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School of Social Work

Scholarships

The School of Social Work has several scholarships for students that are awarded on the basis of the candidate's academic performance and other specific criteria. Most Chico State scholarships, including Social Work scholarships, are awarded through the Wildcat Scholarships Application which is just one application!

The application period is January 2nd – February 15th each academic year and available through the Financial Aid & Scholarship office

By completing the Wildcat Scholarships Application students will also be considered for scholarships that do not require the Social Work major but are based on other qualifications. Thus, applicants should select and include all relevant information to the student such as career interests, scholastic achievements, community service, active affiliation with clubs or organization, special qualifications such as talents and obstacles overcome. It may also be relevant for some applicants to include local high school attendance and other demographic information.

Additionally, applicants will compose written responses to the following questions:

  1. What are your educational and career goals?
  2. What campus or school sponsored activities have you participated in during the past three years? Describe your involvement, include names, dates of memberships, the number of hours involved, and offices held.
  3. What involvement have you had in community organizations or volunteer activities over the past three years? Include projects or events and your level of involvement.
  4. Explain how a scholarship will help you to fund your education. Include any information regarding exceptional hardships or obstacles you may have overcome in your pursuit of a college degree.
  5. Describe any special talent you may possess or your proudest accomplishment.

Finally, the Wildcat Scholarship requires at least one Letter of Recommendation from an academic reference such as a professor, teacher, or advisor. Some scholarships may require two or more letters of recommendation. Applicants will enter the name and contact information for each reference. Read the Online Letter of Recommendation Guidelines for instructions and exceptions. Your application will be considered incomplete without a letter of recommendation. 

To receive help searching for scholarships and completing the Wildcat Scholarship Application, please contact the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office.

Available Scholarships

To apply to these scholarships, search the Wildcat Scholarship Opportunities database. Search by scholarship title or search “Social Work” for all scholarships available to Social Work students, including opportunities that may be available through other departments. The Social Work scholarships range from $250  $3,000. From the Wildcat Scholarship Opportunities database you can also view external scholarships offered by companies and organizations outside of CSU, Chico.

Scholarships for Social Work Students

Scholarship Title

Who May Apply

Alan F. Jensen Memorial Scholarship

Sociology or Social Work students with a career plan in teaching or public service – must be junior, senior, or graduate status

Archie McDonald Social Work Academic Excellence Scholarship

BSW and MSW Students

Archie McDonald Social Work Sophomore Scholarship

BSW Students – must be 2nd semester sophomore at time of selection

Arthur Preciado Memorial Scholarship

BSW Students – entering senior year phase of study in fall. May be junior at the time of selection.

Froilan Frias Master of Social Work Memorial Scholarship

MSW Students

Gary Bess Associates Macro Social Work Scholarships

MSW Students

J. Rycraft BSW Scholarship

BSW Students

J. Rycraft MSW Scholarship

MSW Students

Jan O'Donnell MSW Scholarship

MSW Students

Lois McDonald Master of Social Work Scholarship

MSW Students

Mary D. French Memorial Scholarship

BSW & MSW Students

Scholarship Descriptions

Expand All | Collapse All

  • Alan F. Jensen Memorial Scholarship
    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria:
    • Major: Sociology or Social Work with a career plan in teaching or public service
    • Academic Level: Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students
    • Minimum GPA: 2.5
    • Continuing and transfer students
    • Preference to be given to a reentry student
    • Financial Need
    • May be renewed up to 2 years if student submits new wildcat scholarship application and meets qualifications
  • Archie McDonald Social Work Academic Excellence Scholarship

    Established: 1992
    Donors: Dr. and Mrs. Archie McDonald

    In 1958, Dr. Archie McDonald was hired to establish a social welfare major, now known as the School of Social Work. With a BA in Political Science and a MSW, he believed that the major should provide an education in critical thinking, casework and community development skills. Throughout his career, McDonald earned a Ph.D.in social work, specializing in gerontology. This scholarship was established to encourage excellence, to recognize service, express gratitude, and provide incentive to students to become social work professionals.

    This scholarship was established to encourage excellence, to recognize service, express gratitude, and provide incentive to students to become social work professionals. McDonald believed that the major should provide an education in critical thinking as well as development in skills in casework and community development. He earned a doctorate in social work, specializing in gerontology.

  • Archie McDonald Social Work Sophomore Scholarship
    Established: 1992
    Donors: Dr. and Mrs. Archie McDonald

    This scholarship was established to encourage excellence, to recognize service, express gratitude, and provide incentive to students to become social work professionals. Recipient should show professional promise in the field of Social Work.

