Studying the ethology of four-legged, winged, scaled, and finned species could become infinitely cheaper when you have animal behavior scholarships to cover tuition.
Animal behavior degrees are unique college finds that use empirical research to investigate how non-human creatures act and why. Popular schools offering animal behavior degrees include Bucknell University, Carroll University, Hunter College, University of New England, and Towson University. Majoring in animal behavior could unlock many animal-focused occupations, such as animal scientist, farmer, veterinarian, dog trainer, laboratory animal caretaker, and breeder, where average salaries range from $22,930 to $87,590 according to the BLS.
Before you get stung by loan debt, consider these wild scholarships for animal behavior degrees.
1. John D. Spurling OBE Scholarship
The American Kennel Club (AKC) Humane Fund has created the John D. Spurling OBE Scholarship to provide $2,000 to five full-time college students for $10,000 total each year. It’s designed to lower tuition for degrees or certificates in veterinary medicine, animal behavior, animal nutrition, animal sciences, and obedience training. Entrants must submit a signed application, academic transcript, letter of reference, and personal essay highlighting their experiences promoting the well-being of canines by July 1st.
2. NDS/Maurice E. Core Scholarship
Launched in 2009 to honor the National Dairy Shrine’s late Executive Director, the NDS/Maurice E. Core Scholarship presents $1,000 to two incoming college freshmen annually. Eligibility criteria requires pursuing a Bachelor of Science for dairy science, animal science, animal behavior, or related majors. Candidates must also show 4-H club leadership, have experience with animals, maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher, and choose dairy-related careers. Applications are submitted by email with two letters of recommendation by April 15th at midnight.
3. Amy R. Samuels Cetacean Behavior and Conservation Award
Founded in 1984, the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) offers several animal behavior scholarships for student researchers, including the $2,000 Amy R. Samuels Cetacean Behavior and Conservation Award. It’s intended for post-bachelor’s scholars who are undertaking graduate study in animal science or biology to study the behavioral patterns of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, especially endangered cetaceans. Interested students have until November 30th to submit their research abstract, résumé or CV, and justification for support letter.
4. Midland MI Kennel Club Scholarships
The Midland MI Kennel Club awards $1,000 worth of scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors from Michigan’s Midland, Bay, Saginaw, Gladwin, and Isabella counties. Funding is reserved for accredited educational programs that promote responsible pet care, including veterinary technology, animal behavior, physical rehabilitation, mammalogy, and animal science. Hopeful Michiganders must attend in-state colleges at least part-time, submit transcripts showing a minimum 2.5 GPA, and attach two recommendations by March 31st.
5. Wilson Ornithological Society Research Grants
Valued at $1,000 each, the Wilson Ornithological Society offers 11 research grants, including the Paul A. Stewart Grant and Louis Agassiz Fuertes Grant, each Spring. Citizens of any country could receive the financial support for collegiate-level work related to the evolution, behavior, and ecology of bird species. Being a paid WOS member before beginning the avian research is required. Applications submitted by February 1st must include a three-page project proposal, curriculum vitae, cited literature sources, and faculty advisor letter.
Seeing the sticker price for animal behavior degrees could leave you growling. The NCES shows that the average annual cost at four-year U.S. institutions was $25,409 for the 2014-15 school year. Luckily, animal behavior majors can flock toward financial aid options like the Pell Grant, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, Federal Work-Study Program, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, and FEEA Scholarship atop their college funding packages. Students should also forage for more animal behavior scholarships, including the Rose Acre Farms Scholarship, Craig Sallstrom Memorial Scholarship, E.O. Wilson Conservation Award, and Doris Day Animal Foundation Scholarship.