Scholarships for Women

Expert Tips and Information on Finding and Securing Financial Aid Awards

The cost of higher education is more now than it has ever been, and so is student debt, at more than $1.5 trillion. According to a study by the American Association of University Women, nearly two-thirds of college debt is incurred by women. Regardless of the reasons for this — which include the fact that women statistically earn degrees in greater numbers and at more expensive colleges than men — women considering college should invest considerable effort in seeking scholarships and grants to avoid taking on crippling debt.

This guide can help. Here, you’ll discover not only a wealth of scholarships for women in a range of subject areas, but also expert tips on improving your chances of winning scholarship money and finding untapped financial resources.

Meet the Expert

Kimberly Stezala Senior Partner, Design Group International

Written by

Scholarships for Women

Kimberly Stezala is a scholarship expert and author of the book Scholarships 101: The Real-World Guide to Getting Cash for College. Stezala cautions women that the search for scholarships should be taken as seriously as a job.
“Most people are not getting scholarship money,” Stezala said. “So if you want it, you need to be strategic and entrepreneurial about it.”

With that in mind, start by exploring these 80 scholarships for women across eight subject areas.

Business

Arizona Business and Professional Women’s Foundation Scholarships

Award:$1,500Application deadline: May 1

The Arizona BPW Foundation supports the advancement of Arizona’s working women by offering scholarships to women aged 21 and older who are returning to school at community colleges to improve their job opportunities or advance their careers. Award recipients must attend one Arizona BPW Foundation event per year.

Financial Women of San Francisco Scholarship

Award: $10,000 undergraduate/$15,000 graduateApplication deadline: Varies

FWSF awards this scholarship to women in the San Francisco Bay Area pursuing careers in finance or financial services who are earning undergraduate or graduate degrees. In addition to the monetary award, recipients receive recognition at the organization’s annual luncheon, invitations to the Financial Woman of the Year Luncheon, associate-level membership, enrollment in the FWSF Mentorship Program and professional headshots.

Illinois CPA Society Women’s Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship

Award: $4,000Application deadline: April 1

This scholarship established by the Illinois CPA Society Women’s Executive Committee is meant to provide advancement opportunities for women in the CPA profession in Illinois. The recipient must be a female demonstrating leadership potential who will be a senior or graduate student in the coming academic year.

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

Award: $2,000Application deadline: Varies

Zonta International, the global organization of professional women working to empower women all over the world through service and advocacy, offers this scholarship designed to help women pursue undergraduate and master’s degrees in business management and overcome gender barriers.

The Laurels Fund Undergraduate Scholarships

Award: $1,000 – $16,000Application deadline: April 30

The Laurels Fund offers a variety of scholarships to undergraduate women who are pursuing degrees in accounting, which are based on need, location or circumstances including being in transition, returning to school after being in the workforce or raising children.

The Laurels Fund Postgraduate Scholarships

Award: $1,000 – $5,000Application deadline: May 15

The Laurels Fund provides one-year scholarships to female students pursuing Ph.D. degrees in accounting. Selection is based not only on academic achievement and research activities, but also on service and financial need.

WIIT Trust Scholarship

Amount: $1,500Application deadline: April 13

The WIIT Charitable Trust funds charity activities that promote understanding of the benefits of trade, and it supports women’s access to these benefits by providing educational and networking opportunities. This scholarship is for graduate and undergraduate women studying international trade who show promise as future global leaders, and is awarded twice per year.

The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting Undergraduate Scholarships

Award: $1,000 – $16,000Application deadline: April 30

The EFWA offers six different scholarships for women in varying locations or academic years who plan to pursue careers in accounting who find themselves in various life or academic circumstances, which may include experiencing career or financial transitions, being members of minority groups and having financial need.

EFWA Institute of Management Accounts IMA® Scholarship

Amount: $1,000Application deadline: April 30

The IMA funds this one-year scholarship to a female student beginning her graduate studies in accounting. In addition to the cash award, the recipient earns a complimentary one-year membership in the IMA and her CMA exam entrance and registration fees.

C200 Scholar Awards

Amount: $10,000Application deadline: Varies

C200, a global society established to promote the advancement of women in business, awards scholarships of up to $10,000 to MBA students (based on merit and financial need). Recipients should be enrolled in an MBA program at a school that hosts a C200 Reachout, display extraordinary leadership qualities and have a commitment to giving back to support other women.

