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2017 Graduate Student Scholarship

Note: These guidelines are available to serve as a reference. Scholarship guidelines and application instructions are updated each year. The new guidelines will be available in early 2018.

Nature of the Competition

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation invites full-time students who will be or who are currently enrolled in a graduate program in communication sciences and disorders to submit applications in competition for graduate scholarships. Scholarships are available to students who are undergraduate seniors or students who are currently pursuing master's or doctoral degrees. Both research and clinical doctorate candidates are eligible. 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 six master's and doctoral 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.

Scholarship for Minority Students
Up to two 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.

Scholarship for International Students
Up to two graduate student scholarships, underwritten by the Kala Singh Memorial Fund, for international students studying in the United States.

Scholarship for NSSLHA Members
Up to two 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 2017.

All scholarship recipients will be announced and recognized at the November 2017 ASHA Convention in Los Angeles, California. Interested applicants should carefully read the section on Eligibility and, after determining that all criteria are met, follow the Application Requirements.


Applicants must meet the following criteria in order 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. Master's programs in speech-language pathology or clinical doctoral programs in audiology must be accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA); this does not apply to research doctoral programs.

  2. The applicant must be enrolled in full-time study for the full academic year.

Academic and Personal Merit

  1. The applicant must submit official university transcripts of academic coursework, credits, grades, and grade point average (GPA).

  2. The applicant must have three confidential letters of recommendation. The letters are allowable from a combination of reference types, depending on the applicant’s specific situation, such as academic faculty references and work references. The letters of recommendation should meet the following requirements:
    • For 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.
    • For 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.
    • For applicants who are returning to school after being in the workforce, it is acceptable to have letters from colleagues (and include 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

Providing all eligibility requirements are met, complete the online Student Information Form and upload the following required materials through the online application system. If any of the requested information is not provided, the application will not be eligible for consideration.

  1. Student Information Form (online)
    Eligible applicants who also wish to be considered for any of the endowed scholarships must indicate this in the appropriate question on the Student Information Form.

  2. Letter of Application (PDF file, limit 2 pages, 12-point font, single-spaced)
    In the letter of application (addressed to the Scholarship Review Committee), the applicant should describe his/her goals after completing his/her academic program. Explain why these goals have been chosen.

  3. Letter of Acceptance or Statement of Good Standing (PDF file)
    For applicants who will begin their graduate program in the fall of 2017, include a copy of the graduate school acceptance letter. For applicants who have completed one or more semesters or quarters in their graduate program, include a statement of good standing from the department for the 2016–2017 academic year.

  4. Transcript (PDF file)
    Applicants must provide a transcript from his/her current university. It is acceptable to use a student version of a transcript that is provided by the university. If GPA is not part of the transcript, the applicant's GPA must be provided via official department or university documentation, such as a letter.

  5. Essay (PDF file; limit 5 pages, not including references; 12-point font and single-spaced)
    Applicants must prepare an essay responding to the question below. Include this essay question as a header for the essay response.

    We are all aware of the broad impact of social media outlets on interpersonal communication but what relevance do they have to our own discipline and our work with individuals with communication disorders?

      Reflect on how social media might affect you as a new professional and what issues (e.g., privacy, effectiveness, and appropriateness, etc.) you believe are important to consider. 

      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
      Three confidential letters of recommendation must be submitted on behalf of the applicant. The letters are allowable from a combination of reference types, depending on the applicant’s specific situation, such as academic faculty references and work references. Please refer to the Eligibility section for specific requirements for the letters of recommendation.

      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; and
      • Cite specific examples that show initiative, responsibility, motivation, or commitment to the discipline.

      Request a Recommendation: Recommenders must upload their letter of recommendation, as a PDF file, to the online application system. Through the online application 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 message from [email protected] requesting a letter of recommendation and providing instructions for uploading letters.

      Note: It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure the recommenders submit their letters of recommendation before the deadline. Failure to complete this requirement and to provide recommendations by the May 22 deadline will disqualify the applicant.

    Funding Note

    Scholarship funding is to be directed toward educational support (such as tuition, books, school living expenses, etc.) and not for personal or conference travel.

    Submission Procedures

    The online application system will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on May 22, 2017. No extensions will be granted beyond the deadline and confirmation that your application has been received will be sent by e-mail. All applicants will be notified of competition results in November 2017. 

    View past Graduate Student Scholarship recipients.


    Questions regarding this competition should be directed to the ASHFoundation office at [email protected] or 301-296-8703.

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