Scholarships and Grants for Occupational Therapists

You need much time and money to become an occupational therapist. This goal demands years of education, dedication, program, and expenses. Many sagacious students who want to achieve heights in this field don’t have enough financial support to fulfill their dreams. Grants and scholarships play a vital role in such cases. In the case of occupational therapy, finance for education is available at almost all the levels of the field from state occupational therapy associations, private individuals, other corporations and schools from where you are pursuing the degree. There are some specific eligibility criteria for every scholarship and grant and the candidate is required to meet it. You need to properly research about the scholarships and grants for which you are eligible. For your assistance, we have accumulated and categorized all of them in this article.

Scholarships for the Students of Occupational Therapy

1. AOTA’s E.K. Wise Scholarship

This scholarship is for the female students from various backgrounds who satisfy all the conditions of E.K. Wise’s and the Association. These objectives are set after the analysis of the requirements of people who need occupational therapy care.

Eligibility Criteria that one must fulfill in order to get it –

  • Candidate must be enrolled in a post-baccalaureate entry level occupational therapy full day educational program.
  • Must have a constant record of exceptional academic achievements.
  • Show extraordinary leadership qualities.
  • Must be a member of AOTA.
  • Should be able to work for a diverse workforce.

2. American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) Scholarships

American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) and state occupational therapy associations offer many scholarships for the aspirants of this stream. In the 2015-2016 sessions, there were 50 scholarships available for the students who had enrolled and completed at least one year of the program in an AOTA or approved or developing post-professional level program or admitted in an occupational therapy assistant program. Candidates are considered for all academic achievements they are eligible for, but they can get only one in a year. The application is applied via Internet by the interested students. References and Program Director Statements are also submitted online.

Qualifications that one must have to gain this scholarship are-

  • For the scholarships of higher than bachelor’s degree, it must be the first degree in the field.
  • Must have a constant record of extraordinary academic achievements.
  • Submit application data comprising two references and Program Director’s statement.
  • Applicants of the courses higher than bachelor’s degree must be enrolled in such a program in an accredited or developing occupational therapy school program and must have finished 1 year of occupational therapy coursework.

State Association Scholarships Available in 2015-2016

1) Arizona

The Adelaide Ryerson Smith Memorial Endowed Scholarship

This academic achievement is awarded to a candidate at post-baccalaureate or occupational therapy assistant level. It is a must that candidates are enrolled in the particular program and are residents of Arizona attending any curriculum in the state. Besides this, it is also important for him/her to be a current member of Arizona Occupational Therapy Association. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

2) Arkansas

The Florence Wood Scholarship

This is a scholarship of $500 given to a candidate who is a resident of Arkansas and is enrolled in an accredited occupational therapy program in the state.

3) District of Columbia

This scholarship is given every year to a student who is currently enrolled in a program related to occupational therapy at the Howard University and is a resident of Washington, DC metropolitan area (i.e., the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia). Scholarship amount is to be determined.

4) Florida

The Myra McDaniel Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to the students who have a good reputation and are enrolled in an accredited educational occupational therapy program in the state of Florida. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

5) Kansas

This scholarship is for the students who are enrolled in the master’s and/or occupational therapy assistant course in the state and are also the members of the Kansas Occupational Therapy Association. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

6) Louisiana

The Todd Poche Endowed Scholarship

This academic award is for the students of occupational therapy in the state of Louisiana. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

7) Massachusetts

The Karen Jacobs Scholarship

In this scholarship, $500 is awarded to the residents of Massachusetts who are enrolled in an accredited occupational therapy educational program in the state at a professional degree level. Also, $250 is awarded to the residents enrolled in occupational therapy assistant program within the state. In addition to this, they must also be members of the Massachusetts Association for Occupational Therapy.

8) Michigan

The Fred Sammons and Barbara Rider Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship is given to the students who are enrolled in an occupational therapy program in the state of Michigan. Among them, residents of Michigan who are the members of Michigan Occupational Therapy Association are preferred.