Computer Science

Adobe Research Women in Technology Scholarship

Award: $10,000Application deadline: Oct. 31, 2019 (date varies by year)

To increase gender diversity in the male-dominated technology industry, Adobe Research offers this scholarship to outstanding undergraduate and masters-level female students anywhere in the world who are studying computer science. In addition to the $10,000 award (paid once), the scholarship provides recipients with a one-year Creative Cloud membership, an Adobe Research mentor and an opportunity to interview for an Adobe internship.

BHW Scholarship

Amount: $3,000Application deadline: April 15

BHW Group, a custom web and mobile app development company in Austin, Texas, offers this scholarship to women pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Applicants must submit a 500-800 word essay describing their favorite app or how an app played a significant role in improving their day.

General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts Memorial Education Fund Fellowships

Award: $3,000Application deadline: March 1

The GFW awards fellowships to women residing in Massachusetts for at least five years who plan to complete graduate study in nursing or computer science. Applicants must submit personal statements of no more than 500 words describing their professional goals and financial need.

Women Techmaker Scholars Program

Award: $10,000 USD/$5,000 CADApplication deadline: Varies

Google sponsors this scholarship program, which provides a one-time monetary award to women who demonstrate a strong academic background and leadership, who wish to excel in computer science and technology and become active leaders and role models in the field. Applicants must study computer science, computer engineering or a closely related subject at the undergraduate or graduate level.

DSF Geri Wolff Scholarship

Award: $2,000Application deadline: Feb. 28

To promote the field of digital signage and gender diversity in technology, the Digital Signage Federation offers this scholarship to a woman enrolled in a college or university who is committed to graduating and in her junior or senior year studying computer science, digital design or a digital-signage-related field and holds at least a 3.0 GPA.

Kris Paper Legacy Scholarship for Women in Technology

Award: $1,500Application deadline: April 14

In memory of Kris Paper, a chief information officer who was committed to helping women in the technology field achieve their goals, this scholarship awards graduating female seniors or returning female college students from the greater Kansas City area who are seeking degrees in technology-related fields.

WomenIn Scholarships

Award: $2,500Application deadline: April 30 and Sept. 30

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Foundation has created the WomenIn Scholarship Fund to support the inclusion of more women in the interactive entertainment industry. The scholarships are for women pursuing game development or the business of interactive entertainment, and recipients also become eligible for the AIAS mentoring program.

Palantir Women in Technology Scholarship

Award: $7,000Application deadline: March 24

Palantir Technologies Inc. is a software-development company specializing in big data analytics. It offers 10 scholarships of $7,000 each, per year, to full-time undergraduate students who identify as women, are enrolled in an accredited U.S., Canadian or Mexican college or university, plan to major in a technology-related subject and have not previously received the award. The funds must be spent on education expenses, including tuition, fees, books and equipment.

ESA Foundation Scholarship

Award: $3,000Application deadline: Spring

The Entertainment Software Association Foundation awards this scholarship to help women and minorities pursue degrees in computer and video game arts. Recipients should be women or minorities enrolled full time in accredited four-year colleges in the U.S. in degree programs that lead to careers in computer and video game arts, and they must maintain GPAs of 2.75 or higher.

Michigan Council of Women in Technology Scholarship Program

Award: Up to $5,000Application deadline: Jan. 31

The MCWT designed this scholarship to encourage female students to pursue careers in computer science and help Michigan become the No. 1 state for girls and women in technology. Applicants should be females, U.S. citizens, reside in Michigan, have GPAs of 3.0 or higher and be enrolled full time in a Michigan university.

Education & Teaching

General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts Education-Teaching Scholarship

Award: $500Application deadline: March 1

The GFW awards this scholarship to a senior in a Massachusetts high school (or home school) who plans to enroll in a four-year accredited college or university in a teacher-training program in order to gain certification to teach.

Alma White – Delta Chapter, Delta Kappa Gamma Scholarship

Award: VariesApplication deadline: Varies

Female residents of the state of Hawaii who want to pursue teaching and demonstrate financial need may earn this scholarship named for a longtime Hawaii teacher and principal. Sponsored by the Hawaii Community Foundation, the award goes to women enrolled in accredited, four-year colleges who major in education and are juniors, seniors or graduate students and have minimum GPA of 2.7.

