Scholarships and Financial Aid for Women

Today, women make up nearly half of the workforce in America, and the number of women earning degrees in higher education has surpassed that of men in recent decades. In 2013, women aged 25-34 were 21% more likely to earn an undergraduate degree and 48% percent more likely to complete graduate school than their male counterparts, according to a report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors. Women have also made great strides in fields that were previously dominated by men, and now account for almost half of the students earning graduate degrees in law, medical, and business administration programs — a huge leap from the 10% of women who were pursuing these degree paths in the 1960s.

However, disparities still exist between men and women in the workforce. Schools and organizations are seeking to close this gender gap by offering scholarships that motivate women to excel in college and in their careers without piling up a significant amount of debt.

Women represent only 29% of workers in America’s 20 highest-paid jobs.

Various types of scholarships are offered specifically for women. Some award academic performance and leadership skills, while others encourage women to pursue graduate studies or careers that are traditionally male-dominated, such as business, science, engineering, and technology. Below you will see the average amount of financial aid awarded to female full-time, full-year undergraduates. As you can see, a lot of money is available to women who want to fund their education.

We’ve created this guide to show prospective undergraduate and graduate students the many financial opportunities available for them.


Scholarships for Women

General Scholarships for Women

The Women's Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) $250-$5,000

Deadline
WISP accepts applications throughout the year.

Requirements
This scholarship is intended for women who are direct survivors of domestic abuse, particularly single mothers who wish to attend college. Candidates are part-time or full-time students at either a two-year or four-year college who have been separated from an abusive partner for at least one year. They must maintain a 2.75 GPA and should demonstrate a need for financial assistance.

How to Apply
All application requirements can be found after signing up online.

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Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship $1,000-$7,000

Deadline
Deadlines vary by location

Requirements
Women of all ages who are pursuing a business-related program and who have shown potential in the field are eligible to apply.

How to Apply
Candidates must complete an application through a Zonta club nearest to them. See all Zonta club locations here.

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Jeannette Ranken Womens Scholarship Fund $2,000

Deadline
March of every year

Requirements
Applicants must be women who are aged 35 or older and from a low-income background. They should be a US citizen or permanent resident who is enrolled in, or has been accepted to, an ACICS-accredited school and pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree.

How to Apply
Applicants must complete a scholarship application online and provide education, work, and volunteer history. They must also submit proof of income, recommendation letters, transcripts or an acceptance letter to a college or university.

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Womenetics Advancing Aspirations Global Scholarship $2,500-$5,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Applicants must be enrolled as an undergrad student at a college or university, a US citizen or permanent resident, and pursuing a bachelor’s degree. They should also be able to attend an all-expense-paid trip to the 2016 POW! Awards in Chicago on Nov. 9, 2016.

How to Apply
Candidates must submit a 2,500 word essay (essay topic TBA) with a 200-word personal statement attached. Essays will be read anonymously and scored based on content, originality, research quality, organization, and style & mechanics.

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Executive Women International Scholarship Program $1,000-$5,000

Deadline
April of each year

Requirements
This scholarship is offered to high school seniors who are US citizens and who plan on enrolling in a four-year college or university.

How to Apply
Students must apply for EWISP and compete at the local Chapter-level before qualifying for a scholarship. Participating chapters can be found here.

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STEM and Industry-Specific Scholarships

Dozens of scholarships are available for women pursuing careers in science, tech, engineering, and math (STEM). Other scholarships specific to industries such as teaching and nursing are also available, but may not be open solely to women, as female workers are fairly more represented in these fields.

STEM Scholarships for Women

Zenefits Advancing Women in STEM Scholarship $6,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Female applicants must be 18 years or older and should demonstrate financial need. They must be US citizens enrolled full-time in a US college or university and pursuing a STEM-related degree.

How to Apply
Candidates must submit a 500-word written response to an assigned scholarship topic.

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The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship $10,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Scholarship applicants will be selected based on their academic background and demonstrated leadership. Female candidates must currently be enrolled as a graduate/undergraduate and enrolled/accepted as a full-time student at a college/university during the 2016-2017 academic year. They must be majoring in a STEM-related field.

How to Apply
Applicants must include background information, a resume, academic transcripts, two letters of reference, and a response to four essay questions.

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APS Physics Maria Goeppert Mayer Award Varies

Amount
$2,500 + a $4,000 travel allowance for recipient to give lectures at four institutions

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
The award goes to a woman who holds a PhD, is in the early stages of her career, and has demonstrated her potential as an outstanding physicist. Candidates must not have received their PhD more than 10 years prior to the nomination deadline.

How to Apply
Nomination package must include a letter no longer than 5,000 characters describing qualifications, a biographical sketch, important publications, at least two seconding letters.

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The Microsoft STEM Scholarship Tuition+

Amount
Full or partial tuition scholarships are available

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Candidates must be enrolled in a four-year undergraduate bachelor’s degree program at an institution in the US, Mexico, or Canada and pursuing a degree in a STEM-related subject. Applicants must also maintain at least 3.0 cumulative GPA.

