Scholarships are free money that can help fund an undergraduate or graduate degree. There are plenty of scholarships for women, including some with a purpose to encourage more females to pursue careers where they’re considered underrepresented, as well as scholarships to help them attend college.
Spending some time researching and applying for scholarships you may be eligible to receive could help you pay for college tuition.
What Types of Scholarships Are There for Women?
There are plenty of scholarships available for women, including scholarships for undergraduate students and scholarships for graduate students.
Scholarships may be need-based or merit-based awards. Each one will have specific qualifying and application requirements. Scholarships, essentially, can be like finding free money for college.
For instance, need-based scholarships generally require applicants to exhibit financial need. Merit-based scholarships may be determined based on skills, abilities, or a student’s GPA, test scores, or the type of field they are looking to pursue.
Some scholarships may also be location-based, such as those for residents of certain states or for specific schools.
Are There Scholarships for Women in STEM?
There are many scholarships for women who are pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 29% of all STEM workers are women, with math, engineering and computer-related jobs being the least represented.
Government organizations, industry associations, and even technology companies offer industry-specific scholarships (we’ll talk more about some of them below). For instance, companies like Google or associations such as the Society for Women Engineers (SWE) offer scholarships for women.
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Popular Scholarships For Women
Below are 10 scholarships available exclusively to women that could help you avoid taking on too much student loan debt:
Associated Women for Pepperdine (AWP) Scholarship
Scholarship amount: $5,000
Application Deadline: February 15
The AWP is one of the largest women’s groups awarding scholarships for female Christian students. There are several awards up for grabs, and scholarships can be renewed. To qualify, applicants need to be students at Pepperdine University, current and active members of the Church of Christ, submit a letter of recommendation from a leader of the Church of Christ, and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) application.
Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship
Scholarship amount: $1,000
Application Deadline: February 23
The Cox Scholarship aims to encourage women to pursue professions related to the statistics field. There are two scholarships, one for a female early on in their graduate career, and the other for a woman at a more advanced level. Applicants need to be permanent residents or citizens in the U.S. or Canada and be admitted to a full-time graduate statistics program of the year the scholarship is awarded.
Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund
Scholarship amount: Varies
Application Deadline: February 17 (Note that the 2023-2024 application cycle for this scholarship is closed. Applications for 2024 will open in late 2023.)
This scholarship is for women age 35 or older who are considered low-income and enrolling into a not-for-profit accredited educational institution. Women can pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, or technical or vocational education. To apply, applicants need to demonstrate financial need and answer questions based on their academic and career goals.
American Association of University Women (AAUW) Selected Professions Fellowships
Scholarship amount: $20,000
Application Deadline: December 1
The AAUW awards multiple scholarships, and the Selected Professions Fellowships is one of them.
Women may apply if they intend on pursuing full-time studies at an accredited U.S. institution in a field where women have had historically low enrollment. For instance, scholarships are awarded for women pursuing degrees in STEM and engineering.
Eligibility criteria include women who can prove they have shown promise of high academic excellence and distinction.
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American Indian Services (AIS) Scholarship
Scholarship amount: $500-$2,000
Application Deadline: February 1 to November 1 (Depending on when the applicant’s classes start)
The AIS scholarship aims to help Native American students enrolling in an accredited institution pursue higher education. Awards are given on a quarterly basis, though you’ll only need to apply once per year.
Eligibility requirements include being at least one-quarter of an enrolled member, or descendant of an enrolled member of a U.S. Federally Recognized Native American Tribe, enrolled at least half-time, and completed the FAFSA. This award is currently only available to undergraduate students.
Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting Scholarships
Scholarship amount: Varies
Application Deadline: Varies (most end April 30)
The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting offers multiple scholarship opportunities for women pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate degrees in accounting. Applicants may apply to more than one scholarship excluding the Women in Transition and Women in Need awards, of which students can only apply to one.
Eligibility criteria varies, though most will require applicants to provide transcripts, demonstrate financial need, and prove they’re committed to working in the accounting field.
Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
Scholarship amount: $5,000
Application Deadline: April to June
Women who are pursuing a business program in qualifying fields and living or studying in an area where Zonta International is active can apply for this scholarship. There are 37 awards for $5,000. Applicants also need to be enrolled in the final year of a Master’s program or at least the second year of their undergraduate degree.
American Nephrology Nurses Association Career Mobility Scholarships
Scholarship amount: $3,000 to $5,000
Application Deadline: November 30
The American Nephrology Nurses Association, or ANNA, offers a few scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 designed to support qualifying members who are pursuing an advanced or BSN degree in nursing. Qualifying criteria includes being a current full ANNA member for at least two years, enrolled or accepted into a qualifying nursing program, and a 250-word essay outlining the potential impact of the scholarship.
Chicana Latina Foundation Scholarships
Scholarship amount: $1,500
Application Deadline: The next application cycle will open on January 1, 2024
Self-identifying Chicana or Latina college students living in qualifying California counties can apply for a $1,500 scholarship. They need to be students attending an accredited community college, college, or university full-time and meet certain academic requirements. Plus, they’ll need to attend the Chicana Latina Foundation (CLF) Leadership Institute and CLF Annual Awards Dinner if selected for a scholarship.
To apply for this scholarship, applicants will be required to submit two letters of recommendation, one of which needs to be from a counselor or professor.
Undergraduate students need to submit unofficial or official transcripts from their current degrees and one letter of recommendation. Graduate students will also need to submit a resume or CV in addition to providing a transcript and letter of recommendation.
The Women In Aerospace Foundation Scholarship
Scholarship amount: $2,000-$5,000
Application Deadline: June 13
The Women In Aerospace Foundation aims to promote careers in the aerospace field — this scholarship program is one of the ways it does so. The organization awards five merit-based awards to women who are rising juniors and seniors working for a bachelor’s degree in engineering, math, or science.
To qualify, applicants need to be currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university, plan to enroll the next academic year and complete a minimum of 2.5 academic years of full-time college. Applicants also need to have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.
Applying for one of the many scholarships for women can be a smart tactic if you’re trying to figure out how to pay for your college education. In addition to the scholarships listed here, there are a variety of other opportunities — many scholarships go unclaimed because they don’t receive enough applications. It doesn’t hurt to submit an application since the worst they’ll say is “no”, and the benefits are well worth it.
There are other ways to help cover the cost of college, as well, and you’ll likely want to explore your options to see what makes the most sense for your situation.
Looking to lower your monthly student loan payment? Refinancing may be one way to do it — by extending your loan term, getting a lower interest rate than what you currently have, or both. (Please note that refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal forgiveness and protections. Also, lengthening your loan term may mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan.) SoFi student loan refinancing offers flexible terms that fit your budget.
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