Beta Gamma Recruitment Grant

Award: $500 – $10,000Application deadline: Feb. 1

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois offers this scholarship to female graduating seniors in Boone or Winnebago County, Illinois, who plan to enter the teaching profession.

UMW Mary Baker Emerick Art Scholarships

Award: $2,000Application deadline: March 1

The University of Montana Western offers this scholarship to female students who plan to earn their bachelor’s degrees in secondary education while selecting art as a major or area of emphasis. It is awarded to 10 people each year.

Continental Society Daughters of Indian Wars, Inc. Native American Scholarship

Amount: $5,000Application deadline: June 15

Members of the CSDIW must be females who are descendents of Native or immigrant American ancestors. This scholarship is awarded to tribal members who plan to work with a tribe or nation in the field of education or social service. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in accredited colleges or universities in undergraduate programs, preferably entering their junior year, and recipients must maintain full-time schedules with minimum GPAs of 3.0.

Isabel M. Herson Scholarship in Education

Award: $2,500Application deadline: Feb. 1

The Zeta Phi Beta sorority’s National Educational Foundation awards this scholarship to undergraduate or graduate women in elementary or secondary education degree programs. The award is for one academic year of full-time study.

Edward G. and Helen A. Borgens Elementary and Secondary Teacher Education Scholarships

Award: $1,500Application deadline: Feb. 15

Women involved in the Daughters of the American Revolution may apply for this scholarship if they are aged 25 or older and wish to either teach at the elementary or secondary level. Applicants must be at least sophomores with GPAs of at least 3.5.

International Teacher Education Program Scholarship

Award: $10,000Application deadline: Jan. 1

Up to seven young women from countries outside the U.S. may receive funding to attend American colleges and universities with this scholarship from Alpha Delta Kappa, the international honorary organization for women educators. Recipients must be at least 20 years of age and no more than 35, and they must plan to enter the teaching profession.

Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship

Award: $10,000Application deadline: Feb. 15

The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics and NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee developed this scholarship for women entering their first year of graduate studies in the fields of intercollegiate athletics, for careers such as athletics administrator or coach.

Engineering

Association of Women Contractors Scholarships

Award: $2,000Application deadline: April 30

To promote gender diversity in construction-related fields, the AWC offers academic and apprenticeship scholarships to women residing or attending postsecondary four-year, two-year or vocational schools in Minnesota who are enrolled in construction-related programs such as engineering, architecture, project management or construction trades.

PG&E Women’s Network Employee Resource Group Scholarship

Award: $3,000 – $5,000Application deadline: Feb. 4

Pacific Gas & Electric’s Women’s Network Employee Resource Group offers these scholarships to college-bound high school senior women who plan to major in sciences such as engineering or other STEM fields.

Santa Rosa Ninety-Nines Aviation Scholarship

Award: $3,000Application deadline: May 1

The Santa Rosa chapter of the Ninety-Nines, the women’s aviation society, provides this scholarship to women pilots planning careers in aviation who reside within 150 miles of Santa, Rosa, California. The funds are to be used to earn specific flight ratings or certificates to further their aviation studies.

Technical Women’s Organization (TWO) Education Scholarship

Award: $1,000Application deadline: June 12

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Technical Women’s Organization awards two scholarships — one to an FAA TWO member and one to a nonmember — to women pursuing aviation-related technical degrees.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

Award: $1,000 – $15,000Application deadline: Varies by class level

These scholarships are awarded to women pursuing ABET-accredited undergraduate or graduate student programs to prepare for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science in the U.S. The scholarships are renewable.

Society of Women Engineers Houston Scholarship

Award: $500Application deadline: March 31

The Houston-Area Section of the SWE supports five scholarships to women in various circumstances who plan to enroll in ABET-accredited colleges or universities, preferably in Texas, and will major in an engineering or science discipline.

Selected Professions Fellowship

Award: $5,000 – $18,000Application deadline: Dec. 1

The American Association of University Women awards these fellowships to women who plan to study full time in master’s programs in four subject areas, including engineering, in which participation by women is typically low.

