College Grants For Women
The first step in getting assistance as a woman in college is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As with all students who fill out a FAFSA, female students with demonstrated financial need may be awarded federal grants including the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
While filling out the FAFSA is a great first step for any student seeking financial aid, the opportunities available specifically for women may not always present themselves after a FAFSA, so chances are you will have to hunt these down a bit. A lot of grants for women are going to be offered specifically by your university so talking to your campus financial adviser and doing some research on your school can help you find these opportunities.
There are some college grants for women that get even more specific than just gender. These may be offered to women who come from abusive households or who have shown a significant interest in promoting women’s rights. There are also grants available for women who are studying in specific fields especially male dominated fields, like engineering (if you are studying nursing please visit our page on Nursing Grants). Since women tend to be a minority in a lot of fields of study, many organizations will offer funding to encourage more women to participate in the courses available. It is a good idea to check into some organizations based around your needs or field of study and see what they have to offer.
Useful Grants and Organizations For Women In College
National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (NANBPWC)
The National Scholarship is awarded by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs which targets female African-American high school students. The NANBPWC was founded in 1935 to encourage entrepreneurship, further education and provide a sense of community to African-American women business owners and professionals. Five scholarships are sponsored by the organization. The National Scholarship is open to any qualifying high school student nationwide. The other four scholarships are restricted to specified areas of the U.S. or to certain academic majors. It is awarded only to graduating African-American senior high school females. Requirements include a GPA of 3.0 or higher, U.S. citizenship, an essay of at least 300 words on a topic specified by the NANBPWC and the completed scholarship application form.
The National Hook-Up of Black Women (NHBW)
The National Hook-Up of Black Women strives to improve the lives of women and their families through empowerment, advocacy and education. The organization sponsors two scholarships each year for African-American women: the Dr. Wynetta A. Frazier “Sister to Sister” Scholarship and the Dr. Arnita Young Boswell Scholarship.
The Dr. Arnita Young Boswell Scholarship
The Dr. Arnita Young Boswell Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited college. A minimum of $1,000 is awarded and can be funded annually with a new application.
The Dr. Wynetta A. Frazier “Sister to Sister” Scholarship
If you are an African American woman over 30 years of age, you may qualify for The Dr. Wynetta A. Frazier “Sister to Sister” Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded only to those returning to college without the financial support of family members or a spouse. At least two $500 scholarships are awarded each year. Requirements include acceptance to a college to complete a bachelor’s degree, a 300 to 500 word essay on an assigned topic that demonstrates mastery of written communication, a transcript of previous college work for those returning to school, completion of the scholarship application and two letters of recommendation.
Professional organizations often sponsor grants. The Society of Women Engineers offer almost 200 grants and scholarships for women studying in underrepresented fields like mathematics and aerospace engineering. SWE was founded in 1950 to provide support and encouragement to women in engineering. The organization supports nearly 200 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate women who aspire to become engineers. It also makes awards to outstanding professional women in the field. Individual scholarships range between $1,000 and $10,000. Applicants for any SWE scholarship must be admitted to an accredited bachelor’s or graduate program in computer science, engineering technology or engineering. Applicants completing the application through SWE are considered for all scholarships for which they qualify. Some of the SWE scholarships are earmarked for non-traditional students or those who are re-entering college to complete a degree in engineering. If you fit into this category the grants below may be able to help you acquire the funding you need.
The Olive Lynn Salembier Memorial Reentry Scholarship
The Olive Lynn Salembier Memorial Reentry Scholarship one $1,500 scholarship annually. The applicant must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have been out of the engineering workforce and school for at least two years.
The Mary V. Munger Scholarship program
This scholarship program awards $5,000 annually for re-entry into an engineering program and requires you to be a member of the SWE.
The American Society of Women Accountants Educational Foundation
The American Society of Women Accountants Educational Foundation offers a variety of awards and scholarships to women to better equip them in the financial field. These funds are for individuals attending 2 or 4 year college or university finance or accounting programs.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW)
The AAUW is an educational foundation which has been one of the most influential in providing women with the financial resources they need to pursue post-secondary studies. Over the years they have come to acquire an extensive database of grants, scholarships and fellowships for the US female population. In 2008 alone, they provided approximately $4.5 million in funding for more than 250 fellowships, grants, and special awards to outstanding women.