    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria:

    • Major: Social Work
    • Academic Level: Undergraduate; 2nd semester sophomore at time of selection
    • May be junior when scholarship is paid
    • Financial need
  • Arthur Preciado Memorial Scholarship
    Established: 1995
    Donors: Mrs. Sally Preciado-Taylor, Mr. Terry Taylor, Family, and Friends of Arthur Preciado

    Arthur (Art) Preciado was born and raised in Ventura, California. He was the youngest of four children and the only one to attend college. He started his college career Ventura Junior College before transferring to CSU, Chico.

    In 1960, Preciado registered for the Army and was decorated with his parachutist badge and a letter of commendation before his discharge. Preciado completed his degree in social welfare from Chico State in 1965 and went on to graduate in 1968 with honors with a master’s in social work from USC. He joined the social welfare program at CSU, Chico in 1969 and served as a professor and program director in the School of Social Work for 25 years. He passed away on August 16, 1994 at the age of 54. Preciado touched the lives of many students and colleagues alike with his intensity, compassion, mentoring, and celebration of cultural diversity. He was widely recognized as an expert in the field of child welfare and a champion of the less fortunate. This scholarship honors Arthur Preciado and his many professional and academic achievements.

    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria:

    • Major: Social Work
    • Academic Level: Entering senior year phase of study in fall. May be junior at the time of selection.
    • The selected recipient will demonstrate promise in the field of social work and will have been accepted as a Social Work major and be entering the traditional senior year phase of study by the time the scholarship is awarded in the fall semester, following the spring selection.
  • Froilan Frias Master of Social Work Memorial Scholarship
    Established: 2015
    Donors: Ms. April Grossberger, Mr. and Mrs. Froilan Frias, Sr., and Friends of Froilan Frias

    This scholarship was established by Froilan Frias’ family and friends in his memory. Frias graduated with a BA in Sociology in 2011 and was a Chico State MSW student when he passed away in 2013. He was active in Gamma Zeta Alpha, volunteered for CAVE, and attended training at the Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center. Frias is remembered as a kind and generous man who overcame a life of drugs and legal trouble to become a highly engaged and successful student.

    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria:

    • Major: Social Work
    • Academic Level: Graduate
    • First-time or continuing student
    • Must be bilingual in Spanish
    • Reentry student (Reentry defined as having returned to school after a significant break of 5 years of more in formal education)
    • Demonstrate an interest in studying or pursuing a career in mental health or substance use recovery
    • If no applicant satisfies all of the criteria, then the most qualified should be awarded
  • Gary Bess Associates Macro Social Work Scholarship
    Established: 2015
    Donors: Dr. Gary Bess and Dr. Cindy Ratekin

    This scholarship was established by Dr. Gary Bess, owner of Gary Bess Associates, for students accepted into the School of Social Work MSW graduate program, interested in macro social work practice, including community organizing and planning, grant writing, program evaluation, or health/human services. Gary Bess, Ph.D., is the owner of Gary Bess Associates (GBA), which provides grant writing, program evaluation and consultation to nonprofit and government agencies (www.garybess.com). GBA specializes in public and private grant writing for the human services, including Federally Qualified Health Center applications. Bess holds two masters’ degrees in social work and applied sociology from Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University respectively, and a doctorate in social work from the University of Southern California (USC). Bess taught in graduate schools of social work at UCLA, USC, CSU Long Beach, and CSU Chico. For several years, Bess directed free medical clinic in southern California, including the South Bay Free Clinic in Manhattan Beach and the LA Free Clinic, before opening GBA in 1991.

    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria: 

    • Major: Social Work
    • Academic Level: Graduate
    • Minimum GPA: 3.0
    • First-time, Continuing, or Transfer Students
    • Must be accepted into the MSW graduate program
    • Preference is given to students interested in macro social work practice, including community organizing and planning, grant writing, program evaluation, or health and human services management.
  • J. Rycraft BSW Scholarship
    Established: 2018
    Donor: Dr. Joan Rycraft

    Dr. Rycraft received her BA in Social Work at California State University, Chico in 1968. After receiving her BSW, she worked as a Social Worked for over 20 years in Merced, Mendocino, and Shasta Counties. She taught courses in child welfare practice and policy, advanced administration, and research methods and evaluation. She is a Professor Emerita at the University of Texas at Arlington, School of Social Work, and former Associate Dean and Director of the PhD Program. She is a Senior Faculty Associate of the UTA-SSW Center for Child Welfare and has also been named a Distinguished Fellow in Adoption and Child Welfare by the National Council for Adoption. Rycraft continues to serve children, youth and families by serving on the Jackson County Citizen’s Review Board in Oregon.

