MSW - Financial Support for MSW Students at UTEP and Beyond
UTEP’s Department of Social Work also offers stipends for specific internships, scholarships based on financial need, and paid work positions as Graduate Assistants (GA’s) and Research Assistants (RA’s). Currently, department-specific grants allow the Department to offer partial and full financial support to many students.
All students attending Graduate School at UTEP are eligible for need-based and merit-based programs through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Many merit-based scholarships are available through Scholar Mine at the address above.
MSW applicants should complete a FAFSA form and send the information to UTEP as early as possible. Apply online at fafsa.ed.gov and indicate the UTEP school code of 003661. A federal website for graduate students offers useful information .
BHWET Stipends: Integrated Behavioral Health Program Provides $10,000 for Final Year Internships
The Social Work BHWET program provides $10,000 stipends to 15 or more current MSW students annually. Students apply to BHWET when choosing field placements within the Department of Social Work. They must be selected for placement at one of the Integrated Behavioral Health Centers. Students of all backgrounds and financial levels are eligible to apply.
The Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program (BHWET) provides stipends to MSW students in their final-year placements in Integrated Behavioral Health Centers (IBHCs). Integrated behavioral health settings use teams of various professionals to offer both medical care and behavioral health in one place. Social work students will be part of learning cohorts with doctoral-level clinical psychologists and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMH-NP) through workshops, inter-professional activities, and internships at Integrated Behavioral Health Centers (IBHCs). Students will learn to work in interprofessional teams to solve patients’ complete health needs.
This project follows a previous Behavioral Health Workforce project that funded 56 MSW interns practicing in behavioral and mental health settings serving children, adolescents, and transition youth. Many of these alumni former interns now mentor new students.
Other Paid Practicum Positions
Various organizations also offer paid practicum positions. The number and locations of paid practicums varies annually. The Practicum Coordinator works with students to choose practicum settings that match students’ learning goals and interests. Students must interview with field sites to secure placements.
Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) Provides Need-Based Scholarships
Students who face financial need may receive need-based scholarship. A federal grant to the UTEP Department of Social Work funds scholarships to full-time MSW students. Amounts range from half the cost of tuition to the total cost of attendance per year. For instance, in 2017-18, awards ranged from $8,000-$28,000 per year. Students may receive the award for one or two years. The total amount available exceeds $500,000 annually from 2016-21.
SDS awards are open to MSW students who have financial need and have experienced at least one of the following: educational, economic, and/or racial disadvantages. As a federal program, SDS scholars must be US citizens or residents (green card holders).
To qualify as financially needy, students’ income must be lower than two times the poverty level for their family size. Documentation requires a FAFSA and copies of income tax forms. Students who are dependents on their parents or others must include their income as well as the students’ income when applying. Detailed application guidelines are distributed annually to all MSW students.
In addition to financial need, SDS scholars must meet one or more of the following conditions. Educational disadvantage compares the student’s high school to others based on drop-out rates and college attendance. All schools in the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD), Socorro ISD, and Ysleta ISD, and many other districts qualify for educational disadvantage. Economic disadvantage measures family experiences of poverty or hardships such as receiving TANF or SNAP benefits. Racial disadvantage is based on being a member of a racial or ethnic group including African/American, Native American/Indian, and Hispanic/Latino.
Title IVE Program: Child Welfare Training Collaborative (CWTC)
This collaboration between Texas Region 10 of the Department of Children and Family Protection Services provides stipends to pay MSW tuition for workers from eligible positions in the Department of Child Protective Services. Workers maintain their positions with CPS and agree to work in the Department to repay the stipend for a prescribed time period. Currently, positions in the CWTC program are open only to eligible child welfare workers. The CWTC Collaborative also provides trainings on working with vulnerable children and adolescents to students and community members.
Graduate Assistant and Research Assistant Positions
Graduate Assistant (GA) and Resident Assistant (RA) positions are competitively awarded based on a fit between student skills and program needs. Positions will be announced in the Department of Social Work. Numbers and types of GA and RA positions vary annually. Graduate Assistant work with faculty to administer grants and conduct departmental activities. RA’s work on funded grant projects and assist faculty with data collection, literature reviews, and analysis of data.
Student Loans with Health Professions and Non-Profit Payback Options
All graduate students are eligible for low-interest student loans through federal programs administered by the UTEP Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Unsubsidized loans gain interest throughout the student’s schooling. The second type, subsidized loans, have interest paid by the federal government until after graduation. Students must repay loans unless they participate in programs for repayment that repay the loans in addition to offering standard wages. Current programs include loan forgiveness for working for many non-profit agencies (PSLF), work for the Indian Health Services, National Health Services Corps, and work for military branches such as the Army and Navy or their reserve programs.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives any remaining student loan balances after the student has made 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full-time for a qualifying non-profit employer. Many non-profit agencies that hire social workers are qualifying employers for this benefit
The Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Program offers up to $20,000 to repay loans in return for work at health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Loan repayment funds are in addition to wages.
In the National Health Services Corps (NHSC) , graduates who work in high-need areas, including underserved areas in El Paso, may be eligible for tax-free funds to repay student loans while also earning a wage. This program requires participants have LCSW status meaning that they have advanced clinical training beyond the MSW. Repayment plans include $50,000 paid income tax-free for a two-year commitment to full-time work in approved NHSC sites. Many such sites are in El Paso as well as rural and urban areas across the United States.
Military branches such as the Army have loan repayment programs. The Indian Health Services also offers options of $20,000 per year repayment for those who work in Indian Health Services .
Students in the UTEP MSW program are also encouraged to apply for need-based and merit-based aid through the UTEP Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. LINK https://www.utep.edu/graduate/funding/financial-aid.html. To apply for need-based aid, students should complete a federal FAFSA form for each academic year. Apply online at fafsa.ed.gov and indicate the UTEP school code of 003661.
All students attending Graduate School at UTEP are eligible for need-based and merit-based programs through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid MSW applicants should complete a FAFSA form and send the information to UTEP as early as possible. Each award for need-based aid covers an academic year including fall, spring, and summer semesters. Link financialaid.utep.edu
Financial Opportunities for BSW Students
BSW students are eligible for need-based and merit-based financial aid through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Many merit-based scholarships are available through Scholar Mine.