How to Apply
All applicants must apply for a Microsoft internship and complete the internship if accepted.

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SWEs Admiral Grace Murray Hopper Scholarship $1,500

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Candidates must be incoming college or university freshmen pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering. Students should be US citizens who plan on enrolling full-time, and they must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

How to Apply
Application information should cover activities, work experience, and awards. Students must also submit a resume, a current transcript, two references

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Business/Finance Scholarships for Women

Women in Public Finance Achievement and Scholarship Award Varies

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Applicants must be female high school seniors who plan on attending a college or university to pursue a degree in finance, government, or law. They must have a GPA of at least 3.0 and should demonstrate outstanding performance in mathematics.

How to Apply
Students complete an application online. They must also complete an essay and submit a copy of their high school transcript.

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Stout Risius Ross Women in Finance Scholarship $1,000-$3,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Candidates must be females in their junior year of undergraduate study. They must be full-time students pursuing a degree in finance, economics, or accounting, and should maintain a GPA of at least 3.2.

How to Apply
Students submit a resume, transcript, and a letter of recommendation.

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Asian Women in Business Scholarship Fund $2,500

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Candidates must be of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry and a US citizen or permanent resident. They must be enrolled full time in a four-year undergraduate school in the US and have already completed one semester with a 3.0 GPA.

How to Apply
Students must complete the AWIB Scholarship Application and submit a college transcript and one professional recommendation.

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Teaching Scholarships for Women

AFCEAs STEM Teacher Scholarships $2,500-$5,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Scholarships go to students pursuing a graduate degree or credential/licensure to teach STEM disciplines in grades K-12. Applicants must be US citizens enrolled at a US college or university on-campus and majoring in secondary education for a STEM-related field.

How to Apply
Students must complete an online application and submit a current transcript and two letters of recommendation (three if currently employed as a teacher).

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Prospective 7-12 Secondary Teacher Coursework Scholarship $10,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Also known as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Prospective 7-12 Secondary Teacher Coursework Scholarship. This scholarship is open to women who are completing their sophomore year of college and planning on pursuing a career as a high school math teacher. Applicants must be enrolled as full-time students at a university in the next academic year and must have a 3.0 GPA.

How to Apply
Candidates must submit a proposal, an essay and three letters of recommendation.

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Nursing Scholarships for Women

AHAs Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund for Women $2,500

Deadline
December of each year

Requirements
Applicants must be female minorities who are either US citizens or permanent residents pursuing a degree in the field of medicine. They must be currently enrolled in a US college, university, or healthcare institution and should have a GPA of 3.0.

How to Apply
Applicants submit an online application, a community involvement description, a transcript, two letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.

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The Greta James Memorial Scholarship $2,500

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Candidates must currently attend or plan on attending nursing school.

How to Apply
Applicants must answer two essay questions in 250 words or less. The winners will be selected through an online voting system.

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The Megan Sugrue Scholarship $2,500

Deadline
January 2017

Requirements
Applicants must be undergraduates in college or high school seniors who plan on enrolling in college to pursue a degree in pre-healthcare. High school applicants must score a 1260 on the SAT or 28 on the ACT. All applicants should have maintained a 3.5 GPA at the end of the latest Spring term.

How to Apply
Students must complete an application online and submit an official transcript, SAT/ACT scores (if applicable), a personal essay, and a list of academic honors, leadership skills, and community service.

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For Special Groups

While universities and colleges across the nation have succeeded in raising graduation rates for minority students, African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students are still underrepresented in higher education. In a bid to increase diversity on school campuses and in the workforce, many organizations offer scholarships specifically for women in minority groups. Scholarships are also available for female veterans and single mothers going back to school.

Scholarships for Minority Women

Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Offered by the The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, this scholarship is available to female African-American students who are pursuing a degree in journalism, economics, or a related field. Candidates must be US citizens who are enrolled in a college or university and have a 3.0 GPA.

How to Apply
Students submit an application along with two letters of recommendation, an essay, and a college transcript.

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The Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology (DFBSST) Up to $2,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
This scholarship is available to African-American undergrads majoring in a STEM-related field. They must be a US citizen enrolled at one of the colleges listed here.

How to Apply
Applications can only be obtained by contacting the science or engineering department from participating schools. Faculty members of engineering and science departments of predominantly black universities typically choose students to be considered for this scholarship. The DFBSST Board of Directors then selects a scholarship recipient based on financial need, academic achievement, and personal essays.

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The Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarship Program $1,500

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Candidates must be a woman of Chicana/Latina heritage enrolled at a university, college, or community college in one of these eligible California counties. Other requirements can be found here.

How to Apply
Candidates must fill out an application that can be found online.

