Historically, women have had to fight for their right to a college education. Fast forward to today, women are at the forefront of education, slaying their career goals. Still, higher education isn’t cheap. This is why government agencies and educational institutions seek to help women afford a college degree through scholarships and grants for women. In this article, we’ll discuss financial aid for women.
Does FAFSA Help Women?
Yes, FAFSA helps women by providing financial assistance to offset college costs. One of the types of grants available to women is the Pell Grant, which is need-based. Eligibility requirements for Pell Grants do not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, or age.
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How to Find Financial Aid for Women
- Government assistance. Apart from the Pell Grant, you can apply for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), a need-based grant for undergraduate students. You should also check out federal work-study programs and federal student loans.
- Grants for STEM-related programs. Women are underrepresented in STEM fields. To encourage more women to enroll in STEM-related programs, educational grants and scholarships for women in STEM are widely available. Female students seeking a professional career in STEM can choose from among many merit-based scholarships and opportunities for need-based financial aid.
- Parent scholarships and grants for disadvantaged women. Some scholarships support women who are attending school while also handling child care. Some grants award scholarships to single mothers. Meanwhile, the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund supports low-income women aged 35 and older.
- Apply for fellowships for women. If you are pursuing a graduate degree, applying for a fellowship award for women may give you access to education grants. Compared to scholarships, fellowship program applications are more intensive and provide better funding. However, they often have stricter application requirements and involve internships or research work.
- Attend women’s colleges. There are many women’s colleges that produce strong women equipped with leadership qualities. Many women’s colleges also have grant programs for students. If you attend a women’s college, you get not only a college degree but also a network of alumni who can help you in your career.
Financial Aid: The Best Scholarships and Grants for Women
|Scholarship or Grant Name||Provider||Amount|
|American Association of University Women (AAUW) Grants||American Association of University Women (AAUW)||Varies|
|Deborah Jean Rydberg Memorial Scholarship||Community Foundation of Northern Illinois||Varies|
|Illustrating Awesomeness Scholarship||Next Day Animations||$750|
|Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund||Jeannette Rankin Foundation||$2,000|
|Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation||Patsy Mink Foundation||$5,000|
|Professional BusinessWomen of California Scholarship||Professional BusinessWomen of California||Up to $15,000|
|Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards||Soroptimist||Up to $10,000|
|SWE Scholarship Program||Society of Women Engineers||Varies|
|Women Techmakers Scholars Program||$10,000|
|Women’s Independence Scholarship Program||Women’s Independence Scholarship Program, Inc||Up to $6,000|
The Best Financial Aid Resources for Women
In addition to federal student aid, there are many private academic scholarships for women who are or will be pursuing post-secondary education. Some are exclusive to fields of study, while others are through fellowships and non-profit organizations, especially for women pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree. Below are 10 scholarships and grants for women.
American Association of University Women (AAUW) Grants | American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Association of University Women provides many scholarships, grants, and awards to eligible women. Women who are looking to advance their careers can apply for career grants. International students can avail themselves of the international fellowship and international project grants. Grants are also available to women pursuing STEM careers.
Deborah Jean Rydberg Memorial Scholarship | Community Foundation of Northern Illinois
The Deborah Jean Rydberg Memorial Scholarship helps female high school seniors of Guilford High School who are pursuing higher education. An incoming undergraduate student involved in athletics can qualify as long as she has a minimum GPA of 2.3. You can submit a recommendation letter from a coach to help boost your chances in the application process.
Illustrating Awesomeness Scholarship | Next Day Animations
Next Day Animations offers scholarships to women and gender non-conformists of color who want to change the world. To qualify, you must be enrolled in a college or university. High school seniors will not be considered. You must submit a 500-word essay or a five-minute video explaining who you are and how you are going to change the world.
Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund | Jeannette Rankin Foundation
Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund gives scholarship funds to low-income women aged 35 and older. It doesn’t matter if you previously paused your education or feel that you’re late in pursuing a college education. Eligible students include those who plan to pursue technical or vocational education, an associate degree, or a first bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution.
Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation | Patsy Mink Foundation
Young mothers with limited income can apply to the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation and secure $5,000 per year to finance the cost of tuition for their college education. You must be at least 17 years old and be a mother of minor children. The award is need-based, and eligibility is based on financial need, personal circumstances, educational path, and professional goals.
Professional BusinessWomen of California Scholarship | Professional BusinessWomen of California
Professional BusinessWomen of California scholarship caters to female high school seniors in California. Those who qualify will have a chance to go to the PBWC annual conference. The scholarship funds will be sent directly to the school in which you are enrolled in an undergraduate program.
Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards | Soroptimist
Women will have a chance to further their education through the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards. Among other eligibility requirements, you must be the primary provider of financial support for yourself and your family, and you must be enrolled in a vocational or undergraduate degree program. The application deadline is November 15.
SWE Scholarship Program | Society of Women Engineers
The SWE Scholarship Program helps women attend programs in engineering, computer science, and other technical fields. The program is available to female undergraduate and graduate students. To qualify, you must attend a school with an ABET-accredited program and maintain a 3.5 GPA as a first-year student and a 3.0 GPA as a sophomore and beyond.
Women Techmakers Scholars Program (formerly Anita Borg Memorial Scholarships) | Google
Women Techmakers Scholars Program remembers Dr. Anita Borg, one of the most fearless women in technology history, through its scholarships. You must be enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited institution and be pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field.
Women’s Independence Scholarship Program | Women’s Independence Scholarship Program, Inc
Survivors of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse can qualify for the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program. To qualify, you must have been separated from your abuser for a minimum of one year but not more than seven years. You must also have asked for help from a nonprofit organization for survivors for a minimum of six consecutive months.
Schools That Offer Financial Aid for Women
Barnard College, located in New York City, is one of the most prestigious women’s colleges in the US. It offers courses in liberal arts, STEM, and performance and design. Barnard accepts federal student aid and offers access to programs. Barnard’s Science Pathways Scholars Program caters to underrepresented minority students in the sciences.
Mary Baldwin College
Mary Baldwin College offers a rich scholarship program to its students. It accepts federal student aid and private scholarships from various organizations. Students who require financial aid for their college education are matched with scholarships and grants that meet their needs.
Mount Holyoke College
Mount Holyoke accepts federal financial aid and offers merit-based scholarships to its students. To be eligible, you must have an outstanding record of high school academic achievement and have demonstrated leadership skills. Mount Holyoke offers merit scholarships for academic excellence and Leadership and Global Perspective awards.
Texas Woman’s University
In addition to the federal student aid available to most US residents, prospective students of Texas Woman’s University will have access to the TWU Scholarship System, which has several scholarships and grants available to incoming and current students.
Senior high school students who will be entering Wellesley College can choose to apply for federal student aid and other scholarships offered by the school. Wellesley commits to being accessible to all and therefore offers a variety of scholarships that students can take advantage of.
Should You Apply for Financial Aid for Women?
Yes, you should apply for financial aid for women if you are a woman pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. If you’re applying for graduate programs, academic scholarships and grants through fellowships can be very beneficial. Some fellowships also offer research grants and work-study options.
Financial Aid for Women FAQ
No, there are no Ivy League women’s colleges. However, the nicknamed Seven Sisters are regarded as the unofficial Ivy League of women’s colleges in the US. These are Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Radcliffe College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College.
The most beneficial financial aid comes in the form of scholarships and grants, particularly from the state or federal government. You can typically receive more funding through these options, and there is no repayment required.
There are so many scholarship opportunities for female students because women are underrepresented in many fields, especially in technology. Scholarship opportunities for women help widen their access to male-dominated fields such as engineering, computer science, and business. They help to close the gender gap and promote equity for women.
The maximum amount that FAFSA gives is full tuition coverage. Note that the amount you receive will be determined by different factors such as cost of attendance, your expected family contribution, student status, and income. Still, qualifying students can receive full funding and extra money deposited directly into their bank accounts.
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