Scholarships and Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships

Western Michigan University's School of Social Work employs one to two graduate assistants to facilitate the program objectives of the school and the professional or teaching objectives of faculty members.  Positions for the 2014-2015 academic year will be posted in July 2014 and applications will be e-mailed to current and incoming students. 

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must plan to take six or more credit hours for two consecutive semesters
  • Priority given to evidence of professional academic interest and abilities for meeting specific programmatic needs
  • Scholastic merit and financial need will be considered, but are secondary

Award amount: varies

Note: Participation in the professional activities of the school for a specified number of hours (10 hours in the case of a one-half appointment) is required. Application for an assistantship can be made to the School of Social Work after the student has been offered admission. 

For graduate assistantship information and application, contact Amy Vliek at amy.vliek@wmich.edu.

School of Social Work scholarships

In an attempt to assist students with some of their financial burden, the School of Social Work offers a few scholarship opportunities. The application deadline for School of Social Work scholarships are:

  • Currently enrolled M.S.W. students: March 15 for 2014-2015 academic year
  • Currently enrolled B.S.W. students: February 21 for 2014-2015 academic year
  • Incoming M.S.W. students: applications due with program application

For School of Social Work scholarship information and application, contact Erica Ongstad at erica.e.ongstad@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3201.

Rebecca Binkowski Memorial Scholarship

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be second-year, full-time M.S.W. student
  • At least a 3.75 GPA

Award amount: $1,000 to $4,000 depending on availability

Charlene Cove Russell Endowed Scholarship

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be an MSW student
  • 3.0 grade point average

Award amount: no less than $500 depending on availability

Steven Crumm Scholarship  

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be a full-time M.S.W. student
  • Priority given to single parents and working students

Award amount: no less than $500 depending on availability

Note: Awarded to one student annually in the fall semester

Nathaniel McCaslin Scholarship

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be a B.S.W. student or second-year M.S.W. student 
  • Must be in good academic standing
  • Member of a disenfranchised group
  • Priority given to those who meet one or more of the following criteria: first generation family member pursuing a college degree; commitment to working with adolescents; single parent status; history of, or interest in, working in a community service area

Award amount: no less than $250 depending on availability

Note: Awarded to one B.S.W. and one second year M.S.W. in the spring semester.

Robert Barstow Scholarship

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be a full-time or part-time B.S.W. student or first year M.S.W. student 
  • Priority given to those who meet one or more of the following criteria:
    • The past or present TANF/AFDC recipient
    • Current or past employee of Department of Human Services
    • Express an interest in child welfare

Award amount: no less than $500 depending on availability

Note: Awarded to one B.S.W. and one first year M.S.W. in the fall semester.

Deloris Jordan Phillips Scholarship:

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be B.S.W. or M.S.W. student
  • Academic merit—awarded to the applicant with the best academic record 

Award amount: no less than $1,000 depending on availability. The scholarship is a two-year award which provides half the award during the fall semester of each years.

Whitney Young Scholar Award(s):

The Whitney Young Scholars Award is a faculty nominated award.  Student need not apply.  Faculty are encouraged to nominate students who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student from any WMU academic department
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • Demonstrated history of community service

Award amount: $500 

Note: Students are nominated by faculty or staff.

John P. Mellein Endowed Scholarship:

Eligibility criteria:

  • Preference shall be given to enrolled, full-time B.S.W. students who have demonstrated an interest in areas of study including but not limited to mental health, social justice, community planning and development, or social policy
  • At least a 3.3 GPA

Award amount: $500

The Leonard Gernant and Frances A. Gernant Gerontology Scholarship

Contact: Dr. Donna Weinreich, donna.weinreich@wmich.edu, (269) 387-3193 

Eligibility criteria:

  • Undergraduates focusing on gerontology and older adults
  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student at WMU (a minimum of 12 semester hours)
  • Preference shall be given to students demonstrating overall high academic achievement at WMU and dedication to a career in health and human service areas with an emphasis on serving the aging.
  • Financial need shall be a secondary consideration when there are more academically qualified applicants than awards available.

Award amount: minimum of $500 

Note: Renewable for two years only

Other resources

WMU Graduate College programs 

Western Michigan University provides fellowships and assistantships for students planning to pursue graduate study. To learn more about them, visit www.wmich.edu/grad/funding or call the Graduate College at (269) 387-8212.

WMU financial aid 

WMU's student financial aid office facilitates application to various financial assistance programs. For all loan information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid early in the application process. Early loan applications have priority. It is best to apply between Jan. 1 and March 1.