9) New Hampshire

The Mary Eileen Dixey Endowed Scholarship

This one is for occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant students enrolled in accredited occupational therapy programs attending a curriculum in New Hampshire, and who live in the state.

10) New Mexico

The Julia D. Sweeney Endowed Scholarship

This reward is for the students of occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant who are enrolled in accredited occupational therapy education programs within the state. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

11) New York

You will get this scholarship only if you are an occupational therapy student at master’s level in New York. With this, you should be a resident of the state and also a member of the New York State Occupational Therapy association. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

12) North Carolina

This scholarship is for the students of occupational therapy assistant and professional level. Along with this, they should also be the members of the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

13) Ohio

There are two scholarships available for the residents of Ohio. One is for the students of professional degree level in an accredited occupational therapy educational program in Ohio. Another is for those who are enrolled for associate degree level in an accredited occupational therapy education program.


14) Oklahoma

This scholarship is awarded to the professional level and technical level students in the state of Oklahoma. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

15) Oregon

This scholarship is achieved by the residents of Oregon who are attending Pacific university for a professional degree course. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

The Chris Ebbers Endowed Scholarships

This scholarship is for one occupational therapy and one occupational therapy assistant student in South Carolina. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

16) South Dakota

The Harlan and Rita Temple Endowed Scholarship

This one is awarded to the extraordinary students enrolled for professional level degrees or occupational therapy assistant degrees in an accredited occupational therapy educational program in South Dakota.

17) South Carolina

The Chris Ebbers Endowed Scholarships

This scholarship is for one occupational therapy and one occupational therapy assistant student in South Carolina. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

18) South Dakota

The Harlan and Rita Temple Endowed Scholarship

This one is awarded to the extraordinary students enrolled for professional level degrees or occupational therapy assistant degrees in an accredited occupational therapy educational program in South Dakota. You will be preferred over others if you are a resident of the state and a member of the South Dakota Occupational Therapy Association. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

19) Texas

In Texas, two scholarships are offered every year to the residents attending any curriculum in the state of Texas and members of the Texas Occupational Therapy Association. One is at post-baccalaureate degree level, and other is associate degree level. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

20) Utah

Scholarship in this state is offered at the professional level and to a COTA student who is a citizen of Utah. With this, they should also be members of the Utah Occupational Therapy Association. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

21) Virginia

The Fred Sammons Endowed Scholarships

These scholarships are given to the residents of Virginia who are enrolled in accredited occupational therapy educational programs, and are members of the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association.

22) Washington

These scholarships are offered once a year to at least one occupational therapy student, and an occupational therapy assistant that have enrolled in entrance OT programs. Besides this, they should also be residents of the state and members of the Washington Occupational Therapy Association. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

23) West Virginia

The Charlotte Prudich, Elizabeth B. Devereaux, and Deborah Shamblin Endowed Scholarship

In West Virginia, scholarships are for OT, OTA, or MOT students who are the residents of the state and attend a curriculum in the United Sates. In addition to this, they should also be a member of the West Virginia Occupational Therapy Association. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

24) Wisconsin

This scholarship is specifically for the residents of Wisconsin who are also members of the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association or for research by the members of the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association. Scholarship amount is to be determined.

3. AMBUCS Scholarships

These scholarships are offered to the therapists by the National AMBUCS, Inc., which is a non-commercial charitable organization with a large number of associates who aim to create mobility and independence for disabled people. For this, the candidate needs to be enrolled in an entry-level occupational therapy educational program. This is not for the students enrolled in occupational therapy assistant programs.

