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Downing Diversity Scholarship

The School of Social Work is committed to promoting diversity and social justice through education. The Ruppert & Gladys Downing Diversity Scholarship aims to increase diversity and inclusivity in the social work field by recruiting graduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to our MSW program. This scholarship was established by Associate Professor Ruppert Downing and his wife Gladys, who have a history of supporting diversity and student recruitment at the School.

More information

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a strong legacy in producing influential social advocates, civil rights leaders, and change-makers. By actively recruiting HBCU graduates, the School hopes to tap into unique experiences, perspectives, and insights.


  • The scholarship will provide financial support for exceptional HBCU graduates pursuing an on-campus MSW degree at the School of Social Work.
  • Eligibility criteria include being a traditional on-campus MSW student with an undergraduate degree from an HBCU.
  • Recipients will be determined by the admission committee upon thorough review and based on meeting all eligibility requirements.

Why choose Illinois?

Academic Excellence:

  • Collaborate and engage with distinguished faculty members on cutting-edge research initiatives, shaping the future of social work.

Student Involvement:

  • Join our student-led organizations to connect, collaborate, and contribute to the vibrant social work community.

Community Engagement:

  • Extend your education beyond the classroom by participating in diverse opportunities like the School of Social Work Community Learning Lab (CLL).

Campus Support:

Counseling Services:

Fraternities & Sororities:

Learn more:

Admissions Contact:

Sharva Hampton-Campbell

Graduate Student Affairs Coordinator

headshot of Sharva Hampton-Campbell
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