2020 College Scholarship and Grant Guide for Women

How female students can find more money for college

Serious young student writing in book while studying at table in university
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Scholarships and grants can provide key assistance to women looking for ways to pay for college without taking on too much student loan debt. Some major sources of student aid for women are colleges and universities themselves, female-focused organizations, and women's professional associations.

Grants and scholarships are funding for college that you don’t have to repay. Generally grants refer to need-based aid while scholarships are more often used for merit-based aid. 

Colleges and Universities

Many colleges offer their own scholarships or grants for women or partner with female-focused organizations such as Distinguished Young Women to do so. On-campus departments or organizations, including student or women’s clubs, or sports teams, can also be sources of aid for female students.

Here are a few examples of some college scholarships and grants:

Reach out to a college’s financial aid office, the department that oversees your chosen area of study, and other on-campus organizations to see if they offer this type of aid.

Female-Focused Organizations

Organizations that help women access more academic and career opportunities are another smart place to look for student aid. Providing educational funding for women is a natural extension of the missions of these nonprofits and advocacy groups.

These groups’ student aid for women comes in different sizes and with a wide range of criteria to qualify, so spend some time finding scholarship programs that are a good fit for you. Here, we’ve highlighted a few such scholarships and college grants offered by women-centered organizations:

Women’s Professional Associations

You can also check professional associations for women that provide networking and support to women as they progress their careers in a given field. This support often includes offering student aid for women earning degrees in related areas of study. 

Here are examples of professional associations that provide scholarships and college grants for women:

Conduct a Thorough Search for Scholarships and Grants

We highlighted several scholarships and college grants for women here, but there are many more out there.

As you’re seeking out scholarships and grants for women, don’t overlook general student aid that’s not tied to gender. There are thousands more scholarships and grants extended to both men and women that you can seek out and apply to, from federal Pell Grants to work-study programs.

In addition to searching out female-focused aid, consider seeking aid offered to other marginalized groups. Many scholarships aim to help students with a particular socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or who meet other specific criteria. 

Conduct a broad search to find and apply for scholarships that could be offered for your specific background, circumstances, goals and needs. Help is out there, and with some time and effort you can apply to get extra money for college.

Article Sources

  1. Distinguished Young Women. "College-Granted Scholarships." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  2. Boston University Metropolitan College. "Boston University Women’s Guild Scholarships." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  3. Southern Illinois University. "SIU Women's Club Scholarships." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  4. The University of New Orleans. "Women's Center Scholarships." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  5. Women's Club of University of Louisville. "Student Aid Information." Feb. 16, 2020.

  6. American Association of University Women. "Educational Funding and Awards." Feb. 16, 2020.

  7. Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund. "Jeannette Rankin Eligibility." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  8. Women’s Independence Scholarship Program. "New Applicant Eligibility." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  9. Yale University Women's Organization. "Eligibility and Application Process." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  10. Alliance for Women in Media. "Scholarships: Celebrate the Past, Support the Future." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  11. Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting. "Undergraduate Scholarships." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  12. Society of Women Engineers. "Scholarships." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  13. Women in Film. "The WIF Scholarship Program." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.

  14. Women Techmakers. "Scholars Program." Accessed Feb. 16, 2020.