14 Best College Scholarships for Women

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It’s no secret that paying for college is extremely expensive. Fortunately, there are many scholarships that can help people pay for their education, targeted to those of different backgrounds, ages, demographics, and other factors. If you identify as a woman, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available just for you.


We’ve rounded up some of the top scholarships for women to pursue higher education in the United States. Some are intended for women studying different disciplines or coming from certain backgrounds, while others have more general eligibility requirements. Don’t limit yourself — you may find many on this list for which you qualify (and may just win).


14 Best College Scholarships for Women


1. ABC Humane Wildlife Academic Scholarship – Women In STEM

Amount: $1,000 (smaller awards may be given as well)

Deadline: July 1, 2020


Sponsored by a women-owned corporation in a male-dominated industry, this female scholarship seeks to “pave the way” for women who want to study and work in STEM fields. Applicants should respond to the essay prompt in 1,000 words, describing their passion for their chosen STEM discipline and explaining the impact they want to make through their work. The scholarship is open to both graduate and undergraduate students who are studying or planning to enroll in STEM fields at accredited universities. 


2. AWG Minority Scholarship

Amount: $6,000

Deadline: June 30 (each year)


The AWG Minority Scholarship is awarded to a minority woman pursuing studies and a career in geosciences. Along with the monetary award, recipients are matched with a mentor in the field. The scholarship is open to women who are African American, Hispanic, or Native American pursuing a degree in a geoscientific field at an accredited academic institution, as well as high schoolers who intend to study one of these fields. Applicants can expect to write a personal statement and provide 2 letters of recommendation, transcripts, and standardized test scores.


3. The BHW Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: April 15, 2020


The BHW Group offers scholarships to women pursuing degrees in the STEM field. Undergraduate, graduate, and entering college freshmen may apply. As part of the application, students must write a 500-800 word essay about their favorite app and how it contributes to improving their day.


4. Gertrude M. Cox Award

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: July 1, 2020


Awarded by the American Statistical Association, this scholarship was established to encourage women to pursue statistically-oriented professions. It is awarded to women pursuing master’s or PhD programs in statistics. Women in the early stages of their training are encouraged to apply, but one woman in a more advanced stage of her studies will receive the award annually as well.


The application requirements are as follows: 


  • CV
  • Personal essay (minimum length one page, double-spaced)
  • Three reference letter
  • All academic transcripts (unofficial transcripts acceptable)
  • Headshot


5. Helen Lansdowne Resor Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: May 14, 2020


This scholarship is named after the first female copywriter in the industry who served as a mentor and leader to many other creative women. It is awarded by J. Walter Thompson, a major marketing communications brand. As part of the opportunity, recipients will also complete a paid summer internship with the brand; hey will also be considered for placement after graduating and receive mentorship opportunities. To apply, you must be an undergraduate student with no less than 12 months until you complete your program of study. A portfolio is required as part of your application, as is a 500-word personal statement and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.


6. Illustrating Awesomeness Scholarship

Amount: $750

Deadline: December 1 each year, or as soon as 150 students apply


This scholarship is open to women or people who are gender non-conforming, and who want to change the world. To be considered, you must be a current college student or starting higher education in the spring semester following the application deadline (for December 1, 2019, that would be Spring 2020). You must also have at least a 3.0 GPA. As part of your application, respond to the question, “Who are you, and how are you going to change the world?” in a 500-word essay or 5-minute video.


7. International Scholarship for Women

Amount: $35,000

Deadline: April 20, 2020


The International Scholarship for Women is open to women pursuing undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs. Women from all countries other than Iran who are pursuing education in the U.S. may apply. Women who have demonstrated a dedication to charitable or volunteer work that helps empower other women will receive first preference.


Application requirements include:


  • Admissions letter from a US college in a STEM program
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Resume of extracurricular activities
  • 2 teacher letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement of why you want to study in the U.S. and how ISW Scholarship can help



8. Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

Amount: Varies

Deadline: February 29, 2020


Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund offers scholarships to women ages 35 and older. To be eligible, you must be low-income as per the website guidelines, and pursuing a technical or vocational program or associates or first-time bachelor’s degree. You should also be enrolled in or accepted to a not-for-profit, accredited institution. Selection is according to your goals and plan on how you’ll use your education to give back to your community. Expect to upload proof of income, your latest transcript or proof of acceptance, and 2 rec letters.


