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NASW Foundation National Programs
Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial
MSW Scholarship


Students must be an NASW member and have applied to or have been accepted into an accredited MSW Program (payment of the award will be contingent on the full admission of the candidate into the program). In addition, students must have potential for completing a MSW Program and have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or above. Students enrolled in a master of social work (MSW) program for more than one year may reapply to the Foundation for part or all of a second year.

Application Requirements

  1. NASW member in good standing.  NASW membership is a mandatory requirement to receive an NASW Foundation Scholarship Award. Applicants either must be or plan to be enrolled in a social work degree program to maintain eligibility. Awardees must maintain active membership throughout the award period. Applicants who are current members in good standing can apply for a scholarship using their current membership ID number. Non-members interested in applying can join NASW if they 1) have a social work degree (BSW/MSW) or are matriculating in a CSWE-accredited social work program, or 2) are enrolled in or awaiting acceptance into a CSWE-accredited program. Applicants awaiting acceptance into a CSWE-accredited program must include, with the membership form, their application to the MSW program with a letter from the college/university verifying the application has been received. To apply for NASW membership visit www.socialworkers.org and select “join online“, or download and complete NASW‘s “Membership Application“. New members will receive email confirmation of membership, which will include a member ID and password.
  2. Application form.
  3. Biographical essay (two typed, double-spaced pages). The essay must address career goals, interests, and work, volunteer, and school/field experience related to work in health/mental health practice with African Americans and a statement of merit and need for the award. Applicants will be rated on each of these elements.
  4. Two letters of support from professional references (you will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of two professional references).  Letters can be written by a candidate's professors; individuals or leaders of groups with whom the candidate has worked in a helping capacity; an employer/supervisor; and so on.  Character references or references from clients or family members will not be accepted. If the applicant is applying for renewed funding from the NASW Foundation, one of the two references must be obtained from the applicant’s academic advisor.
  5. Official copy of a transcript from the most recent academic work (undergraduate or graduate). Transcript may be opened to make photocopies.
  6. Signed release of information .

    Questions should be directed to:



Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2018-2019 awards.

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