Chancellor King Announces Application Opening for the SUNY/Office of Mental Health Scholarship Program

February 21, 2024

Funding to Provide Scholarships, Paid Internships, Fee Waivers for Graduate School Applicants, and More to Support Students in Mental Health Degree Programs 

Governor’s Program in Second Year to Expand and Diversify the Mental Health Professionals Workforce 

Eligible Students are Encouraged to Apply Here 

Albany, NY
– State University of New York Chancellor John B. King, Jr. today announced the application opening for the SUNY/Office of Mental Health Scholarship Program. Established in August 2022 by Governor Kathy Hochul with a $4 million federal investment, the program provides scholarships, paid internships, fee waivers for graduate school applicants, and more to support students in mental health degree programs. Eligible students are encouraged to apply here

The program attracts, retains, and graduates students trained in the various mental health professions with the potential to positively affect the quality of mental health care for all New York State residents, with a focus on service to those individuals who may have historically lacked quality mental health care.

"The stigma surrounding mental health has diminished over the past several years, resulting in more Americans, including SUNY students, seeking care. With the mental health field projected to grow substantially by 2032, we must prepare more excellent, diverse professionals for the workforce," said SUNY Chancellor King. "Students are more likely to seek out mental health services when they encounter a diverse community of practitioners with diverse backgrounds. This scholarship addresses that by making mental health degrees more accessible to everyone. I am grateful for Governor Hochul's continued support, and the work of our partners at the Office of Mental Health, as we increase the number of mental health professionals in New York State."

In addition to this program, SUNY is investing nearly $10 million in recurring annual funding starting with the 2023-24 budget to support State-operated campuses in expanding mental health services to students.

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, "OMH is excited to continue this partnership with CUNY and SUNY to bridge the gap in mental health care disparities and expand the scholarship program. We’ve learned a great deal from the exceptional students, advisors, and mentors we’ve been able to engage with over the last academic year. This scholarship and partnership underscores OMH’s dedication to supporting individuals pursuing careers in mental health and increasing the diversity of the public mental health workforce. The SUNY and CUNY Mental Health Scholarship Program is an important component in our mission to recruit and retain a more diverse and inclusive workforce."

As part of the program, SUNY is working with the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) to improve the quality of mental health care for all New York State residents by addressing the barriers and needs of individuals who have been historically underserved with quality mental health services, including the shortage of bilingual/multilingual clinicians. Expanded access to a diverse workforce results in greater patient/client satisfaction, engagement, and retention in care.

To be eligible, students must: 

  • Major in a mental health discipline leading to a career as a mental health professional; 
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; 
  • Be a resident of New York State; 
  • Be in good academic standing (2.5 cumulative grade point average or better); 
  • Maintain full-time student status in a mental health career major; and 
  • Be at least a second-year undergraduate student with sophomore status or first-year graduate student. 

Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Preference is given to candidates from low-income households, first-generation college students, veterans, AmeriCorps alumni, students who have overcome adversity, and students who are bilingual/multilingual. 

Scholarships provide up to three years of tuition, room and board, and fees. Undergraduate scholarships are up to $9,000/year, and graduate scholarships up to $15,000/year, depending on need. 

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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