Grants for Women
Find Information on Grants and Scholarships That You May Qualify For
Table of Contents
Are There College Grants and Scholarships for Women?
There are many grants and scholarships for women. Grants are typically needs-based, for women who need financial help. Providers may also set aside grant money for women who are part of a certain group, such as moms, battered women, Veterans, minorities, and women who put their degrees on hold. Scholarships, on the other hand, are generally merit-based and reward academics, community service, or talent.
Where Can I Find College Grants and Scholarships for Women?
As a woman, you have many sources to check for grants, including government, nonprofits, agencies, businesses, foundations, schools, and trusts. You might also look for grants based on your major, ethnic group, and status. Using as many personal factors as you can think of might focus your search and help you find grants that suit your goals. For more information on financial aid, grants, and scholarships, you can download our FREE Education Success Kit.
How Do You Earn Grants and Scholarships for Women
Securing a grant as a woman requires meeting specific qualifications, as each grant provider has unique criteria. Generally, many grants are available to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Some may require proof of residency, such as providing a copy of your ID. Need-based grants target low-income women, often requiring proof of financial need such as income tax statements or copies of FAFSA paperwork.
Merit-based grants typically consider a woman’s GPA, so including copies of official or unofficial transcripts with your application is essential. Certain grants aim to support women in male-dominated fields, where women are still underrepresented in the workforce. Some grants may request additional materials like references, a resume, and a personal essay. You might also have a section to showcase your awards, achievements, and extracurricular activities. Be sure to submit your complete application by the specified deadline, which may involve mailing a physical package, utilizing an online system, or both.
Why Is Grant Money Available to Women
Grant money for women aims to help females meet their educational and career goals (if you qualify, of course!). The millions of dollars available to those who qualify may also fill the gap where women don’t have as many opportunities. Take the workforce. Despite a strong presence, women are still a minority in some fields.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women’s labor force participation rate was 56.1% in 2021, about the same as in 2020 (56.2%).1 Occupations like software developers, lawyers, and executives still have fewer female professionals.
For example, women are significantly underrepresented in STEM occupations. In 2021, 35% of STEM workers were women, compared to 65% for men—that’s nearly half. The good news is that women’s numbers have been growing—in 2011, only 32% of STEM workers were female, compared to 68% of men.2 Then there’s pay inequality. In 2020, the median wage and salary earnings of men in STEM occupations was $64,998, compared to $59,931 for women. The discrepancy is even greater in one area of STEM—science and engineering (S&G). In S&G occupations, men earned a median wage and salary of $99,923, while women earned $75,562.3
Why Consider College Grants and Scholarships for Women
Grants and scholarships typically provide women with funding opportunities to finance their college education without the burden of repayment, unlike loans. Research indicates that obtaining a college degree could significantly enhance lifetime earnings and reduce unemployment rates.
Meanwhile, the cost of tuition for four-year programs continues to escalate. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition at public colleges could amount to approximately $9,400.4 Grants and scholarships could help alleviate some of the financial strain by covering expenses such as tuition, fees, housing, and supplies. Additionally, they could assist women in managing other financial obligations like childcare and transportation to and from school.
Unemployment Rates and Weekly Earnings by Education Level (2022)
|MEDIAN Weekly Earnings
|High school diploma (or equivalent)
*Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary
Grants and Scholarships for Women in 2024 and Beyond
We’ve compiled a list of college grants and scholarships for women with deadline dates in 2024 and beyond.
AAUW is the American Association of University Women. They were established in 1881 and have advocated for women’s and girl’s rights since. Career Development Grants range from $2,000 to $20,000. The grants are for women with a bachelor’s degree who want to re-enter the workforce or prep for or further a career. If you are a woman of color, you are pursuing your first advanced degree, or you are in a nontraditional field, you might get priority. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who earned their last degree before June 30, 2016. Funds are available for tuition, fees, books, supplies, local transportation, and dependent care.
Deadline: November 15
Each year, Soroptimist provides over $2.9 million in education awards for more than 2,000 women each year. Some of the challenges recipients face include poverty, domestic and sexual violence, and addiction. The Live Your Dream Awards are for women who are the main breadwinners in their families. Recipients could use the money to offset any costs related to higher education, such as books, childcare, tuition, and transport. There are three levels of cash awards; the finalist may receive up to $16,000.
