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Graduate Program Scholarships

Scholarships for Your Early Childhood Graduate Degree


MASTER’S PROGRAM Scholarships Overview

Your Graduate Degree in Early Childhood Education is Within Your Reach

Access to premier education shouldn’t depend on your financial situation.

At Erikson, we help build pathways for aid and degree completion for all students using Erikson scholarships, external scholarships, and access to state and federal programs. Erikson awards over $2 million in scholarship and aid each year.

Our vision is to provide easy access to our distinctive and high-quality education to diverse populations so that you can reach your academic and professional goals.

You may be eligible for multiple graduate student scholarships offered by Erikson, in addition to other sources of aid. You are as unique as each financial award at Erikson. We know your life changes and we will work to support you throughout your journey with us.


Earn a Leadership Scholarship Valued at Up to 20% Of Your Degree Tuition

By applying to Erikson’s Leadership Scholarships, you could be eligible for a graduate student scholarship worth up to 20% of your total tuition based on the program of your choice.

These scholarships are merit-based and awarded to admitted students in master’s or certificate programs who have demonstrated academic and professional achievement, as well as strong potential for leadership in their chosen fields. Leadership Scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis.

Leadership Scholarships are available for both U.S. and international entering students. Other requirements and criteria may apply.


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Eligibility for Graduate Student Scholarships

Must be a fully-admitted master’s degree or graduate certificate student and enrolled at least half-time (3 credit hours). Additional criteria may apply based on any named scholarships with other requirements.

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To Apply

Complete the graduate student scholarship application while you are applying to Erikson. The Leadership essay is one of the two essays completed as part of your application into Erikson.

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Review Process

The review may include but is not limited to: prior academic performance; recommendations submitted within the application; additional biographical information regarding an applicant’s career, academic and other relevant experiences; and conclusions which the Committee may draw as to the applicant’s motivation, character, ability, or potential. Criteria may also include applicant’s place of residence, past or future attendance at a particular school or past or proposed course of study.

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Requirements for Graduate Student Scholarships

Recipients may be required to complete a Recipient Biography form at the beginning of the award year, which is used to compile stewardship reports for the respective donors and/or organizations.

Learn More About Our Signature Leadership Scholarships

Leadership Scholarships may also include established and named scholarships made possible from our donors like those listed below.

Awards may vary based on additional scholarship requirements, such as but not limited to, degree program, program modality, chosen field and/or service commitment.

Barbara Bowman Fellowship in Early Education and Social Justice

Established to honor Barbara Bowman, Erikson’s cofounder, former president, and current faculty member, this award recognizes Barbara’s deep commitment to social justice and her unparalleled impact on the field of early childhood. Recipients are selected for their record of academic success and their demonstrated commitment to social justice.

John and Kathleen Schreiber Foundation Social Justice

Established by the John and Kathleen Schreiber Foundation, this master’s program scholarship is designed to support educators and activists who are seeking to complete a master’s degree. Ideal candidates will have had a demonstrable impact with respect to social justice movements in their communities through past and present volunteer, professional, and educational experiences. Ten students will be awarded this $10,000 scholarship.

Barbara T. Bowman

Established in honor of Erikson Institute’s cofounder, former president, and current faculty member Barbara T. Bowman, these master’s program scholarships are awarded annually to two entering on-campus master’s degree students who have demonstrated a commitment to creating a more equitable world for children.

Cari B. Sacks

Established in honor of Cari Sacks, an Erikson alumna and longtime member of our Board of Trustees, this is intended to encourage and support on-campus students who have made a commitment to the fields of early childhood and family services and who are most likely to have a significant impact on the profession. Only one incoming master’s degree student will receive this honor each year to cover full tuition (38 credits).


Named in honor of businessman and philanthropist Irving B. Harris, one of Erikson’s founders and a long-time advocate for young children, Harris Scholarships are intended to encourage and support students who are most likely to have a significant impact on their chosen fields of child development, social work or early childhood education.

Need-Based Scholarships

Qualify for An Affordability Scholarship Worth Up To 25% of Your Program Tuition

You can earn an Affordability Scholarship annually based on demonstrated financial need that could cover up to 25% of your total program tuition cost.

Demonstrated need is determined by Expected Family Contribution (EFC) obtained from a completed FAFSA. EFC takes into consideration several indices including household size, debt, investments, and income to name a few.

Affordability scholarships are open to U.S. citizens and legal residents.


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Eligibility for Master’s Program Scholarship

Must be a U.S. citizen, a fully admitted master’s degree or graduate certificate student, and enrolled at least half-time (3 credit hours).

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To Apply for Master’s Program Scholarships

Complete the federal financial aid application (FAFSA) in addition to the admissions application to the master’s degree or certificate program of your choice.

Review Process

The review may include, but are not limited to, the following: FAFSA data which contains Adjusted Gross Income, Household Size, NSLDS Student Loan Debt, financial need and conclusions which the Committee may draw as to the applicant’s motivation, character, ability, or potential.

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Recipients may be required to complete a Recipient Biography form at the beginning of the award year, which is used to compile stewardship reports for the respective donors and/or organizations.

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Help Infants with a Unique Grant or Scholarship

Earn an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate

As a student in the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program, you could qualify for one of a limited number of special grant and scholarships, valued at 25%​ of tuition.

Leadership Scholarship Recipient

Headshot of Marilyn Barnes, Erikson Institute alum, MSW 2021, Cari Sacks Scholarship recipient.
Marilyn Barnes
MSW 2021, Cari Sacks Scholarship Recipient
“ I am the first in my family to obtain both an undergraduate and now a graduate degree. As a first-generation student, I struggled to navigate the higher education system on my own, and thus reached out for help many times. I want to emphasize: There is nothing wrong with asking for help…. ”
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Expand Your PhD Support with Graduate Program Scholarships and Assistantships

As a PhD student you may be eligible for one of Erikson’s limited number of doctoral scholarships and assistantships each year.

These are awarded to new doctoral students at the time of admission to the program based on academic promise. Assistantships are limited to full-time students. Assuming a successful match is made, fellowships/assistantships are 20 hours/week and come with a $25,000 stipend plus full tuition waiver for Erikson classes only. Full-time students self-pay for their credit hours at Loyola University

Flex-time students are not eligible for assistantships and the associated full scholarship to Erikson classes, but they are still eligible for standard graduate program  scholarship opportunities and financial aid packages. Flex-time students can earn up to 45% off their Erikson total tuition costs by stacking Leadership and Affordability scholarships.

Admitted students will be aware of their funding package prior to being required to accept or decline.

Talk with Financial Aid

Graduate Program SCHOLARSHIPS & Grants

Financial Aid Scholarships & Grants for Graduate School for Teachers

Learn more about Erikson’s Grant and other external scholarships for a master’s program available for teachers seeking their initial teacher licensure.

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If you are seeking licensure with Erikson’s Master of Early Childhood Education you may qualify for this grant that covers full tuition and fees. This grant is limited to students committed to serve underinvested communities for four years and participation in a professional learning community for two years post-graduation.

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If you are an Illinois resident seeking initial teacher licensure you may qualify for this scholarship through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The MTI scholarship is limited to minority students. Both programs require a commitment to teach in Illinois and a promissory note. Scholarship application deadline is March 1.

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If you are enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Master’s program leading to initial teacher licensure and bilingual/ESL endorsements, you may be eligible for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program. You must agree to complete a teaching service obligation within designated schools.