Scholarship Opportunities for Women

Last updated: April 23, 2019

In 1960, women made up almost 38 percent of the college enrollment. Today, female students outnumber their male counterparts (at 56 percent), and are projected to outpace male enrollment growth into 2026, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Since women represent over half of enrollment and the cost of higher education is at an all time high, the need for financial assistance is a familiar concept for millions. Fortunately there are thousands of scholarships and fellowships catered to women, so the cost of college shouldn’t deter anyone from earning an undergraduate or graduate degree.

To learn more about how you can pay for college, follow this guide and use our interactive tool to sort through the scholarship opportunities for women that you qualify for. But first, let’s not forget how far women have come since the 19th century beginning with the first coeducational college in the U.S., Oberlin College.

Evolution of Women & Education

Scholarships and student loans impact the success of American female leaders who have contributed to technological and medical advances, economic progress, the prosperity of our country and more. The former First Lady, Michelle Obama, partly attributes her success to the help of scholarships and financial aid, based on a speech given by former President Barack Obama:

“Michelle and I, we're only where we are today because scholarships and student loans gave us a shot at a great education. 
— Barack Obama, 44th U.S. President

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from, there are many opportunities available to help you pay for college—find the combination that works best for you.

 

How to Pay for College

1

Scholarships

There are hundreds of scholarships for women, which are awarded by local organizations, private companies, societies and more.

 
2

Grants

Grants don’t need to be paid back and are based on your financial circumstances. They are usually funded by the federal government, your state or college.

 
3

Fellowships

While scholarships usually fund tuition, fellowships typically cover graduate study, research projects and abroad experiences without needing to be paid back.

 
4

Student Loans

You can borrow money from the government or a bank, but it needs to be paid back with interest. The federal government offers many loan options—fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for financial aid. If you need help, use our interactive guide to learn how to answer every question.

 
5

Federal Work-Study Program

Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay education expenses.

 
 

If you’re just beginning the process of finding suitable scholarships, make sure you’re prepared for the application process by starting a folder with the assets below.

Scholarship Application Preparation

Not all scholarships are based off of your GPA, but most need to verify your high school education to qualify. Try to get certified copies of your transcript early, so you have plenty of time to meet the deadline.
Although there are scholarship opportunities that aren’t merit-based, it’s valuable to take the SAT or ACT standardized tests in case it’s a scholarship qualification.
Your scholarship essay is what will bring attention to your application out of the pool of applicants. That’s why it’s important to craft a stand out piece that attests to your experience, adheres to the scholarship guidelines and most importantly, highlights your true personality.
Letters of recommendation are a true judgement of your character—something that can’t be revealed through your test scores or transcript. Reach out to former teachers, counselors or bosses, so that they can speak to your qualifications. You may also want to provide them with a resume that outlines your achievements and goals as well.
 
Whether you’re the valedictorian or have earned average grades, there are hundreds of scholarships to choose from. Below are a few types of scholarships you can look for.

Scholarships for Women

Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to sort by your intended major, award amount or if you’re looking for need-based aid. Click the box for a larger view.

1,000 Dreams Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: November 1, 2019

Qualified applicants are women currently attend high school or a two or four year college institution. Financial need must be demonstrated.

Admiral Grace Murray Hopper Memorial Scholarships

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: May 1, 2020

This scholarship is available to incoming female freshmen who are majoring in computer science or computer engineering. Applicant must have a minimum 3.5 GPA.

Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship

Amount: varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

This scholarship is for LGBTQ women who are graduating high school seniors enrolled in a higher education institution, undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants must show their commitment to making the world a better place, have a history of academic excellence, and be involved in their communities.

The Westerly College Club Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 31, 2019

The Westerly College Club is promoting fellowship among women in the Westerly area with a Bachelor's degree to make worthwhile contributions to the cultural and civic life of the community, and to award scholarships to applicants who meet the criteria established by its members. Scholarships are not eligible for Associates degree or Graduate degree.

National Pathfinder Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Eligible candidates are female undergraduate sophomores, juniors, seniors or graduate students. Established in 1985, the National Pathfinder Scholarship Fund was formed in honor of First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Betty Rendel Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Candidates must be female undergraduate students pursuing an undergraduate degree in government, economics or political science with two years of coursework successfully completed.

Southern Automotive Women's Forum Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Candidates are those enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate institution in the Southern states of Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Students must be women pursuing a degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) or the automotive field.

Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Amount: $250

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Applicants must apply during their senior year of high school and must be active as a Daughters of Union Veterans for a minimum of two years. Applicants will submit their grades along with information about their extracurricular activities.

Beverly Lockridge '62 Endowed Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Applicant must be enrolled in the Harrison School of Pharmacy. Preference given to female students who are residents of Birmingham, Alabama.

The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation: Advancement of Women in Sports & Entertainment Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: June 14, 2019

Applicant must be female undergraduate or graduate students with at least a 2.75 GPA. Applicants must be majoring in Communication Studies, Marketing, Public Relations, Media Studies or Journalism with a desire to work in the entertainment or sports industry.

