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The Future is Female: A Guide to College Scholarships for Women

The Future is Female: A Guide to College Scholarships for Women

Did you know there’s a whole host of scholarships designed specifically to help women achieve their educational goals? That’s right, and this guide is a great place to get started. Apply for one (or more!) of these fantastic scholarship opportunities.

Women outnumber men in almost every college program, which means the struggle to avoid student loan debt disproportionately affects women as well. According to the Deeper in Debt report from the American Association of University Women, one year after college women spend an average of $920 per month on housing, $396 per month on a car loan and, for the 16% of women who are moms, $520 per month on childcare. Women average $31,276 in student loan debt, which means a monthly payment of $307. That student loan payment—on top of the other daily living expenses—can make it difficult to stretch a paycheck far enough to cover basic expenses.

While women have been leading the way in earning college degrees for quite some time, sobering statistics such as these could bring this progress to a screeching halt. Fortunately, in addition to financial aid, various scholarships are offered exclusively to female students. This guide will help you find the best options. 

50 Scholarships for Women

For women searching for college funding, there’s a wide array of scholarships and grants available. These options include everything from general scholarships for women to more specific options such as scholarships focused on STEM, minorities, mothers, and more. Since all scholarships have unique rules and restrictions, ensure you’re eligible before applying. To determine whether you qualify for a scholarship listed below, read the description and eligibility requirements and click the links for more information.

  • General Scholarships for Women

    Be the Boss Scholarship

    • Amount: $2,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to any female high school or college student interested in starting an online business. 
    • Deadlines: March 15, September 15

    Chevron Dinah Shore Scholarship

    • Amount: $2,500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female high school seniors seeking a college education. Must be passionate about golf but not planning to play in college. Scholarship can be renewed for four years for a total of $10,000.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    CLAES Nobel Future Female Leader Scholarship

    • Amount: $1,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female high school students with a minimum GPA of 3.5. Must submit an essay to explain how earning a degree will help them lead in their chosen fields. Fifteen scholarships are awarded.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Fully Bloomed Scholarship

    • Amount: $500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to high school graduates from low-income homes (under $45,000 a year). Must be pursuing an undergraduate degree or a trade school certificate. 
    • Deadline: May 31

    Harriet Fitzgerald Scholarship for Women

    • Amount: $10,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women who are high achievers with demonstrated leadership skills and looking to reach their potential via a higher education at a women’s college. Applicants must be high school seniors or graduates with a GPA of 3.7 or higher. 
    • Deadline: February 1

    PEO Star Scholarship

    • Amount: $2,500
    • Description & Eligibility: Applicants must demonstrate excellence in scholarship, community service, leadership, extracurricular activities, and future success. Must have a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, be under 20 years of age, and be in the final academic year of secondary education. 
    • Deadline: October 15

    WIRE Jenny Ballard Opportunity Scholarship

    • Amount: $2,500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women who graduated from high school but were unable to attend college. Must demonstrate financial need and have earned their diploma or GED within the past ten years. Must be a member/customer of a South Carolina electric cooperative and plan to attend an accredited South Carolina college or university.
    • Deadline: June 1

    Women Giving to Women Scholarship

    • Amount: Varies
    • Description & Eligibility: Available to Michigan women pursuing bachelor’s degrees. Must be currently enrolled in an accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA and have completed at least 45 semester hours. Must also be residents of Birch Run, Bridgeport-Spaulding, Frankenmuth, Millington, Reese, or Vassar school districts
    • Deadline: July 12

    The Women’s Empowerment Scholarship

    • Amount: $500
    • Description & Eligibility: Available for nontraditional female students who either haven’t had the opportunity to attend college or have an unfinished degree. Applicants must submit a one-page resume, PDF application, report card or transcript, and a one-page essay.
    • Deadline: April 1

    Worthy Women’s Scholarship

    • Amount: $2,500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women over the age of 30 enrolled in continuing education professional studies programs. Essay submission required. Runner-up scholarships of $1,500 and $1,000 will also be awarded.
    • Deadline: December 4
  • STEM Scholarships for Women

    BHW: Women in STEM Scholarship

    • Amount: $3,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women seeking undergraduate or master’s degrees in science, engineering, technology, or mathematics. International students are welcome. Essay required. 
    • Deadline: April 15

    Michigan Council of Women in Technology Scholarship

    • Amount: $5,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women/nonbinary students with the potential to forge a successful career in computer science. Applicants must be current Michigan residents, U.S. citizens, and enrolled at a Michigan university with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    OHM Advisors Diversity Scholarship

    • Amount: $1,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women/minority students enrolled or planning to enroll in a STEM program or a field related to the business of OHM Advisors. Priority is given to those located near an OHM Advisors location. 
    • Deadline: October 31

    Orangesoft Women in Technology Scholarship Program

    • Amount: $500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female college students pursuing degrees in STEM or other tech-related fields. Applicants must be enrolled or accepted at an accredited U.S. college or university. 
    • Deadline: November 15

    Paybotic Women in Technology & Finance Scholarship

    • Amount: $2,500
    • Description & Eligibility: Applicants must be women in undergraduate and graduate level programs. Must also be pursuing degrees in STEM-related fields. 
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Rossiter Family Scholarship on Behalf of William J. Rizzo, Jr.

