SSA awards partial and full tuition scholarships based on merit and financial need to 95% of our master’s students. A limited number of additional merit scholarships also are available to students who have previously served in the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and AmeriCorps (Vista). 

The School awards scholarships funded through a variety of sources (including unrestricted gifts to SSA, endowed and restricted student aid funds). Entering students who wish to apply for scholarships administered by the School must answer all financial information questions included in the online application for admission. Your application for admission is used to determine scholarship eligibility; you do not need to submit any other materials.

Although scholarships are awarded on a one-year basis, note that 99% of SSA scholarships typically are renewed for second-year students. Select second-year students will receive awards through prestigious, endowed scholarships representing millions of dollars of financial aid.

Types of Awards

Nearly all master’s students who apply for scholarship support receive an SSA Merit Award, a partial tuition scholarship based on academic achievement, leadership potential, and financial need. In addition, the School awards the following scholarships to exemplary first-year SSA applicants: 

  • Edith Abbott Distinguished Leadership Award. Named for one of the founders of the social work profession and the first dean of SSA, this full tuition scholarship is awarded to incoming students who show exceptional potential in contributing to the field of social work and social welfare based on the strength of their Candidate’s Statement, demonstrated achievements and leadership abilities, and consistent record of academic excellence.
  • Dean’s Distinguished Leadership Award (generally from the mid-$20,000s to $30,000/year). Generous scholarships are awarded to incoming students who display outstanding abilities and leadership potential, and special capacities to contribute to advancing social work and social welfare.
  • Faculty Leadership Promise Award (generally from the mid $10,000 to $20,000/year). Generous scholarships are awarded to incoming students who demonstrate superior skills and experience, advanced leadership potential, and a strong commitment to serve. 

SSA Scholarship Awards Application Procedures

Your application to SSA and the responses to the questions in the Financial Data section are used to determine scholarship eligibility. Note that some questions are designed to obtain specific information for scholarship funds that have special eligibility requirements. In addition, based on your responses, the School may be able to suggest other sources for financial support. 

Every effort is made to inform applicants of their scholarship award at the same time as the admissions decision. Scholarship awards from SSA are a gift from the School. Federal financial aid are loans from the government. Students who may require additional financial aid beyond their SSA scholarship may apply for federal loans.

Skylar Cole

Skylar Cole, AM ’14

Cole has quickly advanced to a leadership role that includes training staff and supervising social work interns. She developed a professional development plan that emulates what she learned at SSA regarding policies, practices, and perspectives. She also believes that SSA prepared her very well to work on teams, both professionally and in the community.