Center for Women in Technology Scholars Program

Award: $15,000 in state/$22,000 out of stateApplication deadline: Jan. 15

This CWIT scholarship is for incoming college women (and their allies) who are first-year students pursuing degrees in computing and engineering.

National Physical Science Consortium Graduate Fellowships in Science and Engineering

Award: $26,000Application deadline: Varies

Offered by the National Physical Science Consortium, this fellowship is employer-sponsored and intended for applicants wishing to pursue graduate work in engineering or related fields, which typically seek to increase female participation.

Rings of Excellence Scholarship

Award: $1,000/$2,500Application deadline: Feb. 15

This scholarship offered by the Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority is available to active members (or children or grandchildren of active members) who are undergraduates majoring in engineering or another technical science discipline.

Mathematics

Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship

Award: $1,000Application deadline: Feb. 23

The American Statistical Association Committee on Women in Statistics and Caucus for Women in Statistics sponsor this scholarship intended to encourage more women to enter statistically oriented professions. Two awards are given each year: one to a woman in the early stages of graduate training and one to a woman in a more advanced stage of training.

Leo W. and Alberta V. Thomas Utz Scholarship

Award: $4,000Application deadline: July 10

The Daughters of the American Revolution offers this scholarship for $4,000 each year for four consecutive years to three students, one in each of the following subjects: math, science and English. To renew, students must maintain GPAs of 3.25.

Selected Professions Fellowship

Award: $5,000 – $18,000Application deadline: Dec. 1

This fellowship from the American Association of University Women is offered to master’s level women studying full time in four discipline areas, including mathematics, in which women’s participation is historically low.

Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Prize

Award: $1,000Application deadline: Nomination by Oct. 1

Though technically not a scholarship, this award, which is contingent on nomination, is awarded to a currently enrolled undergraduate woman for excellence in mathematics.

CGCS-Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarships

Award: $5,000Application deadline: April 12

The Council of the Great City Schools awards this scholarship, which was created in honor of former astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr., the first African American to walk in space. Awarded to two boys (one black, one Hispanic) and two girls (one black, one Hispanic), at $5,000 each, the scholarship supports these students’ efforts to earn math- and science-related degrees.

Clare Boothe Luce Program

Award: VariesApplication deadline: March 1

This educational funding program offered by the Henry Luce Foundation is one of the single most significant sources of private support for the education of women in science, mathematics and engineering. It provides undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to cover educational and research expenses, respectively.

Science Ambassador Scholarship

Award: VariesApplication deadline: Spring

Funded by the game Cards Against Humanity, this full-ride scholarship is for undergraduate female students seeking degrees in STEM fields, which includes mathematics.

Virginia Heinlein Memorial Scholarship

Award: $2,000Application deadline: April 1

The Heinlein Society is a 501(c) charitable organization committed to preserve the legacy of writer Robert Heinlein and his vision of paying it forward. It offers this essay-contest scholarship to a female majoring in math, engineering or the biological or physical sciences.

Joan and Joseph Birman Fellowship for Women Scholars

Award: $50,000 (in 2019-2020 only)Application deadline: Winter

Designed to address the shortage of women in the highest research levels of mathematics, this fellowship gives preference to a mid-career woman with an established research record in mathematics who has a clear research plan.

Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women Scholarship for Women in Math & Science

Award: VariesApplication deadline: March 19

The Eberly Center for Women at the University of Toledo awards this scholarship to female students pursuing degrees in math or science who have 30 credit hours completed toward their associate degrees, junior standing for bachelor’s degrees or 12 credit hours toward graduate degrees. Minimum GPA of 2.7 is required.

Nursing

Elizabeth Garde National Scholarship

Award: $850 Application deadline: March 1

The Danish Sisterhood of American offers this one-time scholarship to a member with a GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0-point scale) who plans to pursue a degree in nursing or other medical profession as an undergraduate or graduate student.

General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts Memorial Education Fund Fellowships

Award: $3,000 Application deadline: March 1

The GFW awards fellowships to women residing in Massachusetts for at least five years who plan to complete graduate study in nursing or computer science. Applicants must submit personal statements of no more than 500 words describing their professional goals and financial need.

