Financial Aid FAQ

Financial Aid FAQ for MSW students

What is the process for requesting financial aid?

Each applicant must complete an "Application for Financial Assistance" (link to form at bottom of page) and submit it to the College of Social Work along with his or her initial application to the College. The Financial Aid Committee will meet before each semester and consider requests. Applicants are encouraged to make financial planning decisions that are not fully dependent upon financial aid from the College. Any funds that we are able to provide will only be supplementary to the larger amount needed for successful completion of a degree.

What kind of financial aid is available from the College?

The College has very limited funds of its own. Typically, we receive many more requests than we have funds to disperse. As a result, we consider GRE scores and GPAs along with financial need. Financial aid categories for graduate students include:

  • Eidetik, Incorporated: Cooperative Education Scholarship. Details

  • Martha Davis Scholarships (from the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation).
    Amount = $500-$1000 year Number = 15-30
  • Alumni Scholarship Awards
    Amount = $200-$400 per semester Number = 5
  • Allie Engle Miller Endowed Fund for a graduate student committed to conducting research that would enhance the life of those living in Eastern Kentucky.
    Amount = $500 per year Number = 1
  • Research Assistantships (Lexington students only) pay $6000 per year in return for working 20 hours per week. Plus, tuition is paid. Competition is keen; most are held by continuing students Number = 2; also 2 part-time Research Assistantships (10 hours per week), tuition paid only.
  • Teaching Assistantships (Doctoral students only). Pay is variable depending upon the course taught. Full tuition is paid. Number = unlimited

  • Dorothy A. Miller Endowed Memorial Scholarship. Students who have completed the first year of their 60-hour MSW program, part-time Advanced Standing students, and doctoral students may compete for two scholarships by writing original essays 16 pages in length. Guidelines are stated in January and the submission deadline is March 31. First place is an award of $2,500. Second place is $2,000. Details
  • Out-of state Tuition Scholarships Now Available. Details.

  • Crowe-Renaker Endowed Scholarship.
    Eligibility: Student in the College of Social Work who is a resident of Virginia Place or who has a research focus on maternal/child well being.
    Award: $250 to $500
    Number: 1-2
    Deadline: June 30 and November 30
  • In addition to the funds managed by the College, several other opportunities exist for financial assistance.

    • Office of Residence Life hires a number of graduate students each year to be Hall Directors and Assistant Hall Directors. Compensation includes a fully furnished apartment, all utilities including cable and Internet access, a yearly stipend between $5,000 and $6,000 depending upon the size of the building, a meal plan worth $550 each semester, plus the out-of-state portion of tuition is paid. Persons interested in applications with Residence Life should contact Mr. Tony Ralph at 859-257-4784 or e-mail him at

    • Singletary, Matthews & Wethington Fellowships are available to UK seniors who have exceptionally high GPAs and GRE scores. Nominations must include a 3-page personal statement relating to career goals and providing evidence of participation and leadership roles in the University and community life during the undergraduate years, 4 letters of recommendation, letter from student's advisor, copy of transcripts, etc. The deadline for submission of these materials is March 1. Three $12,000 fellowships are funded at UK. Contact the College Admissions Officer if you think you qualify for this Fellowship.

    • Graduate Fellowships, Assistantships, and Support Funding

    • Student Loans and Work-Study Employment information should be obtained from the Financial Aid Office at 128 Funkhouser Building, phone number 859-257-3172. Their web-page can be viewed at .

    • The Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children has an MSW Stipend program for their employees who have worked at least 24 months with them. This program pays full tuition plus provides $600 each semester for transportation and books.

    Should I borrow more money to attend graduate school?

    Even though acquiring student loans is a relatively simple way to finance graduate school, each student should carefully weigh the burden of additional debt. Here are some important points to ponder: 1) social work salaries (even with a MSW) often are not large enough to provide a comfortable standard of living when you are saddled with a large student loan debt; realistically examine your monthly payments, your expected income, and living expenses; 2) a large debt may prevent you from being able to purchase a house of your own until the loan amount is paid down; 3) a large debt can present problems if you want to quit working in order to raise a family or if you become ill or disabled. Another alternative is to seek employment that allows you the flexibility to attend classes while paying a wage. For instance, you might want to seek full-time employment at the University of Kentucky (see the web-page: ). Full time employees can take 6 hours of classes each semester tuition-free.