9. Judy Wendland-Young College Scholarship

Amount: $20,000

Deadline: March 31, 2020


This fund offers scholarships to women aged 35 and older. The recipients must have been admitted to an accredited U.S. university that awards bachelor’s degrees. The scholarship is intended for women who are in or starting their first year of college, and only women who have not previously attended college are eligible to apply.


10. Live Your Dream Award

Amount: Up to $16,000

Deadline: November 15, 2020


Soroptimist International of the Americas offers this grant to women who are the primary source of financial support for their families. It can be used for purposes such as books, childcare, tuition, and transportation — any costs associated with pursuing their degree. Along with submitting an application and 2 references, applicants must write a 750-word personal statement explaining how the scholarship will help them “live your dream.” Recipients must have financial need and be enrolled in or accepted to a vocational or undergraduate degree program.


11. P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

Amount: Up to $3,000

Deadline: Varies


This one-time, need-based grant provides financial assistance to women who are returning to school to complete their education in order to support themselves and their families. The program of study must be related to gaining or elevating career-related skills. The award may be applied to education-related expenses such as tuition, books and supplies, testing and graduation fees, and more. Women in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to apply.


12. Red Thread Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: February 28, 2020


Women with an international background who are planning to enroll in a U.S. university should consider applying for this scholarship. Those eligible include international students, immigrants, or first-generation Americans. Among other materials, the application process includes short answer quests, 2 essays, 2 recommendation letters, and an interview (shortlist candidates only). The scholarship may be applied to education-related expenses, such as tuition, books, supplies, and travel and living expenses. 


13. Women in Engineering Study.com Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: April 1, 2020


Sponsored by Study.com, this scholarship is awarded to one student pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to engineering. Examples of areas of study include computer engineering, bioengineering, electrical engineering, and many others. As part of the application, applicants must respond to three short-answer questions, including, “What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in pursuing your degree?”


14. Women Techmakers Scholars Program

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: Closed for 2020-2021


Formerly called the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, the Women Techmakers Scholars Program seeks to create gender equality in computer science, as was the vision of Dr. Anita Borg. The scholarship is open to both undergraduate and graduate students and is awarded based on leadership, academic record, and impact on diversity. In addition to receiving a monetary award, recipients will be invited to attend the Google Scholars’ retreat and have the opportunity to network with other scholars, as well as participate in workshops. You must be enrolled in a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD program at an accredited U.S. institution and be studying computer science or a related field to apply.


How Outside Scholarships Impact Your Financial Aid Award


After you win an outside scholarship (one that isn’t sponsored or awarded by your school), you’re required to report it to your college’s financial aid office. In many cases, colleges will decrease your financial aid award by the amount of the scholarship you won. However, the scholarship usually decreases less-desirable aspects of your financial aid package first, such as loans.


Tips for Applying to Scholarships


Ready to start applying? Here are some tips for increasing your chances of success.


1. Start early.


Some scholarships have deadlines prior to your senior year of high school. Even if you’re only applying for scholarships that have deadlines in your senior year or later, it’s a good idea to identify the ones for which you qualify and to which you intend to apply. This will make applying go a lot more smoothly when the time comes, and gives you the opportunity to gather together your materials, ask for recommendations, and so on.


2. Cast a wide net.


You’ll likely find many scholarships for which you qualify. There are many general scholarships, as well as ones aimed at people pursuing specific disciplines, people of certain ethnicities or backgrounds, and other factors. It’s a good idea to apply for a large number to maximize your chances of success, but also balance the quantity and quality of your applications. Be sure to also consider larger and smaller awards; bigger scholarships tend to be more well-known and have more competition, while smaller scholarships are generally easier to win.


3. Research.


Make sure you understand the requirements, materials you need, and application instructions. You don’t want to make a careless mistake or waste time applying for a scholarship for which you’re not eligible.


4. Proofread.


Your scholarship applications deserve care and attention just like your college applications. Once you’ve put everything together, be sure to read over your application materials aloud, and ask a second set of eyes to look things over. 


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Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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