While your college years can be some of the best of your life, they can also be an extremely trying time. It might be your first time living on your own, away from the emotional support of your family. It could also be the first time that you’ve had to change schools, acclimate to a new environment, and make new friends. And let’s not forget the challenges of tackling a higher-education workload, as well as the financial burden that comes with paying for college. The list of difficult transitions that come when you attend college is endless. But if you live with a mental illness, then the stress of attending an academic college can increase tenfold.
If you are affected by a diagnosed mental health condition, you are not alone. Millions of people in the U.S are diagnosed with mental disabilities every year. Any mental illness (AMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. AMI can range in impact, from no impairment to mild, moderate, and even severe impairment. Not only is youth mental health worsening, but this demographic is currently struggling the most with mental illness, particularly in the last couple of years.
Nearly 30% of young adults between 18 and 25 suffer from a mental, behavioral, or emotional mental health condition. Furthermore, many mental illnesses lead to physical, social, and financial consequences. The rate of unemployment is higher among U.S adults who have a mental disability compared to those who don’t. High school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out of school compared to their peers. And students aged 6-17 with mental, emotional, or behavioral health disorders are 3 times more likely to repeat a grade.
That’s why mental health scholarships for college students are so incredibly important. Mental health scholarships not only offer support and recognition to students suffering from debilitating illnesses, but they can also raise awareness about the widespread impact of these illnesses. Additionally, mental health scholarships can help relieve the financial burden of paying for college for students who are suffering from mental illness. Whether you live with one of many Anxiety disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Schizophrenia, a visible or invisible disability, there are mental health scholarships accessible to you, including diagnosis-specific scholarships. Whether you are already enrolled in a college or university or are one of many high school seniors seeking out mental health scholarships, there is a scholarship out there catered perfectly towards you and your needs.
Best Mental Health Scholarships with 2022 Deadlines
College students often face great stress. The transition to adulthood is a time of significant change and can challenge a student’s emotional health and well-being.
Whether it’s the pressure to make the honor roll or just fit in with a friend group, it’s important to give students the support and guidance they need to cope with the stress of college. This is especially important given the global pandemic which has added a new set of challenges for college students to confront.
The WiseGeek Mental Health Well-Being Scholarship is meant to provide awareness to mental health challenges and assist those who have had to face those issues with a $500 award to help pay their tuition. The scholarship deadline is April 16, 2022.
This competitive mental health scholarship is awarded to one student every year who is either struggling with mental health or who is interested in helping others who have been impacted by mental health challenges. The scholarship is open to all students in any major and the winner will receive $500. The application deadline for this scholarship is March 1, 2022, and the winners will be announced one month later. In the application essay, contestants will discuss their ideas and suggestions for the mental health field.
This generous scholarship will be granted to four individuals who have either suffered from mental illness or who have had a loved one battle with mental health. Funded by the Mental Health Movement, each winner will receive $1,012. To apply, applicants will have to write a 300-word essay sharing their own, or a loved one’s journey, with mental health, and how they want to use this experience to positively impact others with a shared situation.
The Mahlagha Jaberi Mental Health Awareness for Immigrants Scholarship’s mission is to spread awareness about the mental health of immigrants living in the United States. This $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to one first or second-generation immigrant who has previously or is currently battling with mental health. To apply, an individual must write about both their experiences with mental health, and as an immigrant, and some of their hopes and dreams for the future.
This award is dedicated to Noah A.H. Wilson who tragically lost his life to suicide in 2020. In honor of Noah, who was a sophomore at The School of the Art Institute at Chicago when he passed, this scholarship is awarded to one high school senior graduating in 2022. This individual must be pursuing a degree in the arts and have a passion for mental health and suicide prevention. The application deadline is April 19, 2022, and the winner will receive $1,200.
How to Qualify for Mental Health Scholarships
Just like all scholarships, every mental health scholarship available has different criteria and will cater to a slightly different group or community. The first thing to do when you find a scholarship online is to check the provider’s eligibility criteria and application information.
The first way that mental health scholarships will differ is by target year and major. A set of mental health scholarships are available to high school students, while others will target college students, graduate students, or even students who are in a particular year of their college education (sophomores, juniors, etc.). Other scholarships will only be eligible to students who are studying a specific major. While some scholarships will target computer science or computer engineering students, others will cater towards a law or business major. Many mental health scholarships will also have a GPA minimum and specify the types of college students they are looking for. Some mental health scholarships will be geared towards students attending community colleges, while others will be geared towards students attending a four-year undergraduate program. Due to all of the school-related requirements that come with mental health scholarships, it might be worth it to sit down and look at all of the scholarships available to you. This might influence the types of schools you wish to apply to, and which major you end up deciding upon.
Additionally, your specific mental health issues will certainly influence which mental health scholarships you qualify for. When it comes to eligibility, some mental health scholarships will be extremely broad. Many scholarships are simply seeking someone with a diagnosed mental illness. Other scholarships will be more specific, and target students who suffer from schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder. There are also scholarships available for people with disabilities outside of mental health. If you struggle with a learning disability, intellectual disability, behavioral disability, or severe physical disability, there are scholarships available to you as well.
