholarship

8 Silsbee Street

Lynn, MA 01901

(781) 599-0110


Scholarship Link

13. Luthra Family Scholarship Fund

Deadline: March 1st

Endowed by Drs. Madhu and Vinay Luthra in 2014, the Luthra Family Scholarship Fund is organized under the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin (CFONCW) to distribute one-time $1,000 awards. Graduating high school seniors in the DC Everest and Wausau area of the Badger State who are pursuing careers in health or human services can apply. Selection is based upon attendance at a University of Wisconsin campus, academic merit, community involvement, and potential.


Luthra Family Scholarship Fund

500 First Street Suite 2600

Wausau, WI 54403

(715) 845-9555


Scholarship Link

14. Mary Louise Buckley Scholarship

Deadline: April 4th

Belonging to the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired program, the Mary Louise Buckley Scholarship bestows $5,000 yearly to honor the Mercer County RN who volunteered religiously with Learning Ally. Eligible U.S. citizens or legal residents must be active NJCBVI clients, reside in New Jersey, carry a minimum 2.5 GPA, major in the health or human services, and demonstrate continued service to others, especially the blind. There’s also the Sarah Churchill Scholarship for Leadership.


Mary Louise Buckley Scholarship

P.O. Box 47017

Newark, NJ 07101

(609) 292-3717


Scholarship Link

15. Montage Memory Makers Scholarship

Deadline: November 14th

Montage Hotels & Resorts offers the Memory Makers Scholarship to recognize youth leaders between 13 and 17 years old nationwide who are positively touching their community. Five recipients earn a $10,000 college scholarship, complimentary two-night stay at any resort destination, and a feature in Montage Magazine. Future human services majors can apply by simply writing a 300-word essay outlining how you make the world a better place with an optional YouTube video.


Montage Memory Makers Scholarship

30801 South Coast Highway

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(866) 551-8244

Scholarship Link

16. MSSA John Moline Scholarships

Deadline: May 20th

The Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA) awards two John Moline Scholarships for $1,000 apiece to enhance the professional development of Upper Midwest students seeking careers in the health and human service field. Enrolling as a junior or senior at accredited four-year colleges in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, or South Dakota is mandatory. Other requirements include unmet financial need, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and community service involvement.


MSSA John Moline Scholarships

125 Charles Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55103

(651) 644-0556


Scholarship Link

17. New Leader Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 10th

Funded by the Marin Community Foundation (MCF), the New Leader Scholarship Program sends $8,000 awards to Bay Area students who are pursuing education in human services, healthcare, public administration, or the social sciences. Full-time enrollment at CSU East Bay, San Francisco State, San Jose State, Sonoma State, or UC Berkeley with high academic achievement is expected. Priority is given to applicants from financially and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.


New Leader Scholarship Program

5 Hamilton Landing Suite 200

Novato, CA 94949

(415) 464-2500


Scholarship Link

18. Timothy S. Ray Scholarship Fund

Deadline: March 11th

The College of Health and Human Development at California State University Fullerton created the Timothy S. Ray Scholarship Fund to present $500 yearly to full-time juniors and seniors majoring in human services or child development. Being eligible requires maintaining a minimum 2.5 GPA, participating in community service activities, exhibiting unmet financial need, and being dedicated to the helping professions. The SA application consists of seven questions with an attached resume.


Timothy S. Ray Scholarship Fund

800 N. State College

P.O. Box 6868

Fullerton, CA 92831

(657) 278-3245


Scholarship Link

19. Virgil Taylor Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: February 1st

The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Association started the Virgil Taylor Memorial Scholarship in 2009 to honor his 33-year career serving individuals with disabilities. This fund assists undergraduate seniors attending East Central University full-time to receive the bachelor’s major in human services counseling with a rehabilitation or services to the deaf concentration. Interested applicants must submit a transcript showing a 3.0 GPA or higher, one-page career aspirations essay, and one recommendation.


Virgil Taylor Memorial Scholarship

125 N. Greenwood Suite 200

Tulsa , OK 74120

(918) 382-7700 ext. 222


Scholarship Link

20. Wozumi Family Scholarship

Deadline: January 13th

Activist Brian M. Day began the Pride Foundation in 1993 to overcome the barriers to post-secondary degrees. Over two decades later, the Foundation gifts 50+ scholarships to Northwest residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Wozumi Family Scholarship specifically offers $500 to $3,000 for goals-oriented LGBTQ students and straight allies who are HIV positive or pursuing human services careers for the eradication of HIV. Majors could also pursue the Soaring Heart Scholarship.


Wozumi Family Scholarship

2014 E. Madison Street Suite 300

Seattle, WA 98122

(800) 735-7287


Scholarship Link

Getting rich isn’t the goal for kind, altruistic individuals choosing the human services field. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for human services jobs is $42,010. Although this figure is larger than America’s median salary of $36,200, repaying student loan debt can drastically cut your money source later. Luckily, financial aid opportunities like scholarships, grants, and work-study can resolve the loan burden. These are just 20 of the scholarships for human services available to reward your community leadership with free tuition coverage.

GCD Staff

See also: 20 Best Deals on Small Service-Oriented Colleges

This concludes our coverage of top human services scholarships that make paying for college easier.