    • Amount: $12,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women/racial or ethnic minority students presently enrolled in an ABET-accredited undergraduate or graduate program in civil or environmental engineering. Applicants must be residents of Massachusetts or attending college in the state.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    She Rose in STEAM Scholarship

    • Amount: $500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female BIPOC high school or undergraduate students with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA who are seeking degrees in STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, or Mathematics), medical illustration, medical journalism, or other related fields. Essay required. 
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    STEM to Flowers Scholarship

    • Amount: $500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to high school graduates or first-year college students seeking undergraduate degrees in STEM. Must be from low-income households making less than $45,000 a year.
    • Deadline: June 30

    The SWE Scholarship Program

    • Amount: Up to $16,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women studying at community college, baccalaureate, or graduate programs to prepare for careers in engineering, engineering technology, or other related fields. 
    • Deadline: Varies–February to March, depending on education level.

    Women of Color Tech Impact Scholarship

    • Amount: $10,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to high school seniors and undergraduate women of color who are completing a computing-related degree. Open to Canadian citizens and residents.
    • Deadlines: TBD 2024
  • Minority Scholarships for Women

    Bank of America Merrill Lynch Diversity Fellowship Program

    • Amount: $40,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women who are members of the BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ communities and are pursuing an MBA in business. Priority is given to those in investment banking or finance.
    • Deadline: June 30

    Chicana Latina Foundation Scholarship Program

    • Amount: $1,500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to powerful Latinas pursuing a variety of degrees who have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 for college courses. Must be enrolled in graduate/professional programs and working on a course/thesis/dissertation or accepted into graduate/professional school. 40-45 scholarships will be awarded.
    • Deadline:March 31

    The Dr. Jade Malay High Achiever Award

    • Amount: $1,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female high school seniors, college undergraduate students, and graduate students with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Must identify as a member of a minority group. International students are welcome to apply. 
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship

    • Amount: Varies
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female African American college sophomores or juniors. Must be a United States citizen with a 3.0 GPA or higher and majoring in journalism, economics, or a related field. 
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship

    • Amount: $10,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female student-athletes with an undergraduate minimum GPA 3.2 or equivalent. Applicants must be seeking graduate degrees in sports administration or a related graduate program allowing them to pursue a career in intercollegiate athletics. 26 scholarships will be granted—13 to ethnic minorities and 13 to women.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Geoscience IDEA Scholarship

    • Amount: Up to $5,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women from underserved communities who wish to pursue an education and career in the geosciences or earth sciences. Also includes a one-year, sponsored AWG student membership.
    • Deadline: June 30

    Judith McManus Price Scholarship

    • Amount: $2,000-$4,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women, people of color and Indigenous descent, veterans, disabled persons, and members of the LGBTQ who are in financial need and pursuing an urban planning graduate degree. 
    • Deadline: June 1

    Kynnedy Simone “I Am The Dream” Scholarship

    • Amount: $500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female African American high school seniors with a minimum GPA of 2.5 who plan to enroll in a two- or four-year undergraduate college program or trade/vocational program. Must have community service or volunteer experience. Must submit an essay. 
    • Deadline: April 15

    Wild Fish for All Scholarship

    • Amount: $1,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women, with special consideration for BIPOC women. Must be enrolled in a fisheries conservation program or a major with an academic focus on conservation, fisheries science, or policy and demonstrate passion for reviving abundant wild fish, thriving local communities, and free-flowing rivers in the Pacific Northwest.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Young Women’s Alliance Foundation Scholarship

    • Amount: $5,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Applicants must identify as a member of a minority group in Del Valle Independent School District, including LGBTQIA students; Black, Indigenous, and other students of color; first generation students; students with disabilities; and students from low-income families. Five scholarships will be granted for studies at an accredited trade-school program or two- or four-year college.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024
  • College Funding for Moms

