New UK Social Work program offers FREE tuition, stipends, job placement

CoSW has partnered with institutions across the Commonwealth to offer a career preparation program that supplies everything you need to excel.
A group of students form a circle to study and chat outside White Hall Classroom building. Photo by Mark Cornelison | UKphoto

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This story was orginally published by UKNow.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2024) — Are you interested in a career focused on making a difference in the lives of Kentucky children and families?

If so, the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky has partnered with higher education institutions across the Commonwealth to offer an innovative opportunity.

Child Welfare (CW) PREP is a cutting-edge career preparation program. In return for your commitment to child welfare work, the CoSW will supply everything you need to excel. Yes, that includes free tuition, a stipend and help securing a job after graduation.

Here are five things you need to know about CW PREP:

Need help covering tuition? We got you.

CW PREP covers in-state tuition for up to four semesters.

While you’re learning, we’re investing in you.

In addition to tuition support, CW PREP provides a generous $1,300 stipend (each semester) to help with the bills.

Worried about getting a job after graduation? We aren’t.

CW PREP graduates receive preferential status at the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services for employment options in all 120 Kentucky counties.

You’ll be prepared to make an impact — on day one.

CW PREP students learn the skills necessary and receive hands-on career training to excel in public child welfare work, from the very first day on the job.

When you’re in, you’re in.

CW PREP is focused on your future — all of it. Once you graduate, you continue to receive transition supports, next-level mentorship and preferred admission to tuition support programs for graduate school.

CW PREP is not a typical program. It is a supported pathway to a career of meaning and impact. For you and your community.

Jay Miller, dean of the CoSW, envisions the program as “more than just a step forward; it’s a leap towards empowering a new generation of professionals dedicated to the well-being of people in our community. The journey begins now, and the impact will be profound.”

Join the more than 1,100 CW PREP graduates who are making a difference in their communities.

Finding out if your eligible is simple. Applying for CW PREP is even easier. Learn more and apply here.

You can also discover more about the program by visiting or by reaching out via email at

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It’s all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.

For over 85 years, the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky has been a leader in education. Our mission is clear: Through rigorous research, excellence in instruction, and steadfast service, the CoSW works to improve the human condition. Always, in all ways.

As the state’s flagship university, our mission is actualized through our deeds. Our faculty are renowned academicians dedicated to fostering the development of high-quality practitioners and researchers. As a college, we promote community and individual well-being through translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. We are committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world.