Psychology Scholarships

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 5, 2022

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Earning a degree in psychology can help advance and grow your career. Not only will a psychology degree help to further open opportunities for yourself, but you will be making a meaningful impact on bettering the lives of others. 

There are plenty of opportunities in the field of psychology like general psychology, clinical, forensics, and more. No matter what direction you choose to take with your psychology degree, you’ll need to put in the time and effort for schooling. 

Schooling can be expensive though and you may be wondering how you’ll be able to get to that finish line. Read on to learn more about psychology scholarships and how to find support to further your education. 

Types of Psychology Degrees

Before applying for a scholarship, you’ll want to ensure that you have considered all of the different options available when it comes to furthering your education. Here are examples of the different paths one could take when acquiring a degree in psychology. 

Associate’s in Psychology

An associate’s degree is the entry level point of degrees and can be used as a stepping stone towards a bachelor's degree or graduate education. An associate's in psychology will help prepare you for a variety of careers like being a psychiatric technician, an aide, social & human services assistant, and more. 

Most schools will offer two year programs to earn an associate’s degree in psychology meaning it is quicker to obtain than other degrees and you will be able to join the workforce sooner. Also because this type of degree is shorter, oftentimes it will be less expensive. Associate degrees will often be earned by completing around 60-65 credits in school. 

Bachelor’s in Psychology

A bachelor’s degree in psychology is best for those who want a solid foundational understanding of psychology and who are looking for more serious career opportunities. Once you have obtained a bachelor’s in psychology, you will find that a number of more competitive career opportunities will be available. 

Opportunities like being a mental health counselor, human resource specialist, medical & health services manager, social worker, and treatment specialists are just a few that will be available to you. Four years of schooling will often be necessary to obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology or about 120 credits. 

Master’s in Psychology

Most often you will see those who have a bachelor’s degree and want to further their education, by getting a master's degree. A Master’s degree in psychology allows one to gain knowledge on a specific area of psychology. However, this does not mean that you need a bachelor’s degree to join a master’s program.

Having a master’s in psychology will open up a lot of opportunities for growth in terms of salary and job options available. Some of the opportunities available include becoming a psychiatric technician, rehabilitation specialist, a counselor, and specialists for a variety of different needs. 

Master’s in psychology programs will differ but most often can be completed between two and four years. This type of degree will also be significantly more expensive than an associate's or bachelor’s degree however think of it as an investment in yourself. Many people see a significant return on their investment in a master’s degree as you will then be able to earn a much higher salary. 

Doctorate in Psychology

A doctorate degree is the highest level of education one can complete. This type of degree will help prepare you for careers relating to scientific knowledge of psychology and empirically based services. 

This type of degree will allow you to conduct scientific research, open your own professional practice, and more. There really is no limit to the career options and opportunities in the psychology field when you have a doctorate degree. 

This degree often takes around 5-7 years to complete and will be more expensive than the other degrees on this list. However, because of how important it is to have people with this level of education there will also be more funding opportunities.

Psychology Certifications

A certification in psychology will be a shorter program than your typical degree, however will often be taken in unison with a bachelor’s degree to obtain a more whole and well rounded knowledge. Here are few options for different certifications in psychology.

CHP (Certified in Hospital Psychology)

This certification is most common amongst clinical psychologists and is rewarded via the American Psychotherapy Association. A CHP is only available to those already holding a doctorate degree and are licensed psychologists; however special permission may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

This certification can be obtained with a $125 application fee, $250 practice test fee, $450 oral exam, $300 written exam, and has to be renewed annually. Jobs associated with a CHP include research associates, health information management directors, medical assistants, and so many more!

Several scholarships and grants for a CHP are available through the American Psychological Foundation. 

NCSP (Nationally Certified School Psychologist)

The NCSP is sponsored by the National Association of School Psychologists and is the only professional credential that acknowledges school psychologists meeting national standards. To qualify for this certification, one must complete:

  • An organized program of study known as “School Psychology”
  • Sequence of supervised experience
  • 1,200 hours of internship in school psychology 
  • The Praxis School Psychologist Exam #5402 

Jobs available for those with a NCSP include being a school psychologist, mental health technician, psychologist, and more. Depending on the level of certification, will vary the costs however you can expect it to be anywhere from $80-$225. 

Different accredited universities do offer a NCSP program where funding and aid can be granted. 

BCBA (Board Certified Behavioral Analyst)

This is a graduate level certification focusing on behavioral analysis. Those who are at the BCBA level will be independent practitioners providing behavior-analytic services. 

To obtain this certification, one must meet the eligibility requirements, apply, take & pass the BCBA exam, and will have to get recertified every 2 years to maintain status. Generally, including undergraduate and graduate requirements for this certification, it will take between 6-10 years to complete. 

The application fee is $245, the exam costs $125 each time you take it, and biennial renewal costs $215. Different scholarships are available depending on where you chose to continue your education. 

Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

This certificate is sponsored by the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists. All applicants must have obtained at least a graduate level degree and the application costs $200. Other requirements include:

  • 50+ hours of classroom instruction
  • Hypnosis courses of 18+ hours
  • 30 hours of clinical hypnotherapy training

Career options with this certification include being a therapist, psychologist, physician, and more. In total, it will take approximately 6 years to complete the requirements for this certificate. Scholarships will typically be available for the undergraduate and graduate degrees required to obtain this status.

Where to Find Scholarships?

There are several options when trying to find scholarships. The easiest way would be to contact the financial aid office of the organization you plan on attending and see what options are available. 

Furthermore, school counselors, the U.S. Department of Labor, federal agencies, state grant agencies, foundations, community organizations, and even local businesses are great places to look for educational funding options. 

What to Look for When Searching for Psychology Scholarships

When looking for a scholarship it is important to see how much you will be granted and on what contingencies. For example, some schools offer scholarships in exchange for keeping a certain GPA or in exchange for labor. There are traditionally two types of scholarships; merit based and financial need based.

Different types of scholarships will be looking for different types of applicants so be sure to read the fine print to see if you qualify. Another thing to consider is how the money will be granted. 

Some scholarships will send the funds directly to universities or to whatever organization you need the money for; others will send the money directly to you and you will then be responsible for dispersing it. 

Tips for Obtaining a Scholarship

The best way to ensure you get a scholarship is to apply to as many as you can. Remember that often times students will use multiple scholarships to fund one expense, so the more applications you submit the better your chances of having all of your expenses covered will be. 

Carefully review the qualifications for each scholarship and adjust your application accordingly so that you fit the criteria they are looking for. Also, remember that different scholarships will have different deadlines and application requirements so be sure to review it carefully.

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