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Paying for College: 11 Scholarships for Women

By Jacqueline DeMarco · May 04, 2021 · 5 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Paying for College: 11 Scholarships for Women

It’s not a secret that attending college can get really pricey really fast. For women students looking for a bit of help in the funding department, there are tons of great grants and scholarships for women available that can help ease the financial burden of pursuing higher education and help lower student loan debt. While there are plenty of college scholarships and grants that women can apply to, the following programs are specifically designed for women applicants.

Women’s Independence Scholarship Program

The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program provides scholarship opportunities to female survivors of intimate partner abuse in order to help them regain their independence and self-sufficiency via higher education and employment.

This organization aims to support women who have been separated from an abusive partner for at least a year. Both full-time and part-time students with financial need may be eligible.

While the average award amount is about $2,000 per school term, there is no set amount for this award.

Women In Need

The Women in Need scholarship is intended for women who are completing their sophomore year of college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and are also the primary source of support for their family. The award amount is $2,000 per year for two years if renewed.

Financial need is taken into consideration as is evidence that the applicant has a goal of pursuing a degree in accounting in order to prepare for a career as an accounting or finance professional.

Moss Adams Foundation

The Moss Adams Foundation scholarship provides $1,000 graduate scholarships for women who intend to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is available to minority women, women returning to school as current or re-entry juniors or seniors, and women who are pursuing their fifth year requirement through general studies or a graduate program.


Recipients must illustrate commitment to the goal of pursuing a degree in accounting in order to prepare for a career in the field and will need to provide evidence of continued commitment to this goal after they receive the award.

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund has scholarship opportunities and provides support for low-income women who are thirty-five or older so they can build better lives through post-secondary education.

Women who are low-income and pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate’s degree, or a first bachelor’s degree may qualify for this scholarship.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Program

Women admitted to accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs that are preparing them for a career in engineering, engineering technology, or computer science can qualify for the Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Program . In 2018, the program distributed around approximately 238 scholarships that come to more than $830,000 worth of awards.

Applicants have to attend or plan to attend a school with ABET-accredited programs to qualify. Each year, these awards are available for freshmen through graduate students and award amounts from $1,000 to $16,000, some of which are renewable.

Go Girl! Grants

Education grants for women are also an option for some students looking for help paying for higher education. The Go Girl! Grants is one such example. The Girlfriend Factor has supported more than 147 local women in Coachella Valley, CA with over $500,000 in grants to help them pursue four year degrees or occupational certifications.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in school in at least two classes, 25 years of age or older, and live and go to school in Coachella Valley.

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund

If someone is looking for college scholarships for women that are international students, The Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O) hosts the International Peace Scholarship Fund which has been providing scholarships for women from other countries, who are pursuing graduate study in either the United States or Canada, since 1949. This scholarship is based on financial need and the maximum award amount is $12,500.

P.E.O. STAR Scholarship

The Philanthropic Education Organization also offers the P.E.O. STAR Scholarship , which was established in 2009, in order to provide scholarship opportunities to high school senior women who plan to attend an accredited postsecondary educational institution in the United States or Canada in the upcoming academic year.

This scholarship is non-renewable and offers awards of $2,500 that must be used in the academic year that directly follows high school graduation. These funds can be used for expenses like textbooks, tuition, fees, and room and board.

P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

College grants for women are also available through P.E.O. who offers one-time need based grants to women completing a degree or certification needed to improve or gain skills that lead to employment. Recipients of the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education must be citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States or Canada and the maximum grant is $3,000.

Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award

Annually, Soroptimist distributes over $2.8 million in education awards to around 1,700 women from around the world, more than half of which are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking, or sexual assault. Recipients of the Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award have overcome obstacles such as poverty, teen pregnancy, and drug or alcohol addiction.

The award is intended to help recipients offset costs associated with attaining a higher education. This includes costs like textbooks, childcare, tuition, and transportation.

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Scholarship for Moms

Moms are in luck! There are specific scholarships for moms available. Mothers can apply for the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Scholarship for Moms . Scholarship award availability and amounts can vary, but for reference, in 2020 the Patsy Mink Foundation offered five Education Support Awards at amounts of up to $5,000 per recipient in order to assist low-income women with children in pursuing higher education or training.

Managing Student Loan Debt that Scholarships Didn’t Cover

Hopefully there are some appealing gift aid options on this list that can help pay for higher education expenses! But even with the help of scholarships and grants, paying for college in full before graduation day can be challenging. Women with a lot of student loan debt may want to consider their student loan refinancing options to help lighten their load.

When a borrower refinances their student loans, they are taking out a new loan with a new interest rate and/or a new term. Ideally the new interest rate will be lower, making it easier and more affordable to pay off student loan debt.

It’s possible to refinance both federal and private student loans through SoFi student loan refinancing. Refinancing can be a good option for graduates who are struggling to pay down high-interest unsubsidized Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS loans, and/or private loans.

While there are some great benefits associated with refinancing student loans, it is worth noting that when a student refinances a federal loan into a private one, they lose access to certain federal protections such as public service forgiveness and economic hardship programs.

The Takeaway

Scholarships can be supremely helpful for students trying to pay for college. There are a variety of scholarships available specifically for women. In addition to the scholarships listed above, there may be opportunities available for women at a local level or, or at the college or university the student attends. Check the school’s financial aid website.

There are also online databases that can help students find scholarships to apply for.

Sometimes, paying for school entirely with scholarships isn’t possible. Students who borrowed student loans may be interested in refinancing them if they’re able to qualify for a lower interest rate or more competitive terms.

Learn more about potential refinancing rates today.



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