The number of women attending college have increased steadily throughout the last several decades. However, once out of college, women in the United States still face a pay gap. They make about 80% of the salary of their male colleagues. Yet, they face the same college debt as male students, so paying for college after graduation is tough.
Many organizations and groups recognize the uphill battle female students face. With that in mind, here are 10 unique opportunities for women to get help in paying for college.
1. For women over 35
The Jeannette Rankin Foundation
This $1,500 grant helps women who are 35 and over pay for vocational and technical education and associate’s and bachelor's degrees. The awards go to women who qualify as low-income based on the foundation’s guidelines. Check out their website for more info and to apply.
2. For minority women in the sciences
Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG)
The AWG Minority Scholarship is open to women pursuing an undergraduate degree in geosciences (including geology, meteorology, earth science, etc.) who are African-American, Hispanic, or Native-American. Along with the $6,000 award, the AWG partners with the winner with a mentor in their field of study. Find out more here.
3. For female domestic abuse survivors
Sunshine Lady Foundation
Female domestic abuse survivors are eligible for financial aid through the foundation’s Women’s Independence Scholarship Program. Awards have ranged from $250-$2,000 and are earmarked for women who’ve sought services from programs and agencies that provide services to survivors of partner abuse. The qualifications are listed on their website.
4. Women helping women
Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.)
P.E.O. was founded as a way to celebrate and motivate women through supporting education attainment. Their Star Scholarship offers $2,500 to female students who are recommended by their local P.E.O. chapter, excel in leadership, academics, and community service, and have between a 3.0 and 4.0 GPA. Read all the requirements here.
5. For women in accounting
Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
The IMA gives out two $2,000 awards to women who are working towards a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In addition to the awards, the women will receive a complimentary IMA membership, and the organization will pay for the fees for the CMA exam and registration. Read more and apply on the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting site.
6. For researchers and academics
The American Association of University Women (AAUW)
The AAUW offers funding for dissertations and research for female students who are completing dissertations, planning research leave, or preparing research for publication. The fellowship awards range from $6,000-$30,000 depending on the quality and design of the project and the commitment of recipients to help girls and women through service and professional work. More details, as well as descriptions of other awards, are on their website.
7. For businesswomen
The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship was founded to encourage women to pursue education and careers in business. There are 32 awards of $2,000 given out for US students each year. The application is open to eligible women of any age.
8. California women helping locally
The Go Girl! Grant gives educational grants and emotional support to women in the Coachella Valley who seek opportunities to better their lives through higher education. The grants range in size, with $500,000 total being awarded since 2006. Applicants must be at least 25 years old, have a financial need, and have thought about how their educational path will lead to a career. Here’s the info on this grant.
9. For low-income mothers
Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation
Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first woman of color to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Since 2003, her foundation has focused on assisting women. They offer five awards of up to $5,000 each to low-income mothers pursuing vocational training or a college degree. Apply for the award on the foundation’s website.
10. For soldiers and their dependents
Army Women’s Foundation
The Arm Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program awards money for college to women soldiers past and present. This means that descendants of women soldiers are also eligible. The program offers up to $1,000 for community college and certification programs and up to $2,500 for college, university, and graduate programs. To see if you or a family member qualifies, check out the award here.