Where to Find Scholarships

If you are looking for a scholarship program to help pay your way through college, we’ve got resources that can help. Getting a good education today can be quite costly, but don’t let that stop you. There are numerous programs that can help pay a part or all of your college tuition and expenses.

In the past, most behavioral health counseling scholarships were mainly offered to those with above-average grades, but in today’s world, there are a plethora of programs available that offer grants, scholarships, and awards for everyone from those majoring in specific area’s to individuals who are of a native decent.

The counseling scholarships listed here are merely a fraction of the many grants and awards available to students. One way to find out about them is through your school’s financial aid office. Another is by searching online but be aware of scams. Here are some more places to search for scholarship programs:

  • a high school or TRIO counselor
  • professional associations related to your area of interest
  • your state grant agency
  • the U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search tool
  • federal agencies

You will be amazed at how many individuals, businesses, associations, colleges, employers, religious groups, and more, have funds set up to help you get the education that will lead to a successful career.

What is a Professional Association?


Professional associations are basically like clubs correlated to specific industries and occupations, that those who share common interests can join. The goal of these associations is typically to bring together, people from all over the nation, or even world, who work in the same industry or a related field and provide them with tools and benefits to help them thrive as well as to promote and improve the particular industry.

Only a rare few of these professional associations are free to join, the majority charges a monthly fee that can range anywhere from tens to hundreds of dollars. Members of professional associations can get valuable benefits, great deals, and special perks such as:

  • Special training to advance or update your career
  • Internship to help gain experience
  • A chance to speak to professionals in your industry
  • Invites or discounts to webinars, conventions, and more
  • A chance to submit your work to industry professionals
  • Share ideas and thoughts with thousands who hold similar occupations
  • And more

Federal Government

Some behavioral health counseling scholarships (merit-based) and grants (need-based) may be offered through your local, state and federal government. Because these programs are free, they are often referred to as “gift aids”.

To apply for funding, make sure you meet the qualifications then fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it along with the requested documents, before the posted deadline. If approved you may need to fill the FAFSA form out each year, to continue eligibility.

Some of the available government grants are:

  • Pell Grant
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • SMART Grant



Colleges and universities also offer scholarship programs for students to take advantage of. Moreover, the counseling scholarships that most colleges award students are full-ride scholarships that pay for tuition, supplies, and living expenses. These are usually offered to recruit competitive students with above average grades but there are still some good funding programs available that anyone can qualify for. The following are just some examples of the awards offered by some colleges and universities:

Amount: $3,000 (10 Awards)
Deadline: Awardees are chosen from those admitted to Notre Dame
Link: http://www.stampsfoundation.org/2013/01/13/university-of-notre-dame/

In partnership with the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, University of Notre Dame awards ten undergraduate students with up to four years of tuition and school fees as well as $3,000 enrichment funds yearly and a mentor within their field of study.

Amount: Varies ($5,000-$10,000; Up to $20,000)
Deadline: Varies
Link: https://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/cost-aid/scholarships/merit-scholarships

The University of Chicago offers several counseling scholarships. There is funding for first generation college-goers, merit scholarships for outstanding achievement, and police and fire scholarships for children of the nation’s public safety officers. The award varies between them, but is focused on paying for tuition at the University of Chicago and certain colleges within the Chicago University system.

Amount: Varies
Link: https://www.sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/education/my_coe/gamecock_edquarters/scholarships_and_aid/scholarships/index.php

Virginia Tech offers counseling scholarships to higher-level learning scholars working toward an addiction counseling degree. With this fellowship, you gain experience in the field, as well as payment for your hard work.


In the U.S., a large number of associations are dedicated to treating and preventing addiction, substance abuse, and behavioral health and mental health issues. Although a high percentage of them are professional organizations, for-profits, or lobbying groups, there are also a lot of government and non-profit organizations working to further understand these issues through research and awareness.

For this reason, non-profit associations offer scholarship programs to fund education and training for students interested in joining their fight to end substance use and alcohol abuse and more.

