Zappala Family Scholarship

For the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate

Supporting Students Who Want to Make a Difference

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The Zappala Family Scholarship, established in 2013, supports students enrolled in the UCLA Extension Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling certificate. When it comes to the cycle of addiction, skilled and well-trained substance use disorder counselors make all the difference in the lives of those who struggle with the disease. This scholarship was created to provide qualified individuals the opportunity to pursue professional careers as addiction counselors.

The Zappala family has been personally touched by the devastating effects of addiction and strongly believes in supporting the education of those seeking to help individuals and families overcome addiction, achieve recovery and return to a healthy way of living. Thanks to the support of qualified and compassionate counselors, a member of the Zappala family successfully received treatment for addiction, rebuilt a sober life, and later pursued his own career in substance use disorder counseling after completing his certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling at UCLA Extension. In gratitude for that support, the Zappala family offers assistance to those pursuing careers in substance use disorder counseling to ensure that expert counselors are readily available for other families like theirs.

The Zappala Family Scholarship is offered each fall to new students entering the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate program. The scholarship award covers 50% of course registration fees for the program. This year, we are pleased to announce that up to two applicants will be awarded the scholarship. 

Current students who are already enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling certificate are not eligible for the scholarship.

Please note the following stipulations:

  • Fee reduction will apply to all courses in the certificate EXCEPT the Study Skills one-day course. The Study Skills one-day course is a prerequisite to the certificate program if the candidate has not attained a minimum of an Associate Degree (AA). If required, the Study Skills one-day course must be completed before the scholarship is awarded.
  • Awardees must attain a letter grade of “B” or higher in each course to maintain eligibility for the scholarship.
  • Scholarships are nontransferable and will expire within three years of award date.
  • The scholarship supersedes any other discounts available.


The following eligibility criteria will be checked and confirmed for all final candidates by UCLA Extension.

  • Candidates must be a new student to the program registering in Fall 2024. Current students are not eligible for the scholarship.
  • Candidates must complete the prerequisite Study Skills one-day course offered on August 19, 2024, if they DO NOT have a minimum of an AA degree documented by official transcript.
  • Candidates must submit their application by 11:59pm (PT) on the deadline of July 1, 2024. Applications will be accepted starting April 1, 2024, at 8am to July 1, 2024, at 11:59pm (PT). Only complete applications will be considered.
  • Scholarships are not awarded based on financial need and applicants are not required to submit financial documentation.
  • UCLA and UCLA Extension employees and their family members or dependents are not eligible to apply.


Complete the following steps before the deadline of July 1, 2024 at 11:59pm PT.:

  • If you do not have a UCLA Extension student account, please create one. Under ‘I’m a New Student,’ enter your email address to get started.
  • Next, begin your application here. Enter your student account username and password and click ‘start application’.
  • Under ‘My Applications’ you will see ‘AP0652 — Zappala Family Scholarship Application 1.’ Please click ‘Start.’
  • Personal Statement: Please write a 500-word Personal Statement. Click 'Upload' to submit your Personal Statement as a Word document. Your Personal Statement should include:
    • What motivated you to enter the field of substance use disorder counseling?
    • What steps have you taken to prepare for this new career?
    • What is/are your career goal(s) once you have completed the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling certificate (Please include any professional certifications or graduate programs you intend to pursue)?
  • Once your Personal Statement has been uploaded, please read, acknowledge and confirm the four statements by checking the boxes next to each statement and click ‘Next’.
  • Student Recommendations: Enter the name, phone number and email address for two references. Please note:
    • At least one student recommendation should be submitted by a former employer, college instructor, or leader of a volunteer or civic organization with whom you have worked.
    • The other student recommendation may be submitted by a personal reference.
    • Upon submission of your application, our system will automatically request and collect the recommendations. The recommendation request will come from
  • Lastly, click ‘Submit Application’ 

Submission of applications that are incomplete, late or from students who are not eligible will not be considered. UCLA Extension reserves the right to request additional documentation.

2024-2025 Scholarship Timeline

  • Application acceptance period: April 1, 2024 - July 1, 2024 at 11:59pm PT
  • Application review period: July 8, 2024 – July 26, 2024
  • Final decision made for scholarship recipients: The week of July 29, 2024
  • Notification of scholarship winners: The week of August 5, 2024

The scholarship recipients can utilize their award for 50% of course registration fees in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate beginning in Fall Quarter 2024 and have three years from the date of their award to utilize the scholarship amount.

Apply Today

Application Deadline: July 1, 2024 at 11:59pm PT

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Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

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