    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria:

    • Major: Social Work
    • Academic Level: Junior and Senior Undergraduates
    • First time, Continuing, Transfer Students
    • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • J. Rycraft MSW Scholarship
    Established: 2018
    Donor: Dr. Joan Rycraft

    Dr. Rycraft received her BA in Social Work at California State University, Chico in 1968. After receiving her BSW, she worked as a Social Worked for over 20 years in Merced, Mendocino, and Shasta Counties. She taught courses in child welfare practice and policy, advanced administration, and research methods and evaluation. She is a Professor Emerita at the University of Texas at Arlington, School of Social Work, and former Associate Dean and Director of the Ph.D. Program. She is a Senior Faculty Associate of the UTA-SSW Center for Child Welfare and has also been named a Distinguished Fellow in Adoption and Child Welfare by the National Council for Adoption. Rycraft continues to serve children, youth and families by serving on the Jackson County Citizen’s Review Board in Oregon.

    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria:

    • Major: Social Work
    • Academic Level: Graduate
    • First-Time, Continuing, or Transfer Students
    • Minimum GPA: 3.5
    • Preference goes to student’s with at least one year experience employed in social work or related field.
    • May be renewed up to 2 years if qualified, along with re-applying through Wildcat Scholarship Application.
  • Jan O’Donnell MSW Scholarship
    Established: 2015
    Donors: The School of Social Work and its Faculty

    This scholarship was established in honor of Dr. Jan O’Donnell’s years of dedication and leadership to the School of Social Work. O'Donnell taught all of the undergraduate social work courses at CSU, Chico and was the Chair of the School of Social Work from 1994 to 2005. Through her partnerships with agencies in the region, including child welfare and behavioral health, O'Donnell was instrumental in the development of the MSW program that commenced in 2001. Prior to joining the School of Social Work in 1974, O’Donnell worked as a full-time social worker in the areas of developmental disabilities, public mental health, and clinical services for families whose members experienced severe neglect, sexual, or physical abuse. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, O’Donnell was actively involved with regional social services and agency directors’ organizations and served for many years on various child welfare agency advisory boards for the Child Development department on campus. Her efforts to bring professional social work services to the north state are unparalleled.

    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria:

    • Major: Social Work
    • Academic Level: Graduate
    • Minimum GPA: 3.0
    • First-time, Transfer, Reentry, or Continuing Graduate Students
    • Financial need
    • Recipient to be a graduate student accepted in the Master of Social Work Program
    • Preference for students who have at least one year experienced employed in social work or related field
  • Lois McDonald Master of Social Work Scholarship
    Established: 2015
    Donor: The School of Social Work

    Due to a growing need for trained social workers throughout northern California, Chico State College established a program to deliver undergraduate and graduate degrees in social welfare. To develop the social welfare program, Chico State College hired the late Dr. Archie McDonald as the coordinator in 1958. In 1959 the program in social welfare was established by McDonald as its sole full-time faculty member. McDonald was the chair of the program until 1969 and retired as a teaching faculty member in 1987. McDonald established three scholarships to assist Social Work students, and this scholarship was established in honor of his wife, Lois McDonald.

    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria:

    • Major: Social Work
    • Academic Level: Graduate
    • Minimum GPA: 2.0
    • Continuing graduate student to begin MSW Concentration Year next academic year
    • Recipient is not receiving a stipend from another Social Work source, including paid internships or support through stipends.
  • Mary D. French Memorial Scholarship
    Established: 1988
    Donors: Richard French & Friends of Mary D. French

    Mary Dolly French was born in Medford, Oregon in 1915. After graduating from Oregon State University in 1942, she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps during WWII. She eventually moved to Paradise and became a social worker in Butte County. In 1966, she received her MSW at Sacramento State. She retired from the State Department of Health as office supervisor for six northern California counties. This scholarship was established by Richard French to provide support to students majoring in Social Work. French was a true social worker and supported the ethics and philosophy of her profession, sometimes arousing strong confrontations.

    Preference given to student(s) who meets the following criteria:

    • Major: Social Work
    • Academic Level: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, & Graduate Students
    • Financial need

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