Social Work students are able to fund their degree in the form of financial aid, fellowships, traineeships, assistantships, and additional programs that may help to supplement their education.
Admitted and current students are also able to utilize the Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) which helps grad students find funding.
For information on the WA State Tuition Exemption Program, visit the Registrar's page. Please note that these waivers do not apply to our part-time MSW programs.
UW Financial Aid includes grants, loans, and work-study. Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for financial aid. Applicants who identify as DACA eligible, HB 1079 eligible, DREAMers, or undocumented should complete the WAFSA. International Students are generally not eligible for financial aid, however they are eligible for departmental scholarships. Note that EDP students and non-residents are not eligible for UW grants, only loans.
Not sure if you're eligible for WAFSA? Complete the WAFSA Questionnaire to determine your eligibility.
- The FAFSA/WAFSA should be submitted by UW's priority deadline for priority consideration for aid programs for the upcoming school year, however it can be submitted after this date as well. Financial aid is not awarded until admission into UW has been granted.
- The FAFSA/WAFSA is frequently required in order to be considered for many additional types of funding so we encourage all students to submit one each year as soon as possible (international students are unable to file a FAFSA/WAFSA).
- The application for financial aid is separate from the application for admission. Awards and financial aid packages will be sent throughout the spring and summer. Generally, this will be sent to you electronically so please check your UW email and MyUW regularly. Please accept your aid as directed, even if you are requesting or expecting changes. Unaccepted awards are subject to cancellation. You can request changes to your award here.
More info on financial aid can be found on UW's Office of Student Financial Aid website.
Traineeships are training programs that offer students specialized skill-building and support to help them reach their professional goals. Our MSW Program offers five distinct traineeships, four of which include funding:
Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program: CWTAP’s mission is to recruit and develop highly skilled, culturally competent public child-welfare social workers through a partnership between the state’s Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and UW. Participants receive specialized advising, practicum placements, and classes, as well as extensive financial support in exchange for working for an eligible DCYF or Tribal office for a time period equal to the time they received financial assistance. Your first step is to apply to the UW School of Social Work MSW Program. After submitting an MSW application, applicants will receive an email invitation to apply to CWTAP along with an application packet. See more information here. International students are not eligible for the CWTAP traineeship.
Washington State Behavioral Health Workforce Development Initiative: WDI’s mission is to recruit diverse community behavioral health workers committed to serving individuals and families with mental health and substance use challenges. Students participating in WDI receive a grant that offsets master’s degree tuition by agreeing to serve in a Washington state community behavioral health agency or tribal health center following their graduation. See more information on the application process and timelines here. International students are only eligible for the WDI traineeship if they have guaranteed work authorization after their education visa has expired.
Workforce for Student Well-being: WSW's mission is to recruit and train skilled school social workers. Students participating in WSW receive up to $30,000 in grants during their specialized by agreeing to serve for two years in a Washington high-needs public school or tribal school. See more information on the application process and timelines here. International students are only eligible for the WSW traineeship if they have guaranteed work authorization after their education visa has expired.
Carol LaMare Endowed Fellowship in Integrative Oncology and Palliative Care Social Work: This traineeship/fellowship program supports 2nd year Day and 3rd year EDP clinical students interested in oncology social work. Recipients may receive up to $5,000, mentoring, specialized seminars, and practicum placements in local oncology, palliative care, or hospice centers. This traineeship is part of UW’s Center for Integrative Oncology and Palliative Care Social Work, which takes a social justice approach to oncology and palliative care. The Center aims to prepare culturally adept researchers and practitioners who are dedicated to addressing disparities in cancer and end-of-life care based on race and ethnicity, disability, gender and sexual identity, geographic location, income and education. Info session details are sent to eligible students in December and applications open in late winter. See more information here.
Also known as scholarships, fellowships are competitive awards that are intended to fund academic study. The School of Social Work awards several types of fellowships to incoming and continuing MSW students, including international students. The UW Graduate School also offers fellowships.
School of Social Work Fellowships:
- Prospective Students: all admitted students who complete the FAFSA/WAFSA and submit the Funding Consideration Form by the listed deadlines will be considered for departmental fellowships. Please note that notification of most awards will generally occur after an offer of admission. The FAFSA/WAFSA should be submitted by January 15th (the School of Social Work's priority deadline) for priority consideration, however it can be submitted after this date as well. Late FAFSA/WAFSA submission may result in no funding or less funding. International students are waived from the FAFSA/WAFSA requirement. Fellowships are awarded based on merit and need as demonstrated through your MSW application, the FAFSA/WAFSA, and Funding Consideration Form. MSW fellowships are typically $7,500 for one academic year, although there are some specialized funds that may offer more or less.
