Girl Power! Scholarships & Grants for Women
There are hundreds of grants and scholarship programs for women aspiring to earn a degree — the challenge is finding them and knowing how to apply. Below are several options that can be explored if you’re a woman looking for financial help to pay college tuition.There was once a gender gap in college enrollment, and there still is — but now, the tables have turned. There are more college-educated women in the workplace than college-educated men, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Getting a college education is still a great way to help you meet the eligibility requirements for the kind of job you want, but with rising tuition prices, getting that education can feel like it is becoming harder and harder. Now, more than ever, it’s imperative that students have a solid plan in place to pay for their college education, one that limits or even avoids student loan debt. (Check Out Our Financial Aid Headquarters!)
1.) Scholarships Within Your Field
Many organizations offer scholarships based on a student’s field of study. The number of women working in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines is rising, but there’s still a gender gap. There are several organizations committed to helping women who are interested in studying science: the Society of Women Engineers offers several scholarships every year — last year’s scholarships totaled close to half a million dollars. If you’re studying the visual arts, a nonprofit organization called Women Arts offers students a list of scholarships and other funding resources.
2.) Scholarships Within Your Local Area
You can also look for opportunities offered by companies and nonprofit organizations in your area. Use databases like Scholarships.com and FastWeb, to help you search for grants and scholarships offered in your region. You can also check with the financial aid office of the university you plan to attend for scholarships being offered to women.
3.) Scholarships for Your Age and Race
As the job market becomes more competitive, more adult women are returning to college. But, for women raising families or helping their own children through school, applying for additional college loans may seem untenable. For good reason, various companies and organizations have recognized the need to provide older women with a chance to continue their education, earn a degree, or to finish a degree program they’ve already started. The AARP Foundation Women’s Scholarship Fund is just one organization that awards scholarships to women over 40 who want to improve their current jobs skills or learn new ones.
For women of color, there are several options: the Selected Professions Fellowship, provided by the American Association of University Women, helps women of color pursue graduate and professional degrees in fields where women and people of color are underrepresented. The United Negro College Fund has offered a host of scholarships for women of color for several decades and offers several scholarship opportunities.
If you don’t find opportunities that fit your needs immediately, keep looking, and don’t be afraid to use the resources at your college or university to find scholarships and grants. If you haven’t already, check out iGrad’s Financial Aid Headquarters to discover more resources that can help pay for school, for those who qualify.
Chi Norris is a writer and visual artist who likes painting, poetry, and reading memoirs. She graduated with a B.A. in English and writes on behalf of American Intercontinental University's online MBA program. She also blogs for artroommelody.com.
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