Some of the many non-profit organizations included in this group are:


The National Institutes of Health (NIH)


State and Municipal Health Departments


Mental Health America


The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


100 Pedals


State and Municipal Health Departments




The Foundation for Alcoholism Research (FAR)


Helping Others Live Sober

And more


To help fund education for students who want to succeed in life, major corporations and big businesses also provide counseling scholarships, and you don’t have to be great at sports or have the highest GPA in your class to qualify for many of them. The following are some examples:

Amount: $2,000-$20,000
Deadline: Varies
Link: https://scholarshipbee.com/kfc-scholarship/

KFC has programs that award qualified applicants with anywhere from $2,000-$20,000 each year until earning their bachelor’s degree. You’ll need to maintain a high enough GPA, 2.0-2.75 and meet some other qualifiers, but it’ll take a solid bite out of your college debt.

Amount: $50,000 (3 Awards)
Deadline: December 15
Link: https://bkmclamorefoundation.org/who-we-are/programs/burger-king-scholars-program/application-information/

If you are a Burger King employee, or even the child of one, then you have a chance at this scholarship program, which awards $50,000 to three students per year.

Target also supports a range of industries such as education, arts, and social services and there are many more businesses that provide educational funding including Ford Motors, Coca Cola, and Google.

General Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Scholarships

With the help of scholarships and grants, students can lower their college education costs. Scholarships and grants are designed to help students pay for educational expenses such as tuition fees, room & board, books, supplies, extra classes, and some programs will even provide students with extra spending cash.

If you plan on studying to become a substance abuse and addiction counselor there is financial assistance available for you. You can apply for multiple scholarship program grants that you qualify for in your spare time. Keep in mind, the more you apply for, the better your chances are of receiving funding.

Amount: Varies
Deadline: Admission Deadline
Link: https://www.williamjames.edu/admissions/tuition-and-aid/behavioral-health-scholarship.cfm

A number of substance use scholarships and grants will be awarded to students who demonstrate commitment and dedication to serving a community with human services in a mental health setting.

Amount: $5,000 (1st Place); $2,500 (2nd & 3rd Place)
Deadline: May 31
Link: http://americanaddictioncenters.org/behavioral-health-academic-scholarship/#submissionForm

This scholarship is open to graduates or undergraduates who are studying full or part-time in the fields of addiction counseling, psychology, behavioral health, nursing, social work, and related fields.

Amount: $10,000 (APA Membership for a year)
Deadline: Varies
Link: https://www.apa.org/pi/mfp/psychology/stay/index

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), funds this fellowship program for outstanding graduate students enrolled full-time in addiction counseling or psychology master’s degree programs.

Amount: $1,000
Deadline: August 31
Link: https://www.lpcanc.org/page/NancyHowellScholar

The Licensed Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina (LPCANC), funds this program awarding two exceptional graduate students with $500 per year who demonstrate leadership in addiction counseling.

Amount: $1,000
Deadline: April
Link: http://www.snrfoundation.org/scholarships

Graduate students pursuing a masters or doctorate in psychology, addiction counseling, social work, marital therapy, behavioral health, or a related field may qualify for this award. Candidates must be enrolled or accepted at an accredited college or university in Florida.

Amount: $2,500
Deadline: February 15th
Link: http://johnrandolphfoundation.org/ScholarApp/SchIndiv.cfm?SchID=5

Sponsored by the John Randolph Foundation, this scholarship was designed to promote healthcare occupations. Eligible candidates must major in psychology or a behavioral health-related field, have at least a GPA of 3.0. and be in financial need.

Amount: Varies
Deadline: January 15
Link: https://www.apa.org/pi/mfp/psychology/predoctoral/index

Funded by Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this program is available for students in pursuit of a career in behavioral health services including school psychology, addiction counseling, and clinical behavioral health.

