Scholarship Opportunities for Women

Last updated: November 06, 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.

Sara Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2022

Eligible applicants include graduating female high school seniors who have demonstrated involvement in the sport of golf.

BHW Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: April 15, 2022

This scholarship is for women pursuing an undergraduate or master's degree and majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

1,000 Dreams Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 2, 2022

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

Virginia Heinlein Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $4,000

Deadline: April 1, 2022

Candidates must be undergraduate female students enrolled in an accredited four year institution and majoring in math, engineering, biological or physical sciences, or science fiction as literature. Candidates may be the residents of any country.

Southern Automotive Women's Forum Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 20, 2022

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.

Re-entry Women Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 15, 2022

This scholarship is applicable for females only with high school graduate or GED without a bachelor's degree or AA/AS degree. The applicant must be living or attending a school in north San Diego county, including the northern part of the city of San Diego.

Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: January 31, 2022

This award will recognize two minority females that are pursuing a full time bachelor's degree and participating in golf at an accredited university. Students must demonstrate academic achievement and community service for consideration

Marilynn Smith Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: January 31, 2022

Eligible applicants are high school seniors who have played golf in her community or for her high school golf. Candidates need to be planning to play golf at an accredited U.S. institution.

Society of Women Engineers Brill Family Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 2, 2022

The SWE Scholarship program offers scholarship opportunities for women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or above to qualify. Only women are eligible for this program, and you must be enrolled full-time.

Kappa Kappa Gamma Scholarships

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: February 1, 2022

Initiated members of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority are eligible to apply for awards toward an undergraduate or graduate education. Students should have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Inc.

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 31, 2022

Grants are available to fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, visual artists and mixed-genre categories (illustration and text) to feminist women in the arts. Two application periods are available each year.

Seeds of Fortune Inc. Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: January 31, 2022

All female high school juniors and seniors have the opportunity to enter a college support program and join a network of young women mentors and college coaches. Each participant is awarded with tours to colleges and universities and mentor/coaching opportunities.

Women's Independence Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 1, 2022

Applicants must be women who are survivors of intimate partner abuse, and must be separated from their abuser a minimum of one year but not more than seven years.

Journalism Education Association

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: July 15, 2022

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