NURSE Corps Scholarship Program

Award: Varies Application deadline: June 14

Students accepted or enrolled in diploma, undergraduate or graduate programs in nursing may be eligible to receive funding for tuition, fees and other educational costs as well as a monthly stipend, in exchange for agreeing to work upon graduation in health care facilities underserved communities to provide nursing care — checkups, preventive screenings, vaccines, etc.

S. Evelyn Lewis Memorial Medical Health Science Scholarship

Award: $500 – $1,000 Application deadline: Feb. 1

The National Educational Foundation of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority organization administers this scholarship for undergraduate or graduate women enrolled in programs leading to degrees in medicine or health sciences full time for one academic year.

Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship

Award: $1,000 Application deadline: March 31

B4 Brands offers this scholarship to a full-time student who is pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing and considered a nontraditional student, having not immediately continued her education after high school (with at least a three-year gap between high school and college enrollment).

Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship

Award: $2,500 Application deadline: Feb. 15

This scholarship program sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution provides one-time, need-based scholarships to three students who have been accepted or are currently enrolled in accredited nursing programs.

Mildred Nutting Nursing Scholarship

Award: $2,000 Application deadline: Feb. 15

The Daughters of the American Revolution provides these one-time, need-based scholarships to two students who have been accepted or are currently enrolled in accredited nursing schools. Preference is given to candidates from Lowell, Massachusetts.

Madeline Pickett (Halbert) Cogswell Nursing Scholarship

Award: $2,500 Application deadline: Feb. 15

This scholarship program administered by the Daughters of the American Revolution offers these merit-based scholarships to two students who have been accepted or are currently enrolled in accredited nursing programs and whose mothers, grandmothers or stepmothers are current, dues-paying DAR members.

District of Columbia Nursing Scholarship

Award: $2,500 Application deadline: Feb. 15

This scholarship program is administered by the University of the District of Columbia. It’s a one-time award given to two students who reside in the District of Columbia, are enrolled or have been accepted into nursing programs and have a demonstrated financial need. A GPA of at least 3.25 is required.

Joanne and William Conway Scholarship Program

Award: $10,000 Application deadline: varies

Trinity Washington University sponsors this renewable scholarship designed for high-achieving, low-income women from the District of Columbia, Prince George’s or Montgomery counties with high potential to complete their nursing degrees in four to five years. Students may apply to the scholarship program, be nominated by high school principals or guidance counselors or be selected by Trinity from among current applicants to the College of Arts and Sciences.

Physical & Life Sciences

ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention Inc. Academic Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 Application deadline: July 1

ABC Wildlife, a woman-owned corporation, awards this scholarship to encourage and support women pursuing education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in order to help preserve biodiversity, improve the health of the planet or alleviate human suffering. One full $1,000 award is granted each year, though up to nine other students may receive smaller awards for their submissions.

ACS Women Chemists Committee Overcoming Challenges Award

Award: $250 Application deadline: April 1

This award offered by the American Chemical Society’s Women Chemists Committee recognizes female undergraduates in their efforts to overcome hardships in order to achieve success in chemistry. In addition to the monetary award, recipients receive up to $1,000 in travel expenses to attend the ACS Fall National Meeting.

Gals Go Fish Scholarship

Award: $500 Application deadline: July 15

Gals Go Fish is a women anglers’ guild that offers this scholarship to women pursuing careers in areas of study that directly relate to the environment and conservation. The work of the recipient would become an extension of the Gals Go Fish mission, and the recipient would receive $250 per semester for one year.

M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship

Amount: Up to $45,000 Application deadline: June 1

This scholarship awarded by the American Physical Society was established by M. Hildred Blewett, an accelerator physicist who died in 2004 and was passionate about physics as well as helping women to overcome obstacles. The award is intended for women seeking a return to physics research careers after having had to interrupt those careers and includes dependent care expenses, salary, travel, equipment, tuition and fees.

Priscilla Carney Jones Scholarship

Award: $1,500 minimum Application deadline: May 1

This scholarship administered by the American Chemical Society is designed to provide financial assistance to full-time, female undergraduates majoring in chemistry or related subjects who are in their junior or senior year and don’t plan to attend medical school. The scholarship may be used on tuition, books and lab fees.

GEM Ph.D. Science Fellowship

Award: $16,000 Application deadline: Nov. 12

The Graduate Education for Minorities Fellowship Program strives to bring underrepresented populations, including women, into STEM fields. This science fellowship provides full tuition and fees, a stipend and a summer internship to qualifying minority students in the natural sciences disciplines.