- Current Students: all students continuing in their MSW for the following academic year will be sent a Funding Application in spring. Students who complete the FAFSA/WAFSA and submit the Funding Application by the listed deadlines will be considered for departmental fellowships. The FAFSA/WAFSA should be submitted by January 15 (UW's priority deadline) for priority consideration, however it can be submitted after this date as well. Late FAFSA/WAFSA submission may result in no funding or less funding. International students are waived from the FAFSA/WAFSA requirement.
- View a list of School of Social Work Fellowships here.
Graduate School Fellowships:
The UW Graduate School maintains a list of fellowships open to UW grad students. Please note that some of these require the applicant to apply, while others require departmental nominations. For those that require departmental nominations, if you submitted a FAFSA/WAFSA and Funding Form, you will automatically be considered. See a list of UW Grad School Fellowships.
Assistantships are a form of paid academic employment in which students receive tuition reimbursement for the tasks they perform for faculty members, departments, or colleges. International students are eligible for assistantships. The School of Social Work offers several assistantships and additional graduate assistantships are typically available through other departments at UW.
UW Assistantships: At the UW, Academic Student Employees (ASEs) are hired directly by the employing department. Each department conducts its own individual hiring process and many departments (like the School of Social Work!) hire their own students. Other departments will recruit widely for positions from relevant degree programs across campus. Learn more about assistantships outside of The School of Social Work here.
School of Social Work Assistantships: The UW School of Social Work has historically offered three competitive graduate assistantship opportunities, open to current and incoming MSW students:
Student Information Specialist: This is an outreach/ambassador position, responsible for supporting the Admissions Office in supporting and recruiting diverse applicants to the UW School of Social Work and providing technical assistance to BASW and MSW applicants throughout the application process. Successful candidates are expected to have strong skills in public speaking, written communication, and multitasking. Current students as well as incoming MSW Day, EDP, and Advanced Standing students are eligible to apply; please note that this position requires 20 hours per week of office hours (primarily weekday, daytime hours). The SIS position may not be available every year; one or two positions may be available in a given year, depending on staffing needs. This is a graduate student assistantship that includes a tuition waiver, pay, and benefits as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement. Applications for the Student Information Specialist position for the 2024 - 2025 academic year are due by March 10th. Application details here.
Social Work Writing Tutor: Would you like to provide writing support to fellow students at the UW School of Social Work? The social work writing team generally hires 2-3 new peer writing tutors each year. Tutors provide writing support services to all social work students. These yearlong positions require flexible schedules in both remote and in-person settings. Funding varies by quarter and may include a tuition waiver, a partial tuition waiver, and health insurance coverage in some quarters, and hourly pay in other quarters. Eligible students must be entering the MSW advanced curriculum in Autumn 2024. Priority consideration is given to current EDP and Day students, though newly admitted Advanced Standing students with previous tutoring experience are encouraged to apply. More details here. Application will open late spring.
Student Computer Consultant: Responsible for supporting the School of Social Work computer labs help desk support to students, faculty and staff of a variety of software and other computing related inquiries. Provides funding for graduate students in the UW School of Social Work which may be offered as a tuition waiver, partial tuition waiver, health insurance coverage, stipend, or a combination of all. Candidates must be a UW School of Social Work MSW student and eligible to qualify for a Graduate Student Assistantship (this is not work - study and is not based on financial need). Current students as well as incoming MSW Day, EDP, and Advanced Standing students are eligible to apply; please note that this position requires weekday, weeknight, and weekend coverage and a commitment of 20 hours per week is necessary (support times shared across all four consultants). Applications for the Student Computer Consultant position for the 2024 - 2025 academic year are due by April 2nd. Application details here.
These are funding programs without specific ties to UW that may offer financial support to MSW students. View the list of external funding opportunities here.
Loan Forgiveness Programs
By choosing a career in social work, you may qualify for special forgiveness initiatives that acknowledge your commitment to community welfare and service. While the list below isn't exhaustive, it outlines certain programs designed to relieve the financial burden of student loans for those committed to working in underserved communities.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness: This federal program forgives loans after 120 monthly payments. You must be on an income-driven repayment plan, work for the government or an eligible nonprofit, and submit an eligibility form each year.
- National Health Service Corps: This federal program offers LICSWs between $25,000 and $100,000 in loan repayment in exchange for 2-3 years of service at an eligible jobsite.
- Washington Health Corps: This state program offers LICSWs up to $75,000 in loan repayment in exchange for 3-5 years of service at an eligible jobsite.
- Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program: This federal program offers LICSWs up to $25,000 per year in loan repayment in exchange for up to 2 of service at an eligible jobsite.