Deadline: November 15
The P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education is a need-based grant for women whose education was interrupted. It aims to help women go back to school to complete a college degree or certificate that boosts their marketable skills. The maximum grant amount is $3,000—lesser amounts may also be available. If you qualify and receive a grant, the money must go to education-related expenses including childcare, mandatory uniforms, and transport to and from class.
The Jeannette Rankin Foundation (JRF) Awards are for low-income women aged 35 and over. About 75% of JRF scholars are single moms, but you don’t have to be one to apply. You need to be a US citizen or legal permanent resident who is pursuing a technical/vocational diploma, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree. Along with financial information, expect to submit references and transcripts. Grant amounts awarded are $3,000.
Deadline: February 16
The Patsy Takemoto grant is for mothers with minor children who are pursuing their first degree and meet income requirements. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded based on financial need, personal circumstance, educational goals, and civic goals. Award amounts are paid each of two semesters and may be used for direct school and living expenses.
P.E.O. is the Philanthropic Educational Organization. A member group, their mission is to help women with at least a bachelor’s degree complete a doctoral-level degree. higher education. A non-renewable $2,500 award, the funds could help offset tuition, fees, books, or necessary supplies. You may qualify if you have a 3.0 GPA or above and plan to attend an accredited US or Canadian college. Applicants also need the vote of a local P.E.O. Chapter.
Deadline: October 15
P.E.O. Scholar Awards are a one-time merit award for women in doctoral-level programs. These awards offset some of the cost of study and research. Eligible women are leaders in their field, whether in university academics, science, medicine, law, global economics, history, literature, government, or the arts. The award amount is $25,000. You need to be nominated to be eligible and show the potential to make a positive impact.
The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program, Inc. funds female survivors of intimate spousal abuse who seek higher education. Amounts range from $250 to $2,000 per school term. To qualify, you need to have a sponsor. A sponsor is a 501(c)3 charity (domestic violence victim services provider) that you’ve worked with for six months in a row. This person agrees to partner with WISP and you during your time in school. You also have to pursue your education at an accredited school and be separated from your abusive spouse for one year.
This scholarship, offered by Zonta International, is awarded to women internationally who are pursuing an undergraduate or master’s degree in business. 37 scholarships are awarded in the amount of $5,000 each. Applicants must be pursuing a business program and enrolled in their second year of undergraduate study through their final year of a master’s program.
The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting offers scholarships to women pursuing an accounting degree. Five scholarships are available; you may apply for more than one scholarship as long as you meet the criteria:
- Women in Transition, awarded to incoming freshmen who are the primary breadwinners of their family and are pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in accounting; the amount is up to $16,000 over four years
- Women in Need, awarded to women in their sophomore year who are pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and are the primary breadwinners of their family; the amount is $2,000 per year for two years
- EFWA Undergraduate, which funds several one-year undergraduate students working toward a Bachelor’s degree in accounting; amounts vary between $1,000 and $2,000 each
- American Dream, awarded to women who are attending a two-year community college and hope to transfer to a Bachelor’s degree program in accounting; the amount is $1,000
Deadline: April 30
The Army Women’s Foundation (AWF) Legacy Scholarships provides awards to women soldiers (past or present) and their children. The funds aim to offset costs related to higher education. Scholarships are available for certificate programs, community college, undergrad degree programs, and graduate programs. Amounts vary depending on the specific scholarship. The scholarships take into account your GPA, community service record, letters of recommendation, and need level.
Some of the named scholarships include:
- The M.M. Costello Scholarship, which is awarded to a recipient pursuing a major in healthcare; the scholarship amount is $3,000
- The Professional Contract Services (PCSI) scholarship, which awards two scholarships of $5,000 for disabled women veterans
- The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Legacy Scholarship, which honors the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, awarded to women who are serving in any category of the U.S. Army or are a lineal descendent of women who have served; the amount is $2,500
Deadline: January 21
WMA offers nine scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 for women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps or spouses and descendants of a Marine. The scholarships provide qualified applicants with the opportunity to pursue education at a college, university, or college-level trade school. Applicants must be sponsored by a WMA member.
Deadline: March 31