Iota Sigma Pi BP Scholarship

Award: $2,000 Application deadline: March 31

The Fluorine Chapter of Iota Sigma Pi, the national honor society for women in chemistry, offers this scholarship to young women in their senior years of high school who demonstrate exceptional promise as future scientists and will enroll in Ohio colleges as science majors.

Dronethusiast $500 Women in Science UAV Scholarship

Award: $500 Application deadline: Dec. 1

Dronethusiast is an online publication devoted to news about the innovative world of drone technology. This scholarship is intended for women who are choosing to pursue science, who have an interest in improving the environment, globally or locally, with drone technology.

Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship

Award: $5,000 Application deadline: Jan. 4

The American Geosciences Institute offers this scholarship to women pursuing full-time master's or doctoral degrees in the geosciences at accredited U.S. colleges, in recognized geoscience programs. Recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents.

Leo W. and Alberta V. Thomas Utz Scholarship

Award: $4,000 Application deadline: July 10

The Daughters of the American Revolution awards this $4,000 scholarship for each of four consecutive years to three students, one in each of the following subjects: science, math and English. Students must maintain GPAs of 3.25 in order to continue receiving the scholarship each year.

Graduate School

American Association of University Women American Fellowships

Amount: $6,000 – $30,000 Application deadline: Nov. 1

The AAUW promotes equity and education for women and girls around the globe and is one of the largest sources of funding for graduate women. Its American Fellowships are for women pursuing full-time study to complete dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research full time or preparing research for publication for eight consecutive weeks.

Executive Women’s Forum INI Fellowship

Award: Full tuition Application deadline: Varies

EWF, the Information Networking Institute and Carnegie Mellon CyLab have partnered to offer this full-tuition scholarship to historically underrepresented people in the area of information networking and security (including women) who want to earn their Master of Science in information security technology and management from Carnegie Mellon University.

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship

Award: $12,500 Application deadline: Dec. 15

This need-based scholarship sponsored by a women’s organization, Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) Sisterhood, is for females from other countries (not the U.S. or Canada) who plan to attend graduate school. It is intended to provide the educational opportunity to study in the U.S. or Canada, or at Cottey College, a P.E.O.-supported college in Nevada, Missouri.

P.E.O. Scholar Award

Amount: Up to $15,000 Application deadline: Nov. 20

The P.E.O. offers this merit-based, competitive scholarship to female residents of the U.S. or Canada who have been nominated by local chapters, are pursuing doctoral-level degrees, are enrolled full time and preferably are within two years of degree completion with at least one year remaining.

Forte MBA Fellowships

Award: Varies Application deadline: Varies

The Forté Fellows Program was designed to increase the number of women applying to and enrolling in MBA programs. Fellowship recipients may be full or part time or enrolled in executive MBA programs, all at sponsor business schools. Additionally, benefits include access to Forte conferences, events, networking and leadership development programs.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Graduate Scholarship

Award: $2,500 Application deadline: Feb. 1

The Zeta National Educational Foundation is sorority organization that provides funding for women to attend higher education in a number of disciplines. This graduate scholarship is for any graduate woman working on a professional degree, master’s, doctoral or post-doctoral program full time. The award is paid directly to the recipient.

William Robert Findley Graduate Chemistry Scholarship

Award: $2,000 Application deadline: Feb. 15

The Daughters of the American Revolution administers this one-time scholarship to students attending graduate school full time at accredited colleges or universities who are majoring in chemistry. Applicants must have GPAs of at least 3.25.

Helga Henry Scholarship

Award: $2,500 Application deadline: Rolling

This award from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is given to outstanding master’s level women wishing to pursue theological or graduate educations. New students with excellent leadership potential are recommended by the admissions staff. This award is renewable.

Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Award: $10,000 Application deadline: Nov. 15

Zonta International, the global organization dedicated to advancing women in leadership roles, offers this scholarship to assist women in entering aerospace-related fields, which typically are dominated by males. This scholarship is available to Ph.D. and doctoral-level females in aerospace-related majors.

