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2016 Graduate Student Scholarship Competition

Note: These 2016 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 2017.

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 2016.

All scholarship recipients will be announced and recognized at the November 2016 ASHA Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Interested students should carefully read the section on eligibility and, after determining that all criteria are met, follow the Application Requirements.


Students must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the Graduate Student Scholarship.

Graduate Study

  1. The student 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 student must be enrolled in full-time study for the full academic year.

Academic and Personal Merit

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

  2. The student must be recommended by persons of the following status:
    1. faculty at the student's current college or university program;
    2. faculty at the student's past college or university program, for persons just completing undergraduate work; or
    3. colleagues (at least one supervisor) at the applicant's current place of employment, for persons returning to school after being in the workforce.

Prior Funding

  1. The student 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. Please follow the page limits and format specified. 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 four 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 studies in the fall of 2016, 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 2015–2016 academic year.

  4. Transcript (PDF file)
    Applicants must provide a transcript from his/her current 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, 12-point font, single-spaced)
    Applicants must prepare an essay responding to the question below. Include this essay question as a header for the essay response.

    Peter Drucker, the late great thought leader who influenced leadership and management practices worldwide, observed, "I never predict. I simply look out the window and see what is visible but not yet seen."

    As a future professional who will serve the many individuals with communication disorders, look out your window and reflect on today's ever-changing global landscape. It's all out there, the next decade that is yet to be defined.

    What will define the next decade for successful leadership in the discipline of human communication sciences and disorders?

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

  6. Confidential Letters of Recommendation
    Three confidential letters of recommendation must be submitted on behalf of the applicant. Of the three letters, at least one letter must be from the applicant's current program. Two letters can be from other references familiar with the applicant's academic history and potential.

    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 field

    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 this contact information is provided by the applicant, the recommenders will receive an e-mail message from [email protected] requesting a letter of recommendation and providing instructions.

    Important Note: In the online application system, the confidential letters of recommendation must be requested before applicants can proceed through the online application process. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure his/her recommenders submit their letters of recommendation before the deadline. Failure to complete this requirement and to provide recommendations by the May 23 deadline will disqualify the applicant from the competition.

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 23, 2016. 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 2016. 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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