Amount: $500 to $1,000
Deadline: February 1
Link: http://www.zpbnef1975.org/scholarships--descriptions.html

This scholarship is funded by the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Educational Foundation, for undergraduate or graduate students, studying full-time at an accredited college in the U.S. to earn a degree in addiction counseling. Must exhibit financial needs and have good academic standing.

Amount: $1,000 (Undergraduate); $2,000 (Graduate)
Deadline: May 31
Link: http://www.naadac.org/white-scholarship-award

The National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), designed this scholarship to provide funding to NAADAC members who pursue a degree in substance abuse counseling or addiction. To qualify, students must be enrolled in NASAC-accredited courses in conducting research studies on addiction with no less than a year remaining and have a GPA of at least a 3.0.

Addiction Counselor Scholarships by State

Amount: $2,000-$5,000
Deadline: Varies
Link: http://phnfoundation.net/healthcare-scholarships.aspx

This is one of the four grants offered by the Primary Health Network Charitable Foundation to students in select PA counties studying to earn a degree or certificate in clinical or administrative healthcare.

Amount: Varies
Deadline: March 31
Link: https://www.partnercoloradocu.org/about/foundations/partner-colorado-foundation

This scholarship is available to U.S. citizens residing in the Colorado state, ages 17-40. Scholarships that are granted will be directly administered to the winning applicant's chosen school. Candidates must be students who are continuing their college education with a minimum GPA of 2.0 and have obtained at least 9 credit hours each semester.

Amount: $1,000
Deadline: Varies (September)
Link: http://www.aitcoy.org/uploads/4/8/9/2/48929925/graduate_scholarship_application.pdf

In partnership with the Association of Illinois Township Committees on Youth (AITCOY), these funds are distributed annually to support graduate students earning an accredited master’s degree in addiction counseling, behavioral health, marriage and family therapy, social work, prevention, psychology, or recreation.

Amount: Varies
Deadline: Varies
Link: http://www.arrehabassociation.org/scholarships.html

This scholarship is granted annually by the Arkansas Rehabilitation Association (ARA), to graduate students enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, full-time, with a GPA of 3.0 or more. Candidates must be majoring in behavioral health, rehabilitation, marriage and family counseling, or addiction counseling and demonstrate an interest in the Public Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

Amount: $4,000 (Annually, One-time $2,000 Travel Grant)
Deadline: Varies
Link: http://www.hawaii.edu/offices/studentaffairs/scholarships/raps-overview.php

Funding for this program was established by the UH Board of Regents, for students with an exceptional academic record. Full-tuition is given to regent undergraduate scholars, for four years and to presidential undergraduate scholars, for two years.

Amount: Varies
Deadline: March 2
Link: https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-state/california-scholarships/cal-grant-a-and-b-competitive-grant-program/

Candidates must be undergraduates with a financial need and good academic performance enrolled in a post-secondary California school that is grant qualified.

Amount: $15,000 (Over 3 Years)
Deadline: Varies (January)
Link: https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-state/washington-scholarships/apiasf-united-health-foundation-scholarship/

The United Health Foundation teamed up with the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, to provide Asian and Pacific Islander students with financial assistance to earn a degree in the behavioral health field. Must be a U.S. citizen to qualify.

Amount: $1,000
Deadline: July 3
Link: https://www.blmsquaredscholarship.org/apply

This program was developed to help minority students who reside in Illinois, with financial needs. Candidates must portray outstanding academic achievements while enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year accredited college or university.

Amount: $2,000-$5,000
Deadline: March 3
Link: http://www.fscny.org/?controller=scholarshipprogram

The Financial Service Centers of New York (FSCNY), offers development opportunities to young people who will help improve the quality of life to New Yorkers after returning to their communities. To qualify, students must demonstrate leadership in school, as well as high academic achievements while contributing 50 hours or more of volunteer service every year during high school.

Substance Abuse Counselor Scholarships for Minorities

Amount: Varies
Deadline: January 15
Link: http://www.apa.org/pi/mfp/psychology/predoctoral/index.aspx

The Minority Fellowship Program of the American Psychological Association designed and funds this program to increase job growth for qualified minority practitioners-in-training. Students must be in pursuit of a career in policy or behavioral health services.