Renate W. Chasman Scholarship

Award: $2,500 Application deadline: Jan. 30

This scholarship offered by Brookhaven Women in Science is for female graduate students performing research at Brookhaven National Laboratory in a STEM discipline who received her degree not prior to May of the competition year.

The Scholarship and Grant Application Process

Finding appropriate grants and scholarships tailored to individual needs is the first step for women seeking educational funding. After identifying potential sources, students will need to start the application process and prepare appropriate documents. While application requirements vary based on source and type of funding, many call for the following:

  • Essays

    Many applications require students to answer questions about why they deserve funding or what life events have led them to pursue a certain career. Students will need to pay close attention to what the organizations are asking, craft thoughtful and concise answers, and ensure all essays are free from mistakes. Asking a teacher or professional in the field to review essays is a great idea. Those applying for multiple scholarships or grants may find that some of their answers can be tailored to several different applications.

  • Letters of recommendation

    Letters of recommendation are a common requirement for scholarship and grant applications. They are usually provided by teachers, employers, mentors or other professionals who know the applicant well. Often, these can be used for multiple applications.

  • Transcripts and test scores

    Grants and scholarships awarded based on academic merit will examine transcripts and test scores closely, but almost all applications will require proof of education and proper examination. It can take some time to gather these scores, especially for students who have already completed undergraduate degrees and must request transcripts from multiple educational providers. Students should begin aggregating this information early in the application process to ensure it is available before any scholarship or grant deadlines.

  • Financial information

    The federal government administers financial aid such as the Pell Grant, using information provided on the FAFSA form to assess candidates’ eligibility. Whether based off of the student’s information or their parents’, these documents will need to be gathered early in the process to ensure all relevant information is collected on time.

Expert Tips for Winning a Scholarship

Kimberly Stezala is most commonly known by students and parents as The Scholarship Lady®. As a management consultant by day, she works with clients who are mostly scholarship providers, and is a judge for a national scholarship program, which gives her the inside scoop on much of the scholarship process. Here, she shares some tips she’s learned for how women can improve their chances at winning scholarship money:

  • Never pay for scholarship information or release personal information

    These are scams. “Don’t ever give out your social security number. Do not pay somebody to apply for a scholarship. Be careful and savvy about your privacy, because there are crooked people out there who just want your information,” warns Stezala.

  • Find scholarships that actually match who you are – and don’t apply to those that don’t

    Only apply if you truly match the criteria otherwise it’s a waste of both your and the scholarship provider’s time. “If you don’t match the criteria, they won’t even consider your application because they have so many others that do,” says Stezala.

  • Personalize your search

    “A Google search will yield a million results, so going personal can reveal those golden nuggets,” says Stezala who recommends looking at organizations you might be connected to who offer scholarships. “This could be a church, a local or fraternal organization, a women’s group, or women’s business association,” she says.

    Stezala goes on to say that people often forget that some employers have scholarships for employees, or for children and grandchildren of employees. “For instance, my father-in-law’s company has scholarships for my children, his grandchildren,” she explains.

    Stezala also recommends exploring industry-specific scholarships. “The Mat-Su Health Foundation in Wasilla, Alaska, is focused on building the health care workforce in Alaska, where it’s desperately needed, and they’re giving away over $1 million in scholarships,” says Stezala.

  • Sharpen your written word

    Scholarships awards are based on the written narrative you submit, so it’s worth it to ask a friend or colleague to proofread your work. “It’s obviously not ethical to have them write it, but if it’s a competitive academic scholarship, you’ll have to write at a college level. I can say that, as a judge, all we have to go on is the written material you’ve submitted. The atrophy of writing skills is a common problem. When I read some scholarship applications, I can tell when they just didn’t give it the care it deserved,” says Stezala.

    Stezala says this also applies to recommendation letters. “You don’t have to submit the letter if it wasn’t written well. If it’s not a solid letter, even if you didn’t write it, it could do you a disservice,” she says.

  • Join the local chapter of your chosen profession’s association

    These associations oftentimes have scholarship money for members or the children of members. “While you should never pay for scholarships, it’s a good idea to pay to join a professional association for networking purposes, for learning about the industry, for opportunities beyond scholarships, for mentoring … and you could find out about scholarships that are available as well,” says Stezala.

