College Scholarships for Women
While it was once rare to see women in college classrooms, these days there are more women enrolled in school than men1. Still, the number of women in leadership positions in business and other fields is still disproportionately small.2 To address this leadership gap and to help women from all walks of life succeed, many organizations offer scholarships and grants specifically to help women finance their education. Below is a sampling of the women’s college scholarship opportunities available today. Visit the organizations’ websites for complete scholarship details.
To find specific college scholarships that might be right for you, check out DeVry University’s Scholarship Search Tool.
If you are returning to school or starting school later than most…
- Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Fund honors the first woman elected to the United States Congress. Low-income women over age 35 are invited to break the cycle of poverty by applying scholarship funds to undergraduate degree and vocational school expenses.
- The AARP Foundation Women’s Scholarship Program helps women over age 50 return to school to pursue bachelor’s and associate degrees. Mothers, veterans and unemployed applicants are given priority consideration.
- If you are within two years of finishing your bachelor’s degree and are looking for financial assistance to help you finish, the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation Career Advancement Scholarships may be worth investigating. BPW Foundation established the program in 1969 to provide assistance to financially disadvantaged women seeking to further their education.
- New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael established the Linda Lael Miller Scholarships For Women. The scholarships are awarded to women over 25 who typically have a difficult time finding scholarships for which they are eligible.
- Talbot’s Women’s Scholarships help women who graduated from high school prior to September 2002. Seventeen $10,000 scholarships are awarded annually, in addition to a single $30,000 memorial award that honors the company’s founder, Nancy Talbot.
If you are a minority student…
- The American Association of University Women’s Selected Professions Fellowships for African American Women in Business, Law, and Medicine offers competitive funding to applicants entering graduate or post-graduate programs.
If you are a single mother…
- The Association of Nontraditional Students in Higher Education offers scholarships to its student members to promote leadership and campus involvement, academic and personal success, and community engagement.
- The Association on American Indian Affairs offers Displaced Homemaker Scholarships to women who have not had the opportunity to attend college or who had to give up school to tend to family responsibilities.
- Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O) is a unique advocacy group for women with roots that date back to the 1860s. The organization actually runs its own school called Cottey College, a two-year accredited liberal arts and science college that serves primarily as a transfer institution for women who wish to move into four-year programs.
- The Women’s Opportunity Awards from the Soroptimists – a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through social and economic empowerment – assists women who are primary wage earners by giving them resources to improve their education, skills and employment prospects. Each year, more than $1.5 million in education grants are awarded to more than 1,000 women.
- The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation awards scholarships to low-income women with children who are pursuing education or training. This award is aimed at single moms aged 17 or older.
- EMERGE’s mission is Empowering Women through Education. The organization is dedicated to women’s causes, including higher education. Scholarships are awarded to needy women whose education has been delayed and who are struggling to gain footholds in post-secondary education.
- In hopes of encouraging single California parents to pursue higher education, Capture the Dream, Inc. offers a Single Parent Scholarship toward a four-year degree. This scholarship is open to all graduating college-bound high school and/or undergraduate single mothers already enrolled at four-year institutions.
If you have served in the military…
- Launched in May 2009, the U.S. Army Women's Foundation Legacy Scholarship program offers financial support in the form of scholarships to Army women who are pursuing community college coursework and undergraduate degrees. Children of female veterans are also eligible for scholarships.
If you are interested in Science…
- The Selected Professions Fellowships sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers awards for women entering graduate or post-graduate degree programs in STEM-related fields.
- Business and Professional Women’s Foundation contributes to female advancement in the STEM-related fields through direct scholarships for women enrolled at accredited institutions.
- M. Hildred Blewett Scholarship for Women In Physics consists of an award of up to $45,000 to enable women to return to physics research careers after interrupting their careers for family reasons.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) runs government-sponsored scholarship funds for women entering health care fields.
If you are interested in Math…
- The Association for Women in Mathematics offers the Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Prize to undergraduate women showing promise in mathematics.
- The Velma E. Stuit Scholarships for Women in Mathematics, Statistics, or Science, from the University of Iowa, awards aid to women majoring in math, statistics, physics, chemistry or other science.
- Educational Foundation for Women In Accounting supports the accounting profession through scholarships, training, research and other initiatives that advance women’s standing in the field.
If you are interested in Technology…
- Microsoft Research Graduate Women’s Scholarship Program provides one-year scholarships to female graduate students who are working toward a PhD in computer science, electrical engineering or mathematics. Universities nominate candidates during their first year of graduate studies, with winners receiving $15,000 during their second year.
- In 2012, Google administered Anita Borg Memorial Scholarships to female computer science and computer engineering students in their final year of undergraduate study or beyond.
If you are interested in Engineering…
- Scholarships for undergraduate and graduate women studying engineering and computer science are awarded annually by the Society of Women Engineers. SWE has become a visible force for professional women by administering over one-half million dollars in scholarships each year.
- Competing for Women In Aviation International Scholarships requires each applicant to submit 2 one-page recommendation letters, a 500-word essay, a resume and documentation of any completed aviation training.
If you are interested in Business….
- American Association of Professional Women advocates for equality through education, research and philanthropy. Their state branches offer current information on women’s college scholarships and awards.
- Zonta International is a far-reaching multi-national network committed to advancing equality for women. Through the organization’s Jane M. Klausman Women In Business Scholarship, undergraduates and master’s degree candidates are empowered to pursue leadership roles in business.
If you’re interested in the Arts…
- This list of art scholarships for women sculptors, art history majors, weavers, and visual artists of all types is a valuable resource for creative women working their formal educations.
- Kentucky Foundation for Women disperses funding to feminist artists and organizations through their Art Enrichment program. Promoting social change and fostering positive outcomes for women in the arts is the stated mission of this feminist advocacy group.
- If you are into graphic arts, painting, furniture design, new media, photography, or other creative modes of expression, then check out the WorldStudio AIGA Scholarships.
2 Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Statistical Overview of Women in the Workplace. New York: Catalyst, 2013. (http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/statistical-overview-women-workplace)