Amount: Varies
Deadline: December 1
Link: http://www.apa.org/about/awards/div-27-minority.aspx?tab=1

Sponsored by Division 27: Society for Community Research and Action of the APA, this award is provided in recognition of an NCA member who impacted an ethnic minority scholar's career in psychology through professional guidance and mentorship.

Amount: $500
Deadline: February 1
Link: http://www.apa.org/about/awards/filipino-american-scholarship.aspx?tab=1

The Asian-American Psychological Association Division of Filipino Americans of the APA, offers this scholarship to graduate students in their first two years of study or undergraduate Filipino-American psychology majors who are planning to go on to further study.

Substance Abuse Counselor Scholarships for Women

Amount: $250
Deadline: May 1
Link: http://www.apadivisions.org/division-35/awards/graduate.aspx?tab=1

Division 35, section one of the APA, sponsors this scholarship to support black female graduate psychology majors interested in researching the gender roles of other black females.

Amount: $1,800 (3 Awards)
Deadline: March 1
Link: https://powayarea-ca.aauw.net/re-entry-woman-scholarship/

This grant is funded by the Poway-Penasquitos Branch of the American Association of University Women, to a woman returning to complete higher education. Eligibility requirements are: must be a female high school graduate or equivalent, at least 23 years old who does not hold a bachelor's or advanced degree.

Amount: Varies
Deadline: Varies
Link: https://wispinc.org/

This program is offered to women pursuing various degrees who have made it through partner abuse. They must have been separated from their partner for a minimum of one year. To find the behavioral health counseling scholarships and grants available, click on the link.

Amount: Up to $10,000
Deadline: Varies
Link: https://www.peointernational.org/sites/www.peointernational.org/files/content/ips-info-card_updates.2012.02.24.pdf

This scholarship fund was established in 1949 to provide financial assistance to select female graduate students from other countries studying in the U.S. or Canada.

Amount: Varies Yearly
Deadline: March 1
Link: http://www.ilamvets.org/Portals/0/Aux%201819.pdf

The Illinois AMVETS Service Foundation, makes this scholarship program available annually to assist high school students of Illinois in financing their education. You must be the child or grandchild of a vet who served after 1940 and was either Honorably Discharged or is still serving.

Substance Abuse Counselor Scholarships for Military

Amount: Tuition, books, room and board, etc. (May include monthly stipend)
Deadline: Varies
Link: https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/current-and-prior-service/advance-your-career/green-to-gold/green-to-gold-scholarship.html

Recipients of this scholarship will receive funding for two, three, or four years to cover costs of tuition or room and board, supplies, textbooks, and more. In addition, a stipend will be provided monthly for up to ten months.

Amount: Up to $40,000
Deadline: Varies
Link: https://www.williamjames.edu/academics/centers-of-excellence/military-veterans-psychology/military-service-members-and-veterans-scholarships.cfm

These scholarships and grants are awarded in recognition of achievements of military-affiliated students who are committed to earning a college degree.

Amount: Varies
Deadline: Varies
Link: https://www.uab.edu/students/veterans/images/documents/ANGEAP-2018-19.pdf

This state assistance program was established by the Legislature of the State of Alabama, to provide financial assistance to National Guard members residing in Alabama and enrolled in an accredited post-secondary degree program of higher learning.

Addiction Counselor k12 Scholarships

If you’re a college-bound high school student pursuing a degree in addiction counseling than you might want to consider applying for scholarship programs now to help pay your way through college.

Getting a good education is important in today’s world, as many employers won’t hire you without a college degree. However, college programs are not free, in fact some are quite costly. Fortunately, there are a countless number of scholarship programs available that can help with tuition costs and other college expenses.