    Chrysalis Scholarship

    • Amount: $2,000
    • Description & Eligibility: This grant is offered to girls who participated in a Chrysalis After-School program in grades 5-8 or served as a GirlPower Peer Mentor.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Custody X Change Single Parent Scholarship

    • Amount: $1,000 for traditional semesters; $500 for summer semesters
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to single parents who are full-time students at two- or four-year accredited institutions. Applicants must submit an essay explaining how a degree will improve their lives. 
    • Deadlines: April 30, August 31, December 31

    Ford Opportunity Scholarship

    • Amount: Up to $25,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to parents pursuing bachelor’s degrees and adult learners over the age of 25. Recipients must live in Oregon or Siskiyou County, California. Up to 96 renewable scholarships are awarded each year.
    • Deadline: March 1

    Helping Hands for Single Mothers

    • Amount: $3,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to low-income single mothers seeking college degrees. Must have a minimum GPA of 2.8 and reside in Maricopa County or the Phoenix metropolitan area.
    • Deadline: Rolling

    Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Award

    • Amount: Up to $5,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to low-income moms for help reducing educational costs. Applicants must be at least 17 years old and working toward a vocational training course or in pursuit of an associate or bachelor’s degree.
    • Deadline: August 1

    Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Single Mother Scholarship

    • Amount: $1,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to single mothers seeking to go back to school to improve their lives. Must submit an essay explaining how returning to school will change their circumstances. Two scholarships will be granted.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Soroptimist Live Your Dream Award

    • Amount: Up to $16,000
    • Description & Eligibility: This grant is offered to women who are the primary breadwinners for their families; family members can include children, spouses, partners, siblings, or parents. 
    • Deadline: November 15

    Washington-Nixon Nursing Scholarship for Single Mothers

    • Amount: Varies
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to single mothers who are enrolled in a bachelor of science in nursing program in the Houston, Texas, area. Must have a 3.0 GPA and demonstrate financial need. Essay submission required. 
    • Deadline: January 5

    Women in Transition Scholarship

    • Amount: $4,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female students who are breadwinners for their families and pursuing bachelor’s degrees in accounting. Scholarships are renewable for up to four years.
    • Deadline: April 30 

    Women’s Independence Scholarship Program

    • Amount: $6,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to female domestic abuse survivors who have been separated from abusers for at least one year but not more than ten and have a goal of achieving economic independence for themselves and their children.
    • Deadline: November 1
  • College Grants and Fellowships for Women

    AAUW American Fellowships

    • Amount: $8,000-$50,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offers financial support to women scholars engaged in full-time study to complete dissertations, conduct postdoctoral research full time, or prepare research for publication for eight consecutive weeks. Must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Priority given to those who help women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research.
    • Deadline: November 15

    AAUW Research Publication Grant

    • Amount: $10,000-$50,000
    • Description & Eligibility: This grant is offered to women doing research in medicine, engineering, physical science, or biological science. Must have a doctorate in one of these fields. Applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2. 
    • Deadline: November 15

    Betty Hansen Continuing Education/Cultural-Heritage Grant

    • Amount: $2,500
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to members of the Danish Sisterhood and their children of all ages. Applicants must be enrolled part-time at an accredited or approved school in a workshop, course, seminar, or language class involving Danish culture/heritage. Up to ten awards are given each year.
    • Deadlines: January 31, August 31

    Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship

    • Amount: Varies (A fixed monthly stipend to cover living expenses)
    • Description & Eligibility: Available to women journalists working in broadcast, print, and/or Internet-based media, freelancers included. Recipients must demonstrate that they are passionate about human rights and social justice stories. 
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Forté MBA Fellowships

    • Amount: $5,000 per year
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women seeking a full-time, part-time, or executive MBA education at a qualified business school. Must be attending a Forté partner school. 
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    GoGirl! Grants

    • Amount: Varies
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women who live and attend school in the Coachella Valley, CA. Applicants must be 25 years old or older and working toward a specific undergraduate degree or occupational certification. Must be able to demonstrate how their chosen educational path will prepare them for their future career. 
    • Deadlines: June 15, December 15

    Graduate Women in Science Fellowship

    • Amount: Up to $10,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women seeking degrees from recognized institutions. Must perform hypothesis-driven research and demonstrate outstanding skill and promise in STEM, life science, or related social sciences. 
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

    • Amount: $2,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Grants offered to women who are 35 or older and seeking an associate degree, first bachelor’s degree, or technical or vocational education at an accredited U.S. institution. 
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    L’Oréal USA for Women in Science

    • Amount: $60,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to U.S.-based women researchers who are at the beginning of their scientific careers. Must have completed their PhD and be pursuing a career in fields related to engineering, technology, physical/material sciences, computer science, or mathematics. Five fellowships will be awarded.
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

