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.

Southern Automotive Women's Forum Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 9, 2021

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.

HORIZONS Foundation Scholarship

Amount: varies

Deadline: March 15, 2021

Applicant must be a graduate or undergraduate female currently enrolled at an accredited university or college, either full-time or part- time (must be at least at junior level status). Must have an interest in pursuing a career related to national security or defense and have a minimum of a 3.25 GPA.

Toptal Scholarships

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: March 31, 2021

Toptal is supporting future female leaders (CEOs, founders, world leaders who want to change the world) by offering a $10,000 scholarship and one year of mentorship.

1,000 Dreams Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 1, 2021

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: $2,500

Deadline: April 1, 2021

Candidates must be undergraduate 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.

BHW Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: April 15, 2021

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

Sara Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2021

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

Central California Asian Pacific Women (CCAPW) Scholarships

Amount: varies

Deadline: April 30, 2021

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.

Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship

Amount: varies

Deadline: May 1, 2021

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.

Women Forward in Technology

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: June 17, 2021

The Minority Corporate Counsel Association awards one student this non-renewable scholarship to a student in their first year of law school. Students can register on the scholarship website to learn more about specific eligibility requirements.

Journalism Education Association

Amount: $1,000

Deadline:

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