Women Forward in Technology

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: June 15, 2019

Applicants must be enrolled full-time at an accredited university in the U.S. in a STEM-related field. Students will be reviewed based on GPA, originality, creativity, and emotional impact.

Women in Aerospace Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: June 19, 2019

Awards are given to women pursuing a career in the aerospace field. Applicants must be juniors or seniors in high school and planning to attend an undergraduate institution in the upcoming academic year.

ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention, Inc. Academic Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: July 1, 2019

Applicants must be currently enrolled at a university or college recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Awards are granted to female students studying, or planning to study, the fields of engineering, mathematics, technology or science (excluding the social sciences).

Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: October 1, 2019

Awards are given to current female undergraduate candidates who excel in mathematics and are pursuing a career in mathematics. Candidates can be freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors at the time of their application.

Live Your Dream Scholarship

Amount: $3,000-$10,000

Deadline: November 15, 2019

This scholarship awards women pursuing a degree who also provide primary financial support for themselves and their dependents. Dependents can include children, spouse, partner, siblings and/or parents. Must demonstrate financial need, motivation towards career/goals and must be enrolled into an undergraduate/vocational program for consideration.

Hawai'i Community Foundation Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Hawaii Community Foundation is providing a wealth of financial support to qualified students throughout Hawaii. With over 250 scholarships, Hawaii students can surely find a scholarship that applies to them.

Howard G. Buffett Fund For Women Journalists

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 1, 2019

The Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists offers scholarship awards to aspiring women journalists. Application periods run twice per year. Current eligibility requirements can be found on the scholarship's website.

Journalism Education Association

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: July 15, 2019

The Journalism Education Association offers scholarships to those who desire to teach journalism. Students must be current undergraduate or graduate students.

WIIT Charitable Trust Scholarship Program

Amount: $1,500

Deadline:

Currently enrolled women of an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited U.S. educational institution can apply for this award. Applicants must meet the age requirements on the current application and show proven interest in international relations, international trade, international development, international business or international economics.

ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Grants are available to 10th and 11th graders in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The leadership fellowship allows young women to put their ideas into action.

Judy Wendland-Young College Scholarship

Amount: $20,000

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Applicants must be women 35 years old or older who have not previously attended an accredited university offering bachelor's degrees. Candidates must be admitted to an accredited institution offering bachelor's degrees.

Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

To first qualify for any award, candidates must participate in a Distinguished Young Women event. College-granted and cash tuition scholarships are available. See scholarship website for various details and application requirements.

Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Women who plan to attend or currently attend an accredited institution in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee are eligible to apply. The Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship Program funds annual awards for various institutions and degree programs. See the program's website for details and participating colleges.

Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards

Amount: Varies

Deadline: November 15, 2019

This scholarship is for women who are the primary financial support for themselves and their dependents (see scholarship website for dependent qualifications). Applicants must be accepted to or currently enrolled in a skills training, vocational training or undergraduate degree program.

S. Evelyn Lewis Memorial Medical Health Science Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Undergraduate and graduate women enrolled in a medical or health field are eligible to apply. Students do not need to be members of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

Presbyterian Women Leadership Development Grant Program

Amount: $500

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Women active in the U.S. Presbyterian Church who wish to develop their leadership skills are eligible to apply. Scholarships are granted to those who wish to further the mission of Presbyterian Women.

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Women of any age, pursuing an accredited business or business-related program who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field, are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Association for Women in Sports Media Scholarships

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: October 15, 2019

Scholarships are open to full-time female students who are pursuing a career in sports media. Eligible majors include public relations, writing, copy editing and broadcasting.

Isabel M. Herson Scholarship in Education

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Scholarships are available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a degree program for primary or secondary education. Students do not need to be members of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

Lullellia W. Harrison Counseling Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a degree program for counseling are eligible to apply. Students do not need to be Zeta Phi Beta Sorority members.

P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: January 1, 2020

The P.E.O. Program supports women whose education was interrupted. Candidates must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program and be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

Women's Independence Scholarship Program (WISP)

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Candidates are female survivors of intimate partner abuse who are now separated from their abuser who are in critical need of financial assistance. Applicants must accepted to or enrolled in a course of study at an accredited U.S. institution.

Seeds of Fortune Inc. Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: January 1, 2020

All female NYC high school sophomores or juniors have the opportunity to receive a 6 year high school to college program, and join a network of young women mentors and college coaches. Each participant is awarded a free laptop, tours to colleges and universities, and mentor/coaching opportunities.

WISE (Women in STEM Excel) Scholarship

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: June 28, 2019

Dr. Alexander Sobel created this scholarship to encourage and inspire women in Washington to pursue STEM fields. The scholarship is open to female Washington residents studying a STEM-related field and applicants must write an original essay as well as submit one letter of recommendation. For more information, visit their website.

Tobi Cares Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: December 31, 2019

Tobi aims to inspire young women to pursue higher education, leadership and personal style by offering a $3,000 scholarship and $200 Tobi.com store credit to one outstanding recipient. In order to be eligible, the applicant must be a woman enrolling or enrolled as an undergraduate student in the US and must submit a complete application, including essay questions. For more information click "Apply" below.