College Grants and Scholarships for Women
Although college can be expensive, there are college grants for women that can help lower the price tag. Some organizations also offer scholarships for moms who are pursuing their degrees while raising a family.
If you’re looking to further your education, these nine scholarships and grants for women could help bring your goals within reach.
- 1. Go Girl! Grant
- 2. Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund
- 3. Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Award
- 4. P.E.O Program for Continuing Education Grant
- 5. Society of Women Engineers Scholarship
- 6. Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award
- 7. Women’s Independence Scholarship Program
- 8. American Association of University Women
- 9. Graduate Women International
- Plus: Finding more scholarships for women going back to school
The Go Girl! Grant is offered by The Girlfriend Factor, an organization that provides educational grants and emotional support for women who are bettering their lives through higher education.
Since 2006, the organization has provided over 180 women in California’s Coachella Valley with $700,000 in grants.
To be eligible, applicants must be at least 25, demonstrate financial need and be passionate about an educational path that will lead to a career.
If you want to apply, you’ll need to write a one-page autobiography, provide information about your education and career goals, submit three references and prepare for an interview.
Check the website to be sure, but previously applications were reviewed twice a year: in January and July. To be eligible for consideration, you had to submit your application by the 15th of the previous month (Dec. 15 and June 15).
Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Upon her death, she left a portion of her estate to create a scholarship for women returning to school. Since its launch in 1978, the Jeannette Rankin Foundation has awarded about $3 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 women.
The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund is for low-income women over the age of 35 who want to get their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Award recipients are selected based on their goals and how they plan to give back to the community.
Review detailed eligibility information, including income restrictions, via the scholarship’s website. For 2022, the application deadline was Feb. 18.
Patsy Takemoto Mink served in Congress and was the first woman of color to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In her honor, the Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation was launched in 2003. Since then, it has assisted low-income women, particularly mothers. This is a unique scholarship for moms looking to reduce their educational costs.
The organization offers five awards of up to $5,000 each for low-income mothers pursuing an education. Awardees are chosen based on financial need, personal history and future goals. Funds could be used on educational costs or to afford child care expenses.
To be eligible, applicants must be mothers and at least 17 years old. You must also be entering a vocational training course or pursuing your associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
What’s more, an applicant’s income cannot exceed $20,000 for a family of two or $28,000 for a family of four. The organization opens up the scholarship to applicants in the spring of each year.
The Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O) offers up to $3,000 in need-based grants to women whose education was interrupted, but who now want to pursue a degree to better support themselves and their families.
To be eligible for the P.E.O Program for Continuing Education, a woman must be enrolled in school and be within 18 months of completing an educational program.
If you meet these requirements and would like to apply, you must have the sponsorship of a local P.E.O club. However, membership is not required. You can complete the form for the sponsorship and submit it to a local chapter.
For women interested in engineering or computer science, the Society of Women Engineers offers scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $16,000 in value.
While the society offers general scholarships for women, it also designates funds for nontraditional students and women looking to reenter the workforce.
To apply for a scholarship for the coming school year, check the website for the latest deadlines. In previous years, due dates were as follows:
- Sophomores through graduate students: Applications are usually accepted between December and February
- Freshmen: Applications are usually due between March and the beginning of May
The Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award provides support and financial assistance to women who are the primary earners in their families. Each year, the organization gives out more than $2.6 million in grants to nearly 1,700 women.
If you would like to apply, you must be the main source of financial support for your family. And, you must be enrolled in or accepted to a vocational training program or a four-year college or university. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate financial need.
In previous years, the Soroptimist accepted applications between August and mid-November. To apply, complete the online application along with two reference forms. Then, submit your application during the acceptance period.
The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) provides scholarships to women who are survivors of intimate partner abuse. The program is designed to help survivors regain independence and self-sufficiency through education and employment.
Full- or part-time students with financial need are eligible. The primary goal of WISP is to help women who have been separated from their abusive partners for at least one year.
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and you can apply via the WISP website. Awards range from $1,000 to $6,000.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) doled out $5 million to 260-plus students in 2021 and 2022.
The fellowships and grants awarded by AAUW have varying eligibility requirements depending on the opportunity. In 2021, there were seven possible awards, including “Career Development Grants” meant for women pursuing a certificate or degree to further their career or switch career paths. Most opportunities have November and December annual deadlines.
Formerly known as The International Federation of University Women, Graduate Women International (GWI) may be particularly helpful if you’re a student from abroad. The organization has affiliates in 60 countries across the globe.
GWI’s fellowships are meant for PhD students and posted a December application deadline in 2021. With that said, the organization’s affiliates offer additional financial aid for women and girls pursuing everything from primary education to postgraduate research and training.
International students should also check eligibility for college grants and scholarships for women via a similar organization, Margaret McNamara Education Grants.
If you’ve put off going back to school because of costs, make sure you check out all of your grant and scholarship options.
There are many opportunities for women that are designed to help them meet their educational and professional goals. These scholarships can help reduce your costs and prevent you from borrowing more federal or private student loans than necessary.
- Schools: Talk to your (prospective) school’s financial aid office about whether it offers college grants for women. If you haven’t chosen a school, you might consider attempting a school like Georgia’s Spelman College that was founded to serve African-American women in particular. Also consider looking into women-only institutions, such as Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
- Organizations: Seek out private and nonprofit groups connected to your field of study. If you’re pursuing a finance major, for example, you might find a benefactor via the Education Foundation for Women in Accounting.
Besides pursuing private college grants for women, make sure to submit the FAFSA to put yourself in the running for federal financial aid. For more information, check out our guide for all adults returning to school.