  • Participate in community service

    “Even though you’re a busy working adult, it will help you if you have some community service that you can list on your scholarship application,” says Stezala. “These are people giving away free money. They want to see what you’ve done to invest in your community or help other people. Some scholarship providers look at this more than others, so I’m not suggesting you need to go crazy with volunteer work, but it may give you an edge.”

  • Use multiple sources

    Subscribe (for free) to at least two online scholarship directories. These might include Scholarships.com or FastWeb.com. “Those are two of the longest-standing ones,” says Stezala. She recommends using two different directories because each uses different search algorithms, which means you might get different information and results.

    “I’m also a huge fan of the good old-fashioned library,” says Stezala. Even if you’re not a young adult, librarians can help you find the information you need.

    Lastly, Stezala recommends trying community foundations. “These are often the place locally where scholarships are shared, both their own and those from other organizations. So your local community foundation is a unique place to look that not a lot of people think about.”

  • Don’t wait. Start seeking and applying for scholarships early

    Even if you’re looking at online schools with varying calendars, you should still follow the traditional academic calendar for applying for scholarships because providers still follow this calendar. “Generally speaking, deadlines are in the spring before fall enrollment. A big mistake – made particularly by nontraditional students who are not used to a traditional academic calendar – is to not start looking until a month or two before you need the money,” says Stezala.

  • Be truthful and accurate

    “If you’re not truthful, that’s scholarship fraud, and it’s a criminal act,” warns Stezala. Be truthful and honest, and really invest in getting your core information consistent and accurate. “If you’re a current college student, is your GPA a 3.4 or a 3.6? You should know that. Because if we ask for a transcript and you put something else in the application, now we’re looking at something that doesn’t match, and even it was unintentional, it really reflects poorly on the applicant.”

    To help ensure your information is always correct, Stezala recommends using Scholar Snapp, a free tool from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, that gives the ability to have portable information. About 80 percent of the info asked for on scholarship applications is the same – name, address, GPA, ACT score. This app enables you to enter the information once, and for any scholarship using Scholar Snapp, the application is automatically populated with that information. “It’s a big a time saver, and that way you make sure your information is accurate and consistent,” says Stezala.

  • Answer the question being asked

    “If you do this, you’ll rise above the rest,” says Stezala. “You’d be amazed how many people don’t answer the question we’ve asked.” Because it’s a competition, judges have a rubric. If a question isn’t answered, you won’t get any points for that question. “It sounds so basic, but it’s a big tip to help you win.”

Beyond the Scholarship: Other Financial Aid Resources for Women

Scholarships and grants are money given to students without any requirement to have that money paid back. This is an ideal scenario for students, but these funding sources may not be available and, if offered, may not cover the necessary costs for women to complete their degrees. That’s when they may need to explore additional financial aid resources.

Stezala points out that women considering a return to college should first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the fall prior to the next academic year. Stezala says that many scholarship providers even require this as part of the application process, as many use federal student aid award information to determine scholarship amounts.

Here are the other types of financial aid resources for women to explore:

  • Federal work-study

    Students who complete the FAFSA may be eligible to receive work-study, in which income may be earned by an undergraduate or graduate student through a part-time job — typically one on campus. This income may be used as the student sees fit while in college and need not be repaid.

  • Employer tuition assistance

    As a means for investing in their own assets, many companies provide tuition assistance to employees who wish to complete needed training or earn advanced degrees or certifications. Awards may be contingent on requirements such as maintaining a baseline GPA. Some employers pay the tuition bills directly while others may ask employees to pay and then provide reimbursement after graduation.

  • Loans

    As their name suggests, loans involve students borrowing money for college under the agreement that they will pay the loans back, with interest, upon graduation. These loans may be offered by the federal government or through private lenders. Federal loans may be subsidized, in which the interest is paid by the federal government while students are in school, meaning that the overall cost to students is lower than unsubsidized loans, in which interest accrues while students are in school.

  • Public service tuition reimbursement or loan forgiveness

    Stezala says that many states, communities and nonprofit organizations offer special programs in which students agree to work, after graduation, in certain professions and areas of need in exchange for tuition and educational expenses. The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program is one example.

    Students also may have their loans forgiven and dismissed, tax-free, under the federal government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which enables students to agree to work, upon graduation, in areas and industries of high need for a fixed period of time in order to have their student loans repaid.