How to Apply
The Ballmer Behavioral Health Scholarship application portal is open for the 2024-25 academic year!
The Washington State Behavioral Health Workforce Development Initiative is proud to partner with Ballmer Group to offer the Ballmer Behavioral Health Scholarship, a conditional grant of up to $51,500 based on unmet need for students in accredited master’s degree programs. The grant is given on the condition of employment at select Washington state community behavioral health agencies or tribal health centers following graduation.
The Washington State Behavioral Health Workforce Development Initiative is a career-focused, place-based collaboration and conditional scholarships are competitive.
Before applying, applicants should review our list of agencies.
Varies; contact your university
Varies by university
Conditional grant acceptance deadline
Varies by university
- Demonstrated financial need as indicated by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)Ⓡ or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) for current academic year. If you are not eligible to apply for FAFSAⓇ/WASFA (e.g., international student), please contact your education program’s Workforce Development Initiative administrator.
- Enrolled in a master’s level counseling, marriage and family therapy, or social work program at a partnering institution. Applicants who have applied and/or accepted admission to a relevant program at a partnering institution but have not yet begun their first term of study are still eligible to apply.
- Ability to obtain employment post-graduation at an eligible community behavioral health agency in Washington state.
- Ability to maintain legal residency in Washington state for at least 36 months post-graduation for students receiving a conditional grant for an academic program longer than one year (or at least 18 months post-graduation for students receiving a conditional grant for an academic program that is completed in one academic year).
- Apply for student financial aid through FAFSAⓇ/ WASFA by your school’s deadline.
- Apply for admission to a qualifying master’s program at a partnering institution. If you have already accepted admission into your program or have already started your program, proceed to Step 3.
- Complete the online Ballmer Behavioral Health Scholarship application by the current deadline. The application takes approximately 60 minutes to complete and must be completed in one session. When the application period is open, the 18-month employment application and three-year employment application can be found at the top of this page.
- Reply to a selection notification email by the acceptance deadline.
Each partnering higher education program selects which of its student applicants are awarded a Ballmer Behavioral Health Scholarship, a conditional grant. Selection determinations are made holistically and include review of the following characteristics of the student: commitment to behavioral health, experience with and commitment to working with diverse communities, commitment to post-graduation employment, and financial need. Academic success and/or a letter of recommendation might be required by your university selection committee.
The Ballmer Behavioral Health Scholarship, one component of the WDI, is designed to reduce or eliminate student debt, while building capacity in the community behavioral health field therefore requires a three-year employment commitment (unless the applicant is enrolled in a one-year program).
This education and career opportunity is competitive and applicants are notified of selection by email. In accepting the conditional grant, students will sign an agreement outlining the grant commitments and responsibilities. Accepting students attend a virtual orientation at the beginning of the program.
What to expect as a conditional grant student
For students attending graduate programs that take longer than one academic year to complete, the conditional grant offers up to $51,500 based on unmet financial need. For students attending graduate programs that are completed in one academic year, the conditional grant offers up to $25,750 based on unmet financial need.
Conditional grant funds are distributed each academic term (quarter or semester) of the student’s program.
Conditional grant students participate in a variety of professional development activities during their graduate education to prepare them as the next generation of clinicians for Washington’s community behavioral health workforce. Students should expect to spend approximately eight hours per month on these activities during the academic year. Activities take place virtually but may include in-person events. In addition to completing the requirements of their program, students are expected to maintain good academic standing and be enrolled at least part-time.
Following graduation, conditional grant students are expected to work in a WDI-approved community behavioral health agency within Washington state for three years for students completing their program in more than one academic year (or 18 months for students completing their program in one academic year).