4. Scholarships for General Students

Some web resources are identified and listed by the Steering Committee of the Assembly of Student Delegates. They are as follows –

  1. College Board Scholarship Search
  2. College Connection Scholarships
  3. FastWEB Scholarship Search
  4. Federal Scholarships & Aid Gateways
  5. Guaranteed Scholarships
  6. Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
  7. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Site
  8. Roothbert Scholarship Fund (The)
  9. Scholarships.com

Scholarships for Minority Students

  1. Delores B. Chandler BOTC Scholarship
  2. Gates Millennium Scholarships
  3. The Hispanic College Fund
  4. Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarships
  5. LULAC
  6. Ron Brown Scholar Program
  7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Health Professions – Scholarships for
  8. Disadvantaged Students

Grants for the Students of Occupational Therapy

Federal Grants

1. American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) Grants

To enhance the use of occupational therapy in serving the patients with certain disabilities, the American Occupational Therapy Foundation offers Intervention Research Grants. This program has got maximum funds from The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and St. Catherine Challenge. This grant program is aimed to support larger intervention studies, and establishes occupational therapy as an evidence-based and science-driven study.

2. Federal Pell Grant

This grant is offered by the government to both graduates and undergraduates irrespective of their major. This grant supports less to the occupational therapy majors in later stages of their education as compared to their initial phase of their college careers. Eligibility is decided by the financial requirement of students. The amount offered in this grant is $55,00.

3. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

This grant is for the students who are in extreme need of finance. Funds are provided by the government and are managed by the participating colleges, schools, and universities. The amount of the grant lies between $100 and $4000 depending on the need of students. FSEOG funds are offered less, and are given on account of first come, first served basis. Thus, students in need are advised to apply early for this grant.

4. Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students

Eligibility criteria for this grant and all other things related to this are regulated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is for the college funding of students who are in extreme need, and have disadvantaged backgrounds. To be eligible to gain this grant, you need to pursue a career in health-care industry comprising occupational therapy. Funds can vary within a range depending on the financial needs of the students and total tuition fee.

5. National Institutes of Health

This institute finances a diverse variety of grants and fellowships to the students who are in the last stages of their master’s degree level. This organization funds many critical needy health-care professions. Occupational therapy is also a part of the list. It is not easy to obtain this grant as the National Institutes of Health makes it highly competitive, and offers it only to the students who have extraordinary achievements in academics.

Colleges and University Grants for OTs

6. University of Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

University of Department of Rehabilitation Medicine offers a wide variety of grants and fellowships to the students enrolled in the occupational therapy programs provided by them. Minority students and the students from disadvantaged backgrounds are preferred over others.

7. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

This university is well known as one of the most efficient occupational therapy programs all over the United States of America. It regulates a diverse range of fellowships and grants for Occupational therapy majors comprising UW-L Alumni Scholarship, the Lillian Neale Campbell Scholarship, and the grants like Wisconsin Paralyzed Veterans of America and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Amounts for the awards may differ on the basis of academic merit and financial need of students.

8. Suny Downstate Medical Center

Suny Downstate Medical Center has highly efficient faculty members and department for occupational therapy. Students in this college are free to take the advice and support of the professional working there, and also the state-of-the-art technology. This institute regulates a wide variety of grants and scholarships for the occupational therapy majors comprising the grants from Atlantic Health and the Black Caucus Spouses. Most of these grants and scholarships are for graduate and doctoral students who are about to complete their professional degrees.

Grants from Professional Organizations

9. American Occupational Therapy Foundation

It is a nonprofit organization that aims to enhance “research, education, and public awareness” for occupational therapy. It works in alliance with state governments and private donors. This organization awards many grants, fellowships, and scholarships for doctoral level occupational therapy degree.

10. Missouri Occupational Therapy Association

This group works for the augment of the number of certified occupational therapists in the State of Missouri. This association awards many grants and scholarships for occupational therapy degrees enrolled in a university within the state.

11. The Florida Occupational Therapy Association

This organization combines with the Sunshine state to create awareness among people to use occupational therapy in the treatment of mentally, physically, and emotionally disabled patients. This association regulates the Myra McDaniel Student Leadership Fund that offers grants for $500 to the eligible students who are unable to pay their license and exam fee.