NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship

Scholarships for employees of NYS-licensed child welfare agencies to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree to enhance their skills as a child welfare worker.

  • Covers the cost of tuition, not to exceed tuition costs equal to tuition at a state-operated SUNY college. 

  • Graduate students will receive up to $20,000 at private institutions only

  • Be currently employed at a voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency in NYS licensed by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) with at least two years of qualified experience

  • Be enrolled full time or part time in one of the eligible undergraduate or graduate degree programs at a NYS college or university

  • Agree to ive in New York State and work full-time as a child welfare worker providing direct care services in a NYS OCFS-licensed voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency for five years after graduation

The deadline to apply for the NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship has passed.

Amount

Covers average cost of attendance at a state-operated SUNY or the actual cost of attendance, whichever is less.

Students pursuing undergraduate degrees 

  • Covers the cost of attendance, not to exceed the average cost of attendance charged to NYS resident students at a state-operated SUNY college. 

Students pursuing a graduate degree and attending a SUNY or CUNY college 

  • Covers cost of attendance not to exceed the average cost of attendance charged to NYS resident graduate students at a state-operated SUNY, whichever is less. 

Students pursuing a graduate degree and attending a private institution

  • up to $20,000 for tuition, plus the average mandatory fees charged at the private institution, the average non-tuition cost of attendance at the institution or actual tuition, fees and non-tuition costs, whichever is less. 

The total of all awards received cannot exceed the total cost of attendance.  Awards will be reduced by the amount of other financial aid received that would duplicate the purposes of the Child Welfare Worker Scholarship program.

Duration

Dependent on the length of program

2 years for students pursuing their associate degree full-time

4 years for students pursuing their bachelor’s degree full-time

5 years for approved five-year degree programs

2 years for approved graduate degree

Frequency

Annual

Must complete the FAFSA and TAP application or Dream Act application each year for payment.

Any award payment received may have tax implications. Please direct any questions to a tax professional, the Internal Revenue Service, or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.

Undocumented and other immigrant students: before submitting your application material, apply for eligibility under the NYS DREAM Act.

To receive the Scholarship, you must meet the following residency requirements: 

  • You are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • You are a legal resident of New York State and have resided in New York State for 12 continuous months.

Not a citizen or eligible noncitizen? Learn more about the NYS DREAM Act application.

High School, GED, or Ability to Benefit

  • Graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma (GED), or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test.

College & Program

Once in college, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be enrolled full time or part time in one of the following eligible undergraduate or graduate degree programs at a college or university located in NYS:
    • Criminal Justice
    • Human Services
    • Mental Health Counseling
    • Psychology
    • Public Health
    • Social Services
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
  • Be matriculated in an approved program of study and in good academic standing.

  • Be currently employed at a voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency in NYS licensed by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) with at least two years of full-time or part-time experience providing either
    •  direct-care services to children and families, or
    •  non-direct care services, such as administrative and operational support services.

There are no income limits for this Scholarship.

Financial Status

To receive the Scholarship, you must:

  • Be in good standing (a non-default status) on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award.
  • Be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by any NYS award that you have previously received.

  • Recipients must agree to both work in a voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency in NYS licensed by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) as a child welfare worker providing direct care services on a full-time basis and reside in NYS for five years.
  • Work must commence within one year of completion of degree.
  • If you fail to fulfill your service obligation as outlined in the Scholarship Contract, all award payments made on your behalf will convert to a 10-year student loan plus interest.  The interest rate for the life of the loan shall be fixed and equal to the U.S. Department of Education for federal undergraduate Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loans at the time the service contract is signed.

For more detailed information, please review the NYS Child Welfare Worker Contract.

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