The following are just some scholarships and grants available to college-bound high school students pursuing a career in addiction counseling:

Amount: $1,000-$50,000
Deadline: December 15
Link: https://bkmclamorefoundation.org/who-we-are/programs/burger-king-scholars-program/

This scholarship is available to all high school seniors in the U.S. Candidates must plan on attending a technical program or college after they graduate from high school. Applicants are selected based on community service, academic merit, any work experience while attending high school, extracurricular involvement, or a combination of these.

Amount: $20,000
Deadline: Varies
Link: https://www.coca-colascholarsfoundation.org/apply/

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program is awarded to high school graduating seniors who are chosen based on their achievements including their ability to serve and lead as well as their commitment to making an impact on their community and school. Each year Coca Cola selects 150 scholars to receive this scholarship award.

Amount: Up to $20,000 (renewable)
Deadline: Various deadlines for application, letter of recommendation, etc.
Link: https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/ugsp

The National Institute of Health (NIH), offers this scholarship to those of disadvantaged backgrounds pursuing a career in behavioral, biomedical, social science, or other behavioral health-related research. In addition to college support, this program also provides students with paid research training during the summer as well as paid employment and more training after graduation at NIH.

Amount: $750-$2,000
Deadline: April 15
Link: https://www.apa.org/about/awards/aka-finaidscholar?tab=2

This scholarship offers financial assistance to students with unmet needs to complete their study of a particular program. Candidates must be currently enrolled or will be attending college by fall of the award year, in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 2.5, and be an undergraduate full-time student.

Amount: Full tuition plus books and materials, a monthly allowance of around $2,200, and a sign-on bonus of $20,000
Deadline: Rolling
Link: https://www.goarmy.com/amedd/education/hpsp.html

The HPSP is offered to students in behavioral health care fields that include qualifying Specialty Nurse, Veterinarian, Medical/Osteopathy, addiction Counseling/Clinical Psychology, Optometry, and Dental. Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled or accepted in a full-time accredited graduate degree program located in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, qualified to be a commissioned officer.

Amount: Varies (Many Awards Available)
Deadline: March 1
Link: https://www.coe.unt.edu/scholarships/college-education-scholarships

The College of Education awards scholarships to students (including transfer students) entering college from high school, enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program, as well as those in the overseas student teaching (COST) program. These scholarship programs are based on needs, merit, location, or specific majors. To be considered for all of the scholarships and grants available through this program, you must complete an application.

Amount: $1,000-$50,000
Deadline: March 1
Link: https://www.apa.org/apf/funding/rosen

The Esther Katz Rosen Fund Scholarship is offered by the American Psychological Foundation (APF) to graduate students conducting research on gifted children who are enrolled in an accredited school program that focuses on addiction counseling, psychology, special education, or a related area. Qualifying candidates must be in good academic standing, have no more than 10 years of professional experience, and pursuing a doctoral degree.

Amount: $4,000 per year
Deadline: March 24, 2019
Link: http://www.nassaucounselors.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/MarieQuinnAwardApplication-2019.pdf

The Marie C. Quinn Memorial Scholarship is issued by the Nassau Counselors’ Association to graduate students enrolled in a full or part-time accredited master’s degree program in clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, or community counseling. Qualified candidates must be pursuing a career in addiction counseling, possess academic achievement, be a member of the NCA, and have completed at least 12 college credit hours.

Amount: $2,000
Deadline: March 1
Link: https://www.michiganschoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=877

The Harry and Susanne Clay Scholarship is issued by the Michigan School Counselor Association (MSCA) to graduate students in pursuit of a master’s, doctoral, or another advanced degree in addiction counseling. To be eligible, students must reside in the state of Michigan, be a current member of MSCA accepted in a CACREP-accredited program, and have the potential to succeed as a school counselor.

Amount: Up to $2,000 per year
Deadline: February 1
Link: http://www.najanet.org/naja-scholarship/

The Betty W. Robbins Endowed Scholarship is administered by the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), to students interested in graduate studies in school psychology, speech pathology, school counseling, special education, mental health, or related fields. To qualify you must be a U.S. citizen who attends college or resides in Missouri, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, or Mississippi.