Scholarship Opportunities for Women

Last updated: March 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.

Women Lead Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

This award seeks female students with diverse backgrounds of race, ethnicity or faith, with demonstrated leadership and faith-inspired passion. Students must demonstrate financial need and be enrolled in an accredited university for consideration.

Institute of Management Accountants IMA

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

Women working towards a bachelor's degree in accounting will be considered for this award that will cover one $1,000 undergraduate scholarship, among free CMA exam fees and registration.

Women in Need Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

This scholarship is for a woman who is the primary source of income for her family and completing her sophomore year of her bachelor's degree in accounting. The award amount of $2,000 per year for two years will be renewed with evidence of a 3.0 GPA.

Women in Transition Scholarship

Amount: up to $16,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

Women who are the primary source of support for their families enrolling as a freshman to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. The Board of Trustees renew this scholarship annually with evidence of maintained 3.0 GPA.

Rhonda J. B. O'Leary Memorial

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

One woman demonstrating aptitude in accounting and business will be selected for this scholarship. Undergraduate and graduate students may apply. Must be a U.S. citizen demonstrating financial need for consideration.

EFWA Institute of Management Accountants IMA

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

To be eligible, candidates must be the primary support for her family, and pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting. She must be in her completing her sophomore year of studies.

EFWA Women In Need

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

Undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting may apply for this women's scholarship awarded by the EFWA. In addition to scholarship money, award recipients receive a complementary IMA membership and assistance with CMA exam fees.

EFWA Women In Transition

Amount: $16,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

Applicants must be the primary source of support for her family, enrolling as a freshman for the next academic year. The student must be pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Marilynn Smith Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

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.

WomenLead Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

Awards are granted to women who offer diverse leadership in nonprofits, ministry and public service. Women who lead through bold action, innovation and faith-inspired passion are given preference. For specific educational details, please visit the website.

Irene Adler Prize

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

Eligible candidates are women entering or continuing their pursuit of a bachelor's, master's or PhD degree in creative writing, journalism or literature at an accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada. A short essay is required along with an application.

Michele L. McDonald Memorial

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

This annual scholarship will be awarded to one woman returning to college from the workforce after raising children, with the intention of receiving a degree in accounting. Must be a U.S. citizen demonstrating financial need to apply.

Moss Adams Foundation

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

The Moss Adams Foundation is available to minority women, or women returning to school to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting. Must demonstrate clear evidence persistence towards personal and professional goals.

Sara Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2019

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

Admiral Grace Murray Hopper Memorial Scholarships

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: May 1, 2019

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.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

Amount: $1,000-$15,000

Deadline: May 1, 2019

The SWE Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to women pursuing a degree in engineering, technology or computer science at an ABET-accredited university. Students who are re-entering college after two or more years, part-time students and full-time students are eligible to apply.

Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association Scholarship

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: May 1, 2019

Awards are intended to support relatives of Army Service Women. Applicants should be high school seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Emerging Voices Scholarship

Amount: $2,000-$3,000

Deadline: May 3, 2019

Ford Motor Company Fund supports female graduate students receive funding towards their degree in journalism and media studies. This scholarship includes the opportunity to contribute content to the AWMF website and attendance at the “Women In” event at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference.

ARFORA Undergraduate Scholarship for Women

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: May 10, 2019

Applicants must have successfully completed the first year of study at an accredited college or university with enrollment set for the upcoming year. To qualify, students must be a female voting member of a parish of The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America.

Fresh Start Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 15, 2019

Applicant must be a female Delaware resident or have worked in Delaware for the last two months. Must be at least 20 years old and had at least a two year break in education either after completing high school or during post-secondary (college) studies. Must have been admitted to an accredited Delaware college in a two or four year degree program at the undergraduate level.

Deblinger Family Scholarship

Amount: up to $10,000

Deadline: May 17, 2019

The Deblinger Family Scholarship Fund assists low-income, single mothers who are primary head of the household return to college. This award is available to residents in various counties but preferably residents of Oakland, San Jose, Watsonville and Palo Alto. Students who demonstrate strong academics, goal orientation and persistence towards completing degree program will be strongly considered.

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.

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.

Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 20, 2019

The Audre Lorde Scholarship is funded by the National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging. This award is available to an out black lesbian or a lesbian of color who is 40 years or older. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Applicants must write a 2-3 page essay to apply, answering 2 of 5 essay questions on the application website.

Central California Asian Pacific Women (CCAPW) Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: April 30, 2019

The Central California Asian Pacific Women Scholarships provide financial assistance to Asian and Pacific Islander women who reside and/or grew up in Fresno, Kings, Madera, Merced, and Tulare Counties. Academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and financial need will also be considered.