Scholarships for Women
In addition to the usual sources of scholarships and grants, women should actively pursue financial aid awards reserved just for them. Students will find a range of public and private institutions that are sponsoring female-only scholarships. Like other types of aid, the criteria for winning assistance will be based on merit, need, or a combination of each.
Obviously, since only women will be able apply for these awards, the field of competition may be considerably less than what you would normally expect. However, this is not to suggest that winning a female-only scholarship is easy. Women now makeup the majority of college students, and there is an ever growing field of competitors.
Some private foundations, such as the American Association of University Women, offer general study awards that can be used for any major and are portable to the school of your choice. On the other hand, many female scholarship seekers have been very successful in pursuing career specific awards. In any field in which women are under represented, you are likely to find the most opportunities. For example, engineering or science related majors are great areas for women to consider. When conducting your search, be sure to investigate any professional association related to your field of study. These organizations often set aside a certain amount of financial aid for women.
You should also consider female honor societies (see if they have a chapter on campus). Many people scoff at beauty contests these days, but this is another possible source of grant money. Another area that many women overlook is athletics. Because of current laws, colleges are required to maintain a balance between male and female athletes. In order to get enough female participants, many generous awards have been created in recent years. Even if you are not an accomplished athlete, this may be a possibility for you. Remember that some schools are desperate for women athletes, so in some cases you may find it surprisingly easy to make the team.
Single mother scholarships are another avenue for women. Some foundations may take this into account when awarding aid. Also, religious and charitable organizations have recently devoted more funds for single mother scholarships, so be sure to check with any in your local community. If you have children, you may be considered a non-traditional student, and that status could open up more scholarship opportunities. Certainly, if your children require daycare while you are in class, let the school’s financial aid officer know. Many colleges will increase your aid package to cover this expense.
For more information, please consider purchasing our downloadable College Financial Aid Guide. It has links to some of the best scholarship and college grant sites on the Internet, including over 100 of the best private scholarship foundations. It will save you days of browsing the Web, and is the best way to maximize your scholarship opportunities. To continuing using the free online preview of our guide, click the link below for the next page, or go to the table on contents here: Free Scholarship Guide index.
Go to page 3: Minority scholarship programs