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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. We should also note that many of the scholarships listed below are connected to websites and organizations that offer still more scholarships. Don’t limit yourself — you may find many on this list (or beyond!) for which you qualify (and may just win). 


15 Best College Scholarships for Women


1. ABC Humane Wildlife Academic Scholarship – Women In STEM


Amount: $1,000 (up to nine other smaller awards may be given as well)

Deadline: July 1, 2022


Sponsored by a woman-owned corporation in a male-dominated industry and created by entrepreneur and Wildlife Manager Rebecca Fyffe, this 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. In addition, students must submit proof of their enrollment to an accredited university and an academic reference letter. 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 Geoscience IDEA Scholarship


Amount: $5,000, typically split up between two or more undergraduate students.

Deadline: June 30 (each year)


The AWG Minority Scholarship is awarded to women from underserved communities pursuing studies and a career in the Geosciences or Earth Sciences, as AWG claims that the Geosciences are among some of the least diverse in all STEM fields. Along with the monetary award, recipients are matched with a mentor in the field and given a one-year, sponsored, AWG student membership. 


Applicants must be African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American, LGBTQIA+, and/or disabled. The scholarship is open to women who are pursuing a degree in a geo-scientific 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.


Applicants, regardless of whether they receive the scholarship or not, may still receive the one-year sponsored membership and/or request a mentor.


3. The BHW Women in STEM Scholarship


Amount: $3,000

Deadline: April 15, 2023


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 either of the following prompts:


Tell us about your favorite app and what you like about it.

Tell us about a time an app played a significant role in improving your day.


4. Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship


Amount: $1,000 and a certificate

Deadline: February 23, 2023


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 all stages of their training are encouraged to apply, but one woman in a more advanced stage and one in an earlier 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 letters
  • All academic transcripts (unofficial transcripts acceptable)
  • Headshot


5. Helen Lansdowne Resor Scholarship


Amount: up to $10,000

Deadline: January 27, 2023 


This scholarship is named after Helen Lansdowne Resor, 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, be considered for placement after graduation, 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. Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund


Amount: $2000

Deadline: February 17, 2023


Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund offers scholarships to women ages 35 and older. To be eligible, you must demonstrate financial need, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and be pursuing a degree at a regionally or ACICS accredited school. 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 recommendation letters.


7. Judy Wendland-Young College Scholarship


Amount: Up to 2 awarded for a sum of $20,000

Deadline: March 31, 2023


This fund offers scholarships to women aged 35 and older who demonstrate financial need. 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. The scholarship portal for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available on February 1, 2021.


8. Live Your Dream Award


Amount: Anywhere between $1000 to $16,000

Deadline: November 15, 2023. Opens on August 1 of every year


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. This award is offered to residents of Soroptimist International of the Americas’ member countries/territories. Applicants must have financial need and be enrolled in or accepted to a vocational or undergraduate degree program. They may not be previous recipients of this award, Soroptimist members, or in possession of a graduate degree. There are three award levels:


  • Club-level, with an average $1000 award
  • Region-level, with an average $5000 award
  • International finalists, with an average $10,000 award


Along with submitting an application and 2 references, applicants must write two essays: one under 300 words clearly describing their career goals and how the training/education they are pursuing will help them arrive at these goals. The second is a 750-word personal statement explaining how the scholarship will help them “live their dream.” Past successful essays have clearly described past and future efforts and experiences and their role as a model for their family. More tips for writing the essays are included on the scholarship website. 


9. 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, but not living expenses. Women in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to apply.


10.  Women in Engineering Study.com Scholarship


Amount: $500

Deadline: May 1, 2023


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?”


11. Association of Women Contractors Scholarship


Amount: Varies

Deadline: Unknown


The Association of Women Contractors offers an Apprentice Scholarship and an Academic Scholarship. The Apprentice Scholarship is for females who are currently working as registered apprentices or graduating from their trade or training program in the spring of 2022 and will be starting as an apprentice. You must also be a current Minnesota resident. The Academic Scholarship is for female students who are enrolled in a construction-related field of study at an accredited institution, such as a community or technical college, or a construction trade school during the 2022-2023 academic year. You must also be a Minnesota resident or physically present in the state for at least one year. 


12. The Lew Williams & Leila Sulkes Scholarships


Amount: $2,000, one or more awardees selected each year

Deadline: July 31 (each year)


For the academic year 2022–2023, the Freehold Branch of the AAUW offers scholarships of $2000. Named for outstanding volunteers, money for the Lew Williams and Leila Sulkes Scholarships is determined by the amount collected throughout the annual June AAUW Book Sale in Freehold, NJ.


13.  Illustrating Awesomeness Scholarship


Amount: $750 available to each of 4 winners

Deadline: December 1 each year, or as soon as 150 students apply, after the application portal for the 2022-2023 school year has been opened.


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.


14.  Generation Google Scholarships for Women


Amount: $10,000

Deadline: January 14, 2022


Formerly called the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, the Generation Google Scholarships for women seek 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. For similar reasons, we recommend applying to as many local scholarships as you can, as you have a higher chance of winning out against a smaller, more local applicant pool of those from your hometown than a national one.


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. 

Michelle Foley
Essay Breakdown Writer

Short Bio
Michelle Foley is currently taking a gap year before starting at Yale College in Fall '21, where she is considering majoring in Art, English, or Cognitive Studies while earning her Spanish certificate. In her free time, she likes to paint, run, and read!