Scholarship Opportunities for Doctor of Education (EdD) Programs in 2024

Have you been considering pursuing your Doctor of Education (EdD) degree but are worried about how to pay for it? An EdD can open up many doors for advancing your career in education leadership, but the costs of such an advanced degree can be daunting. However, there are scholarships available that can help subsidize your education.

Why Pursue an EdD?

Before diving into scholarships, it’s important to understand why someone would want to pursue an EdD in the first place. An EdD, also known as a Doctor of Education degree, focuses on applying theory and practice to solve complex problems in educational organizations and systems. Some key reasons why educators and professionals choose this degree include:

  • Career advancement: An EdD opens doors for leadership roles such as superintendent, principal, director of an education program, or professor. It demonstrates your potential and credentials for higher-level positions.
  • Practical research skills: The EdD emphasizes conducting scholarly research to solve real-world education issues. You’ll gain valuable skills in areas like program evaluation, data analysis, and developing evidence-based solutions.
  • Specialized knowledge: EdD programs allow you to specialize in areas like K-12 administration, higher education administration, curriculum & instruction, educational technology, and more.
  • Salary boost: On average, those with an EdD earn 10-20% higher salaries compared to those with only a master’s degree. The return on investment for an EdD can be significant over the course of your career.

Clearly, pursuing an EdD has many long-term benefits both professionally and financially. Now let’s explore how to make it an affordable choice through scholarship opportunities.

Types of Scholarships for EdD Programs

There are several major types of scholarships available for doctoral students pursuing their EdD:

Institutional Scholarships

The university where you apply to and enroll in an EdD program will likely offer various institutional scholarships. These are need-based or merit-based awards provided directly by the school. Award amounts and eligibility criteria vary between institutions. Some examples include:

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  • Diversity scholarships for underrepresented groups
  • Scholarships for certain academic fields or programs of study
  • Scholarships for part-time or online EdD students
  • Scholarships for education professionals working in certain regions or districts
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Institutional scholarships are very competitive given limited funding. However, they don’t require a separate application beyond your admission materials. Schools aim to attract top talent so put your best foot forward.

Private Scholarships

Many private foundations, professional organizations, corporations and individuals provide scholarships targeted at EdD students in certain fields or locations. These typically require a separate application process with separate deadlines. Some notable private scholarship sources include:

  • AASA: The School Superintendents Association
  • Association of Educational Service Agencies
  • American Educational Research Association
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Local Rotary Club or other civic organization scholarships

Stay alert to deadlines as these range from fall to spring. Pay attention to fit between your background/goals and the funder’s priorities. Well-written personal statements here make a difference.

Government and Military Scholarships

If you meet certain criteria, you may qualify for government or military scholarship programs to fund your EdD. Two prominent examples are:

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): For those in public service jobs like teaching. Qualifying monthly payments lead to federal student loan forgiveness.
  • Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA): For spouses of active-duty service members using GI Bill benefits. Provides up to $4,000 per year and two years of funding.

Thoroughly research eligibility rules as requirements vary between programs. Act early as government funding sources fill up quickly.

Employer Tuition Assistance

Many school districts and educational organizations offer tuition assistance programs to help employees continue their education. Benefits range from partial tuition reimbursement to fully funded EdD programs with an employment commitment after graduation. Ask your HR department about what’s available to take advantage of this easily overlooked funding source.

Crowdfunding Your Education

While unconventional, crowdfunding sites allow you to publicly share your educational goals and fundraising needs to appeal for donations from family, friends and beyond. Sites like GoFundMe have helped many fund unexpected costs through the generosity of crowds. Market your campaign well and authentically share your story to mobilize supporters. This “scholarship” depends on your networking prowess.

Scholarship Search Tips and Strategies

With so many options, researching scholarships takes work but pays off. Here are some tips for strengthening your search:

Start early. Many deadlines are 6-12 months before the academic year. Map out a long-term scholarship plan versus last-minute scrambling.

Cast a wide net. Apply to as many relevant scholarships as you realistically can versus putting all eggs in one basket. Varied strategies increase the chances of winning funding.

Leverage professional networks. Reach out to advisors, former professors and colleagues about scholarship opportunities you may otherwise miss. Personal recommendations open doors.

Customize each application. Highlight relevant experiences, accomplishments, goals, and fit between you and the scholarship rather than one-size-fits-all responses.

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Polish your personal statement. This essay sells your qualifications and intrigues readers to select you over other candidates. Revise, and get feedback from mentors.

Follow instructions to a T. Check spelling/grammar, meet word count limits, include required material, and format as directed to avoid easy disqualifications.

Stay organized. Use spreadsheets, calendars and filing systems to systematically track scholarships, deadlines, application progress and follow up with funders. Manage the process smoothly.

Consider alternative qualifications. Highlight transferable skills, underserved backgrounds or other standout qualities beyond just GPA if you lack a perfect academic profile.

With dedication to the search and crafting of compelling applications, don’t discount your ability to succeed in acquiring funding for your doctoral education goals. Keep an open and optimistic mindset.