Finally, there are also scholarships available to students who want to elevate mental health awareness or study mental illness at university. If you intend to major in psychology, public health, disability studies, or a related field in college, then it is worth investigating scholarships available to you. If your interest in raising awareness stems from the fact that you have an immediate family member or loved one who suffers from mental health issues, there are also scholarships to support individuals in these situations as well.
How do you apply for Mental Health Scholarships?
Similar to most scholarships, individuals can typically apply for most mental health scholarships online. Every application will be slightly different, however, most will require basic information about the individual, including high school or college transcripts and GPA. If you are worried about your grades or GPA impacting your chances of receiving a scholarship, don’t panic! There is always time to improve and boost those scores. Reach out to teachers, professors, or even online tutors for support. In terms of accessing your transcript, consult your high school guidance counselor or your college registrar’s office to receive a digital or paper transcript. There might be an associated fee, however, you should be able to use this transcript for all of your scholarship applications.
For many mental health applications, students will also need to submit a personal essay or statement. Due to the nature of mental health scholarships, individuals will typically need to write about their mental illness, the challenges that they have faced due to their specific circumstances, and why being awarded this particular scholarship is important to them. If you are planning on applying to multiple scholarships, consider creating an essay template, or several essay templates. Because you are applying for a mental health scholarship, you can be fairly certain that your scholarship essay will be about your mental illness. By creating templates you can customize your essays as you go, rather than writing entire essays from scratch every time.
When you find a scholarship that you want to apply for, read the fine print. Take note of the details, including the eligibility criteria, the deadline, and the paperwork required. If you need to submit medical information or a letter of recommendation, these are the first pieces of information you will want to chase. If it takes weeks for this paperwork to come back to you, you don’t want to accidentally miss an application deadline.
Where to Look for Scholarships
Of the thousands of scholarships awarded to students every year, mental health scholarships can be some of the trickiest to find. But don’t be discouraged! That’s why we’re here to help.
Where do you find mental health scholarships? Some of the first places to look for mental health scholarships are at the colleges and universities you wish to apply to. Do they offer mental health scholarships? If so, that would be a great place to start. Secondly, there are many scholarship search engines and top-notch mental health scholarship round-ups online. Many of these round-ups will break down scholarship eligibility, application requirements, GPA minimums, and how much scholarship money will be awarded. This will make it easy for you to consider your options and eliminate scholarships that don’t fit your needs.
Types of Scholarship Sponsors
Mental health scholarship sponsors vary across the board, as there are many individuals and companies looking to help students in need attend the colleges of their dreams. Some sponsors are individuals or individuals who have joined forces with a foundation, who have also battled with severe mental illness, and have a personal relationship to the cause. Many sponsors are from related mental health foundations or local mental health organizations like the American Association of Health and Disability (AAHD) or the American Psychological Foundation looking to support students in need. The other subset of sponsors comes from larger corporations. Scholarships such as the Microsoft Disability Scholarship and the Wells Fargo Scholarship Program are also out there to provide mental health funds resources and funds.
Scholarship Application Strategy
With so many scholarships out there to choose from, it’s worth it to apply to as many as possible. It’s all a numbers game, so the more scholarships you apply to, the more likely you are to receive one. However, time and money are also of the essence, and you may be looking to be more selective with the applications you submit. If that’s the case, try and find scholarships that closely match your specific circumstances. Are you struggling with addiction and substance abuse? Create a list of scholarships limited to students struggling with addiction only. Then, if you have more time, apply to more general mental health scholarships. The more personal the scholarship, the easier it will be for you to create a compelling application and personal statement.
Commonly Asked Questions for Mental Health Scholarships
Can I get a scholarship for mental health?
Yes. There are many mental health scholarships available if you are a high school student, undergraduate college student, or graduate school student battling with mental illness and seeking financial assistance. If you or a loved one has struggled with mental illness, or you are trying to elevate mental health awareness, please apply.
When should I start applying for scholarships?
The deadline for mental health scholarships can range anywhere from the summer prior to when you begin your academic year, to the spring season, when individuals are typically receiving college acceptance letters. To play it safe, start looking at mental health scholarships an entire academic year before you need one.
What types of scholarships are available for students struggling with mental health?
A wide range of scholarships are available to students battling with mental health. Whether you are a high school student or currently enrolled in college, or suffering from mild to severe mental illnesses or disabilities, there is a college scholarship specifically catered towards you and your needs.
What to consider when applying for scholarships?
When applying to mental health scholarships, take note of eligibility criteria, the money awarded, and application deadlines. With numerous mental health scholarships available, you will be able to create a list of scholarships that meet your criteria. Try and apply to scholarships that match your mental health situation most accurately.
How do I make my application stand out?
The best way to make your mental health scholarship application stand out is through your personal statement or essay. Share your compelling personal story, why this scholarship is important to you, and how it will change your life. The more personal your story is, the better.
How can I increase my chances of getting scholarships?
When it comes to applying for mental health scholarships, it’s all a numbers game. The more scholarships you apply to, the more likely you are to receive a scholarship. That being said, target scholarships that are most personal to you first.