    M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship

    • Amount: $45,000
    • Description & Eligibility: Offered to women who are seeking to restart their physics research careers after having had to interrupt those careers. Applicants must have completed work toward a PhD. 
    • Deadline: TBD 2024

Standing Out in a Sea of Applicants

Simply applying for a scholarship doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get it. In fact, many scholarships receive hundreds or even thousands of submissions. To increase your odds, you’ll want to complete applications in a manner that allows them to stand out among the various other qualified, deserving applicants. Fortunately, doing so is not as complicated as it seems. If you’re seeking ways to submit distinct, well-constructed scholarship applications, focus on the following:

Be Yourself

One of the best things you can do to make your application stand out is to be yourself. It may sound cliché, but plenty of applicants use templates, AI, researched phrases, and other cookie-cutter methods of completing scholarship applications. By being yourself, you’ll have an automatic advantage over those who are disingenuous in an attempt to win these financial rewards. Many committees prefer to reward those who speak from their hearts and seem genuinely invested in their college careers.

Tell Your Her-story

Since you’re specifically applying for scholarships meant for women, you should also explain what unique aspects of your history as a woman make you deserving of the scholarship. For instance, if you’re the first woman in your family to earn a master’s degree, include this information. Likewise, if you’ve experienced financial hardships resulting from being a single mother, include that as part of your story as well.

Put Your Unique Twist on the Application

Putting a unique twist on your application is highly recommended. For instance, if you’re a storyteller, tell a story about a woman who transformed her life with the help of education and college scholarships. On the other hand, if you plan to major in math, include a unique formula that shows how awarding you the scholarship will enable you to thrive during and after college. Use your unique skills to distinguish your application.

Highlight Your “Wow” Factor

Every woman has a skill or accolade that will impress committees. For instance, if you have a successful home business, include this in your application. If you’ve won awards or recognition for anything related to your chosen major, include that as well. You can also include SAT scores, your GPA, volunteer activities, exceptional hobbies, or anything else you believe will impress those reviewing your applications.

Don’t be Afraid to be Different

Although certain common traits or goals exist for those attempting to win these scholarships, it doesn’t mean you have to fit into that mold. For instance, if you’re a tattoo artist who wants to transfer your steady hands to the surgery sector to save lives, this will help your application stand out. Likewise, if you’re an older woman who finally has the courage to pursue a degree to achieve your professional dreams, this will also help set you apart from the competition.

Avoid These Application Mistakes

There are common mistakes many applicants make when applying for scholarships. Learning what they are and how to avoid them can give you a serious edge over the competition. This is because many of the most common mistakes send a message to those reviewing your application that you aren’t serious about your college education or don’t truly need the scholarship. That said, here are some of the most common mistakes and tips to help you avoid them.

Submitting an Incomplete Application

One of the top mistakes scholarship applicants make is submitting applications that are unfinished. Applicants may skip questions, not submit required essays, or even not provide their GPA as requested. Doing such things comes across as careless and may even be viewed as disrespectful of the committee and other applicants. Therefore, before you submit your application, review the requirements list and double-check your application to avoid sending an incomplete package.

Sourcing Less-than-Stellar Letters of Recommendation

Since those reviewing your application are unlikely to know you, letters of recommendation are one of the best ways to allow them to better understand how others view your potential as a college student and professional. Therefore, make sure you contact reputable people to complete these letters. This can include everyone from former teachers to professional colleagues and managers. Reach as high up on your ladder as you can; titles and credentials can truly make a difference.

Missing the Deadline

Scholarship deadlines are set for a reason, usually because they give those reviewing applications enough time to filter through them to truly choose the most deserving applicant. In most cases, missing the deadline will mean your application will be excluded from consideration for the scholarship. Nevertheless, even if they make an exception, you’ll have already made a bad first impression, which may not bode well when it comes to the final decision.

Not Having Your Application Edited

No matter how skilled of a writer you are, mistakes happen. Since even minor issues such as misspellings, grammatical errors, and other errors can ruin your chance of winning a scholarship, ask someone you trust or even pay a professional to edit your application to ensure it has been appropriately completed and is free of errors.

Applying for the Wrong Scholarships

In the eagerness to try to rake in some college cash, many students make the mistake of applying for the wrong scholarships. For instance, applying for scholarships you don’t qualify for sends the message that you didn’t properly read the directions or are sending the same application to every scholarship you can find. Applying for the wrong scholarships wastes your time and the committee’s time. Since some committees oversee multiple scholarships, you definitely want to avoid making a negative first impression.