Sample EdD Scholarship Applications

Let’s examine examples of successful EdD scholarship applications to two common funding sources as models:

AASA Superintendent Licensure Scholarship

Personal Statement: As a middle school principal for the past five years, I have gained a passion for equitably serving all students. However, I recognize barriers currently in our system prevent some children from reaching their full potential. Earning my EdD in Educational Leadership with a specialization in District Administration will prepare me to transform our district’s policies and practices at a higher systemic level as its next Superintendent. With this scholarship’s support, I commit to applying research-based solutions to close existing opportunity and achievement gaps in our community.

Resume: Outline of credentials including 10+ years progressively responsible experience in public education, MA degree, state principal licensure, involvement with professional associations, data-driven school improvement projects led, presentations at conferences.

Letters of Recommendation: One from the superintendent praising leadership skills and vision for equitable reform is needed at the district level. Another from a university professor highlighting academic ability and the potential impact of the applicant’s proposed dissertation research.

Rotary Club Vocational Scholarship

Personal Statement: As a child of immigrants who instilled in me the value of education, becoming a bilingual education professor has been my career aspiration. However, financial barriers have prevented furthering my education after attaining my MA in TESOL. This scholarship would empower me to complete my EdD coursework focusing on dual language programs that bridge opportunity gaps for English learners. Upon graduation, I plan to establish innovative bilingual teacher preparation courses at local universities to strengthen intercultural understanding in communities like ours.

Resume: Experience teaching ESL, developing bilingual curriculum, and community volunteering including with local Rotary club translating at health clinics. MA in TESOL, publication in education journals, education awards received.

Letters of Recommendation: One highlighting teaching excellence and passion for empowering English learners from the principal. Another volunteer coordinator praised the leadership of language access initiatives for underserved families.

Both applications highlight relevant backgrounds, clear goals, commitment to the funding organizations’ missions, and potential community impact through personalized statements and resumes/letters of support. While individualizing each one, certain key elements proved compelling.

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Choosing the Right EdD Program

With scholarships identified, choosing an EdD program becomes crucial for setting yourself up for success. Consider these factors when selecting where to apply funds:

Program Reputation and Accreditation

Pursue top, well-established programs to maximize your degree’s credibility and your career prospects. Ensure the school is regionally accredited and the specific EdD accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Specialization Alignment

Match your interests and expertise to specialized tracks like leadership, curriculum development or educational technology. ‘Fit’ correlates to higher motivation, grades, and completion rates.

Area of Study

Evaluate required coursework and dissertation opportunities relevant to your career goals. Consider the flexibility of part-time, hybrid, and online options if working full-time.

Faculty Expertise

Research faculty publication records, experience, and mentoring reputation within your interest area. The quality of advising matters greatly.

Program Costs

Weigh total tuition/fees against funding sources. Some programs provide higher levels of aid than others. Part-time typically costs less per credit hour.

Practicum/Internship Requirements

Determine if field experiences are expected and how to fulfill them within your schedule. These apply theory and boost your resume.

Program Culture Fit

Examine diversity, support for working professionals and compatibility with your preferred learning style. Campus visits help assess less tangible factors.

With scholarship in hand, taking time on upfront to choose the optimal EdD program setting maximizes your return on educational investment. Now let’s explore some commonly asked questions:

FAQs About Scholarships for EdD Programs

What is the typical scholarship award amount for EdD programs?

Scholarship award amounts for EdD programs vary widely depending on the funding source and individual applicant qualifications. Institutional scholarships may range from $2,000-$15,000 per year. Private foundations and government awards fall between $5,000-$20,000 annually. Employer tuition assistance can cover 50-100% of eligible costs. No two packages are alike so apply widely and negotiate financial aid offers as needed.

Are scholarships only for full-time EdD students?

While the majority of funding prioritizes full-time students, some options do exist for part-time learners. For example, institutional scholarships may allot a portion for working professionals. Employer tuition assistance only applies if employed. But private foundations, PSLF and MyCAA occasionally accommodate flexible schedules. Be upfront about time commitments during applications.

What’s the deadline to apply for EdD scholarships for fall 2024?

Most reputable scholarship deadlines occur between October 2023 and February 2024 for fall 2024 enrollment. However, certain opportunities may accept applications as early as spring/summer 2023 or as late as April/May 2024. Start your multi-step search process at least 9 months in advance of the desired start term. Prioritize earliest deadlines and apply to later ones concurrently.

Are grades/test scores major factors in being awarded a scholarship?

While strong academic accomplishments like GPA, GRE scores and publications do influence competitiveness, scholarships also emphasize other qualities like leadership, community service, career accomplishments, recommendation comments and well-written personal statements. Unique attributes may compensate for weaker profiles in certain cases. No single variable determines success on its own.

How long does it generally take to complete an EdD?

For full-time students without transfers or interruptions, the typical timeframe for completing an EdD ranges between 3-5 years depending on the program requirements and the student’s pacing. Part-time students usually take 5-7 years. However, it’s becoming more common for full-time doctoral candidates to now take 4-6 years as programs have evolved to support working professionals. Individual results vary greatly.

About the author


Subchief is the chief administrator and lead developer of He has over 10 years of experience in web design, development and digital content strategy.

As the founder and content strategist of Subteller, Subchief oversees all aspects of content creation and website management. He works closely with freelance writers and editors to develop valuable, informative articles on topics related to immigration, careers, legal issues and more.

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When he isn't coding or managing Subteller, Subchief enjoys spending time with his family, reading non-fiction books and staying up-to-date with new technologies. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of the People in CA, US.

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