The old days of men dominating our college campuses are long gone. Today, more women than men attend college these days. Despite the big strides that have been made to bridge this gap, there are still inequalities among the genders. Men still occupy the large majority of well paid jobs and salary inequalities still exist between men and women with the same job titles. With these discrepancies in mind, a lot of organizations, individuals and colleges, offer scholarships for women to try and get women into programs that they will otherwise not think of pursuing.  These scholarships help women pay for tuition and get their degrees.

Female college student

Organizations award scholarships for women for specific reasons. These may include getting women to occupy leadership positions or get them to attain advanced qualifications leading to higher paying jobs. Some of these scholarships for women are also intended to get the woman through higher education and also help them to succeed after they graduate. Some are geared towards returning women who have been out of college for a long time back to college. While other scholarships aim to afford women over the age of 40 to go to college if they have never gone to college before.

Some scholarships for women are aimed at getting students to study in fields which are still male dominated. Subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Medicine are still male dominated fields and organizations give these scholarships to support women who pursue these fields.

College Scholarships for Women

You should find and apply to as many of these scholarships that you qualify for to increase your chances of getting an award. Here are some of the more popular scholarships geared towards women:

The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to women over the age of 35 and must meet the low-income requirements. The recipient must be able to show that the education they will get will benefit themselves, their community and their family. To qualify for this award, a student must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a woman 35 years or older
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Must be a Citizen of the United States or a permanent resident
  • You must be enrolled in or accepted to a regionally accredited or nationally accredited institution.
  • You must be pursuing a vocational studies, and associate degree or a first bachelor’s degree.

Students can find more information, such as eligibility information, applications, and guidelines, at rankinfoundation.org.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is an organization that supports women via different means, including scholarship and grant opportunities. The American Fellowship program is to support women doctoral candidates completing dissertations or scholars seeking funds for postdoctoral research leave. Another scholarship program, the Selected Professions Fellowships, is intended to help women who are underrepresented in certain fields of study attain their Master’s Degree. They also have another scholarship program for women from around the world who would like to study in the USA.

Scholarships for Low-Income Women with Children

If you’re a woman with financial need that has a child under the age of 18, then going to college may sound like an impossible dream. If you want to pursue your postsecondary education, you’re on the right track by researching scholarships. The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation has a scholarship award program specifically for women like yourself.

You could be awarded one of the five $3000 scholarships given out each year towards your education if you are:

  • at least 17 years old
  • a mother with a dependent child
  • enrolled in a an educational program pursuing any degree, whether it’s a GED or a master’s
  • in financial need as determined by the Foundation

If you meet you’re a mother seeking a scholarship and fit this criteria, you should visit www.patsyminkfoundation.org for more information as well as the application forms.

Scholarships for Hispanic Women

Some organizations awards scholarships for Hispanic women. Hispanic women are considered minorities and it is still very common to find them under-represented in well paying jobs or high leadership jobs. The awarding bodies aim to bridge this gap and get more Hispanic women into college and help them succeed. If you are a Hispanic woman and you cannot afford to go to college, then this should come as welcome news for you. There are several scholarships available to Hispanic women and you should find and apply to them. Some are awarded to Hispanic women enrolled in specific programs, advanced degree programs, vocational programs or just general college studies. Whatever you age or qualification, you should be able to find a scholarship for Hispanic Women.

Women in college
  • The Hispanic Scholarship Fund aims to provide funding for people of Hispanic heritage to be able to attend college. The fund provides several scholarships each year for all levels of college education from undergraduate studies to graduate studies. The aim is for every Hispanic household in the US to have at least one college graduate. To be eligible to receive this scholarship you must be of a Hispanic heritage and a US citizen or permanent resident. The fund awards several scholarships and each has their own eligibility requirements. Visit the HSF’s Scholarship Page to see the different scholarships, qualification requirements, applications forms and application guidelines.
  • The Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas (HWTN) through its Latinas in Progress (LIP) program provided over 35 scholarships to Hispanic seniors graduating high school. The awards were given by participating universities in the Texas state. The awards included four years full tuition to the Texas Christian University (TCU) and four years full tuition scholarship to the Texas Wesleyan University (TWU). The University of Texas at Arlington also provides scholarships through this program. HWTN also provides direct scholarships for Hispanic women. All the awards are awarded to female Hispanic high school seniors participating in the LIP program from HWTN. The three universities partner with HWTN to award these scholarships. For more information and how to apply for these scholarships or participate in the LIP program, go to the HWTN Scholarships Programs page or contact them at 512-481-1600.

Scholarships for Black Women

Scholarships for black women are for African American women wanting to pursue higher education. There are several African American scholarship opportunities to choose from. There are several African American associations and organizations that provide scholarships specifically for Black women. Black women are not limited to solely applying to scholarships for African Americans and can also apply for other scholarships for women, such as the Jeannette Rankin scholarship program outlined above.  Some organizations that award scholarships for which black women include:

  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF) supports African Americans through various means including scholarship opportunities for black women to pursue a post-secondary education. Find information about the scholarships they provide by visiting UNCF scholarship page.
  • The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) awards scholarships for which Black aspiring nurses ranging from $500-$2000. To be eligible, you must be a member of the NBNA and a local chapter and enrolled in a nursing program. Learn more about the NBNA Scholarship Program.
  • National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has various scholarships for deserving students who want to pursue a career in journalism. You must be a member of the NABJ and majoring in a journalism or communications-related discipline. Visit NABJ’s Scholarship Information page.

There are several more bodies and colleges that award scholarships for Black women so find them and apply for as many as you qualify for.

Scholarships for Women over 30, 40, and 50

If you are over the ages of 30, 40, or 50 and want to get back to college or planning to attend college for the first time, there are scholarships specifically available for women like you. Universities, organizations and other bodies have special scholarship programs for women over the ages of 30, 40, and 50. These scholarships are intended to encourage older women who want to get better qualifications or pursue certain careers to get into college or vocational training. The scholarship program below is tailored towards women over the age of 50.

  • The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has a scholarship program specifically awarded to women over the age of 50 years. There mission is to equip women with the education and training they need for improved employment and increased financial security for them and their families. For more information visit the official program website
  • The Talbots Scholarship Program is gives out seventeen $10,000 scholarships and one $30,000 scholarship every single year to women who have earned their high school diploma or GED at least 10 years ago. This scholarship is open to residents of USA and Canada, and is valid for undergraduate programs. Only the first 5,000 applications will be processed so do not delay. Apply online here.

There are career specific scholarships program out there for women such as law school scholarships for women and medical school scholarships for women. Nursing, MBA, arts, business, culinary and psychology programs all have scholarships tailored towards women.

Even if you never find a scholarship specifically for women, don’t be discouraged. You can still apply for the ones available to both men and women that are still a fit for you based on other criteria. Use the site’s navigation menu to browse for other scholarship opportunities by state, subject, and type.