Scholarship Opportunities for Women

Last updated: September 21, 2018

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.

Society of Women Engineers Brill Family Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: February 15, 2019

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.

Re-entry Women Scholarship

Amount: $1,800

Deadline: March 1, 2019

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.

The R.L. Gillette, Gladys C. Anderson, and Karen D. Carsel Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $3,500

Deadline: April 1, 2019

The scholarship is applicable for given a female undergraduate student studying music. All applicants must be U.S. citizens or naturalized citizens. In addition to the general requirements, applicants must submit a music performance in a digital audio format such as MP3, WAV, or OGG.

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.

Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarship

Amount: $1,250

Deadline: February 28, 2019

This award will recognize one African American female that's 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

AWIS Kirsten R. Lorentzen Award

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: March 15, 2019

This merit-based scholarship program wants to encourage undergraduate female students who are majoring in physics, including space physics and geophysics, or geoscience. Interested applicants must be undergraduate members of the SPS national organization and intend to continue scholastic development in physics.

Aysen Tunca Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: March 15, 2019

This merit-based scholarship program wants to encourage undergraduate female students who are majoring in STEM fields. Interested applicants must be US citizens and members of the SPS national organization. While awarding this scholarship, preference will be given to a student with a disadvantaged economic background or someone who overcame significant obstacles in her life or someone who is the first person in her family to go to college or major in a STEM field.

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) Underrepresented Student Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: March 15, 2019

The scholarship wants to encourage the study of physics among the groups that are underrepresented in science and engineering. U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are undergraduate student members of the SPS national organization are eligible to apply. The program awards students who are majoring in physics or a related science and intend for continued scholastic development in physics in future.

WSCGA Foundation Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 15, 2019

The WSCGA Foundation wants to support the athletic dreams of young golfers through scholarship awards. The applicant must have completed high school, be a female Golfer and be a Southern California resident. The awards are allocated on merit basis.

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.

Betty Hansen Continuing Education/Cultural-Heritage Grant

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 1, 2019

Candidates must be enrolled at least part-time at an educational, accredited or approved school, or be in a workshop, course or seminar, or language class relating to Danish heritage or culture. This scholarship is awarded to women by the Danish Sisterhood of America.

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.

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.

Toptal Scholarships

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: March 31, 2019

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.