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100 Hispanic Women, Inc. Graduate Fellowship $2,500

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Candidates must be women of Hispanic descent who are enrolled full-time at a higher education institution. They must be a US citizen, have a 3.0 GPA, and have completed the FAFSA.

How to Apply
Students submit a two-part application, disclosure agreement, FAFSA, resume, official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.

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The Coca-Cola Foundation American Indian College Fund $5,000

Deadline
Applications become available online in August each year and should be completed by the October 31 deadline.

Requirements
Students must be the first in their immediate family to attend a college or university and should demonstrate financial need. Must have 2.9 GPA. Male and female students can apply, although women are usually given preference with scholarships from the Coca-Cola Foundation.

How to Apply
Applications can be filled in online.

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The ACS Scholars Program Up to $5,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
This program awards scholarships to African American, Hispanic, and American Indian students in the field of chemical sciences and is open to female applicants. Students must be US citizens of permanent residents, full-time students at a high school, college, university, or community college, and should have a 3.0 GPA or higher. They must demonstrate financial need and plan on pursuing a career in chemical sciences.

How to Apply
Students must complete an application and submit an official transcript, SAT or ACT scores, two letters of recommendation, and financial documentation.

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Scholarships for Female Vets

Womens Army Corps Veterans Association Scholarship $1,500

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Candidates should be graduating high school seniors who are children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews of an Army Service Woman. They should plan on being enrolled full-time at a college or university and should have a 3.5 GPA.

How to Apply
Applicants submit a biographical essay stating their future goals.

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AMVETS National Scholarship Program for Veterans $4,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
This scholarship is available to students who are US veterans. Applicants must be pursuing graduate or undergrad degree or certification and should demonstrate financial need.

How to Apply
Students can fill out applications online.

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Army Womens Foundation - Legacy Scholarship $2,500

Deadline
January 15, 2017

Requirements
Applicants should be a woman or the child of a woman who has served or is serving in the US Army, US Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. They should be pursuing a certificate program, community college coursework, an undergraduate degree, or a graduate degree, and must meet certain academic standards.

How to Apply
Applicants must submit an online application form, essay, official transcript, two recommendations, proof of matriculation at an academic institution, and a commander’s verification of active duty.

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Scholarships for Single Mothers

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Award $3,000

Deadline
TBA

Requirements
Applicants must be women aged 17 or older who are mothers with minor children. They must be pursuing a vocational degree/certificate, graduate, or undergraduate degree, and must be low-income (annual family income less than $20,000 for family of 2; less than $24,000 for family of 3; less than $28,000 for family of 4).

How to Apply
Students fill out an online application and must submit proof of income among other documents.

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The Womens Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) $250-$5,000

Deadline
WISP accepts applications throughout the year.

Requirements
This scholarship is available for women who are survivors of intimate partner abuse. Priority is given to single mothers with young children who face financial challenges. Candidates must be part-time or full-time students at either a two-year or four-year college who have been separated from an abusive partner for at least one year. They must maintain a 2.75 GPA and should demonstrate a need for financial assistance.

How to Apply
All application requirements can be found after signing up online at www.wispinc.org

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Financial Aid Resources

Various other types of financial aid are available for students pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree, including grants, loans, employer tuition, and work-study programs. Below, we’ve included resources students can refer to when exploring different financial aid opportunities.

More Resources for Scholarships

  • Scholarship essay tips Sallie Mae provides a guide on how to write a quality personal essay to submit with your scholarship application.
  • Tips for scholarship applications Indiana University South Bend created a list of tips about applying for a scholarship after polling scholarship providers around the country.
  • Scholarship search Sallie Mae also features a comprehensive scholarship search based on registered users’ profiles. Registration is free.

Grants

Grants are typically need-based, and like scholarships, do not need to be repaid. Hundreds of grant options are available specifically for women who complete a FAFSA application online to demonstrate their level of financial need. Some options include:

Federal and State Aid

  • www.Benefits.gov Women in low-income or single-parent households can visit this to find government grants for colleges or universities after filling out an online form. Users can also browse different forms of financial aid available in specific states.
  • Pell Grants These offer grant funding to part-time and full-time students who demonstrate financial need, and are available for women.

STEM Grants for Women

Grants for Special Groups

Loans

  • Perkins Loans These are low-interest federal loans that are a popular choice for both men and women attending college or university.
  • The PEO Educational Loan Fund The ELF offers loans for women who are referred by a local chapter of the PEO Sisterhood and enrolled at an accredited US or Canadian postsecondary institution.

Other

Alternative financial aid options are available for students seeking to ease tuition costs. Organizations such as AmeriCorps, Peace Corp, and National Health Services Corps offer programs that allow students to earn money for college in exchange for service commitment. The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit are available to help students mitigate the cost of postsecondary education by lowering the their income taxes. Some companies also offer employer tuition assistance for working professionals who want to go back to school. Students are advised to contact a financial aid counselor at their prospective school to discuss which types of financial aid are best suited to them.