Massage-specific scholarships are one of the rarer types of scholarships that exist in the educational community. Most of the financial opportunities you’ll find are offered through individual massage schools, and are limited to recent high school graduates or members of the military. The chance to earn a scholarship specifically for massage is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and prospective students should take time to carefully review the requirements and application processes.
One of the few massage scholarship organizations that is recognized internationally and offers scholarships every year is the Spa Foundation.
What is The Spa Foundation?
The International SPA Association Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has been in existence since 1999. Its goal is to provide educational and research support to all facets of the spa industry, including massage therapy. It can be found in more than 70 countries around the world, and members represent a wide range of spa facilities, including everything from cruise lines and physician offices to medical facilities and worldwide resorts.
For massage students and other aspiring spa professionals, The Spa Foundation offers The Mary Tabacchi Scholarship. This scholarship is earmarked for students pursuing education in spa management, and offers $2,500 annually to the student who best demonstrates financial need and interest in spa work.
Requirements for eligibility include:
- Full- or part-time enrollment in a two or four year spa program
- Minimum of one year of completed postsecondary education
- Minimum 2.75 GPA
- Completed scholarship application and essay
- Two references
- College transcripts
An annual deadline in March means that the upcoming scholarship award for 2012 will soon be available.
Other Opportunities through The Spa Foundation
In addition to the annual scholarship, The Spa Foundation offers seminars, conferences, and resources for students and professionals in the spa industry. As is the case with any professional organization, there may be fees associated with participating, but the benefits in the shape of education and networking can last a lifetime. If you plan on being a career massage therapist or want to move beyond massage practice to explore spa therapy at an advanced level, this is a great place to start meeting people and gathering information.