The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation) invites full-time students who will be or who are currently enrolled in a graduate program in communication sciences and disorders to apply for graduate scholarships.

Scholarships are available to students who are undergraduate seniors or who are currently pursuing master's or doctoral degrees. Both research and clinical doctorate candidates are eligible.

Within the overall Graduate Student Scholarship program, funding opportunities include:

General Scholarships

Up to 15 general graduate student scholarships, $5,000 each, will be awarded to students entering or enrolled in master's or doctoral programs of study.

Endowed Scholarships

Up to nine graduate student scholarships will be awarded for special purposes. Scholarships of $5,000 each are available for the following categories, and applicants who wish to be considered for any of these endowed scholarships must indicate this during the Graduate Student Scholarship application process.

  • International Student Scholarship: Up to three graduate student scholarships, underwritten by the Kala Singh Memorial Fund, for international students studying in the United States. Only non-U.S. citizens are eligible.

  • Minority Student Scholarship: Up to three graduate student scholarships, underwritten by the ASHFoundation's Minority Fund, for students who are members of a racial or ethnic minority group and are U.S. citizens. (Please note this scholarship is separate from ASHA’s Minority Student Leadership Program.)

  • NSSLHA Scholarship: Up to three graduate student scholarships, underwritten by the NSSLHA Scholarship Fund, for undergraduate senior students with active National NSSLHA memberships and who will begin graduate study in the fall of 2019.


Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Graduate Student Scholarship.

Graduate Study

  1. The applicant must be accepted for, or enrolled in, graduate study in a communication sciences and disorders program in the United States. Clinical doctoral programs in audiology or master's programs in speech-language pathology must be accredited by, or in candidacy status from, the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology; this does not apply to research doctoral programs.
  1. The applicant must be enrolled in full-time study for the full academic year.

Academic and Personal Merit

  1. The applicant must submit university transcripts of academic coursework, credits, grades, and grade point average (GPA).
  1. The applicant must have three confidential letters of recommendation. The letters can be from a combination of academic faculty and work references, depending on the applicant’s specific situation. The letters of recommendation should meet the following requirements:

    1. Applicants who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program: At least two letters must be from academic faculty at the applicant's current undergraduate college or university program.

    2. Applicants who are currently enrolled in a graduate program: At least two letters must be from academic faculty. These letters can come from faculty at the applicant’s current or past college or university program.

    3. Applicants who are returning to school from the workforce: It is acceptable to have letters from colleagues (and at least one supervisor) at the applicant’s current place of employment, as well as letters from references who are familiar with the applicant’s academic history and potential.

Prior Funding

  1. The applicant must not have received a prior scholarship from the ASHFoundation.

Application Requirements

Complete the online Student Information Form and upload the following required materials.

  1. Student Information Form (online)
    All applicants must complete this form. Eligible applicants who also wish to be considered for any of the endowed scholarships must indicate this in the appropriate question on the form.
  1. Letter of Application (PDF file, limit 2 pages, 12-point font, single-spaced)
    In the Letter of Application (addressed to the “Scholarship Review Committee”), applicants should describe their goals after completing their academic program and explain why they chose these goals.
  1. Letter of Acceptance or Statement of Good Standing (PDF file)
    Applicants who will begin their graduate program in the fall of 2019 should include a copy of the graduate school acceptance letter. Applicants who have completed one or more semesters or quarters in their graduate program should include a statement of good standing from the department for the 2018–2019 academic year.
  1. Transcript (PDF file)
    Applicants must provide a transcript from their current university. It is acceptable to use a student version of a transcript that is provided by the university. If GPA is not included in the transcript, the applicant's GPA must be provided via official department or university documentation, such as a letter.
  1. Essay (PDF file; limit 3 pages, not including references; 12-point font and single-spaced)
    Applicants must prepare an essay responding to a question that is updated each year. The new essay question will be available when the 2020 competition opens. The 2019 essay question is listed below to provide an example.


    Innovation comes out of great human ingenuity and very personal passions.
    —Meghan Smith, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the Office of Science and Technology Policy


    The importance of innovation is increasing significantly throughout the world. As a future professional, reflect on the idea that innovation in communication sciences is imperative to improving the quality of life for the many individuals with communication disorders whom you will serve.


    What are the forces that might lead to opportunities for breakthroughs and new perspectives to inform discovery and innovation? What might we do to encourage an innovation culture in our discipline and to support our innovators?

    Use your creativity to discuss this perspective. Library and professional references may be used to support your opinions and innovative ideas.

  1. Confidential Letters of Recommendation (PDF files)
    Three confidential letters of recommendation must be submitted on behalf of the applicant. The letters can be from a combination of academic faculty and work references, depending on the applicant’s specific situation. Please refer to the Eligibility section for specific author requirements. Recommendation letters should:

    • Rate the applicant's academic promise (average, above average, excellent, or superior).
    • Cite specific examples that demonstrate academic achievement.
    • Note the applicant's personal qualities and capacities necessary for a successful career in audiology and/or speech-language pathology.
    • Cite specific examples that show initiative, responsibility, motivation, or commitment to the discipline.

    Request Letters of Recommendation:
    Recommenders must upload their letter of recommendation, as a PDF file, to the online application system. Through the system, applicants can request recommendations by providing the names and e-mail addresses of their three recommenders. Once the applicant provides this contact information, the recommenders will receive an e-mail from foundationprograms@asha.org requesting a letter of recommendation and providing submission instructions.

    Note: It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure the recommenders submit their letters of recommendation before the deadline.

Funding note: Scholarship funding is to be directed toward educational support (tuition, books, school-related expenses, living expenses, etc.) and not for personal or professional travel.