RSA Scholarships


The purpose of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) scholarships is to fill the need of Rehabilitation Counseling professionals in state and federal rehabilitation agencies as well as community rehabilitation programs.


1. What does the scholarship pay?

That depends on the scholarship you receive. Some scholarships are tuition based and only pay tuition fees and others are stipend based and pay a stipend to assist with living expenses instead of covering tuition charges. Most students will be eligible to receive both a tuition and stipend award.

 Note: Out of state fees are not covered with a tuition scholarship.

 2. When do I apply?

Application period for the Fall semester occurs in June prior to the semester. For the spring semester application period is in November. Contact the program office for specific dates.

 3. How does the application process work?

Student must fill out an application and sign up for an interview time. Competitive interviews are arranged for students to meet with Rehabilitation Counseling faculty and professionals.  

 4. How can I be awarded?

Once your award acceptance letter has been signed, the Rehabilitation Counseling program will arrange for payment of tuition to be paid directly to the accounting office. Stipend checks will be mailed to the student once a semester.

 5. What are the awards based on?

They are based upon the cumulative ranking each applicant receives from the interviews. Preferences in the awarding of scholarships are mostly based on the potential for the profession and interest in the Rehabilitation Counseling field.

 5. Can anyone apply for the RSA scholarship?

These scholarships are exclusively for students of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program. In addition, you must be a U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident or working towards citizenship.

 6. How many years can I be awarded?

Each grant is limited to when the grant expires so awards can be between 1 academic semester and up to 4 academic semesters.

 7. Do I need to reapply every semester/year?

There is no need to reapply however, an award continuation agreement must be signed every semester. Awardees will be contact at the end of every academic year.

 8. Are scholarships required to be “paid back”?

Yes. Students can either pay the scholarship back in monetary value as late as two years after graduating (payment plans are accepted) or the student may become employed by a certified rehabilitation profession as most students end up doing. Students must be in an approved rehabilitation counseling setting working as a rehabilitation counselor. Employment payback obligation will be based on the accumulative years for which the scholarship was received. i.e. for every year of scholarship there’s a payback of 2 year working in the field.

 10. When does the payback period begin?

Payback period begins the day of graduation and will last the amount of years required as well as a two year grace period. For example, if you receive 1 year of scholarship you will have 2 years of payback owed and a 2 year grace period allowing a total of 4 years to complete payback requirements.

 11. Once I am awarded what are my responsibilities?

1) Stay a full-time student 2) Complete practicum or internship hours in the area of funding (ie, rehab counseling, vocational evaluation) 3) until I have satisfied the employment obligation describe above, I will informed the Rehab program office of any changes in name, address, phone-number, employment status etc. 4) Repay all of any scholarship received by working off or paying back.

 12. What happens if I fail to payback?

The amount of unpaid scholarship received will become a debt owed to the U.S. Department of Education that a) will be repaid by the scholar, which can include interest and cost of collection. b) it may be collected by the Secretary of Education if lack of response from scholar occurs.

 13. Where do I get an application?

Applications are sent out to new and current students during the application periods. Students may also receive a copy from the rehabilitation counseling program administrator, April Cardiel.

 14. When is the deadline to apply?

You are encouraged to apply as soon as the applications are available, an email will be sent out to all incoming and current students reminding them to apply and the deadline for the application period.

 15. If I have any other questions, who can I contact?

For all inquiries and questions please contact the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at 559 278-0158 or Click here for advisor contact information.