5 Grants and Scholarships for Women

Women can make college more affordable by finding a scholarship or grant that rewards their skills.

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Throughout early American history women were not allowed to pursue higher education. It wasn't until the mid 1800s that women were admitted to colleges and it took another 100 years for the U.S. to create women's colleges that provided a more equal education experience.

By 1960s, the civil right movement brought more women and African-Americans to all colleges, but it wasn't until 1975 that the government to stepped in to help women pursue their education with Title IX, a law that guaranteed women the same financial access to college despite their gender.

Numerous private groups and university organizations make thousands of scholarships available for female students every year, with the benefits ranging from $1,000 to a full scholarship.

Now, according to the College Grants Database, 58 percent of colleges students at universities across the country are women. However, it's still very difficult for some women to attend college, which is why women's scholarships are so important.

Numerous private groups and university organizations make thousands of scholarships available for female students every year. Start your scholarship search with the options below, or check out our expanded list of scholarships for women.

Linda Lael Miller Scholarship

Award: $10,000

Best-selling author Linda Lael Miller believes that by educating women, you will enrich the lives of those for generations to come. Over the years she's given over $75,000 in scholarships to women with her personal scholarship fund. Linda awards scholarships to women each year who are: "25 years or older, non-traditional students who have a difficult time finding scholarships for which they qualify. As in previous years, the scholarship funds may be used not only for tuition and books, but also for childcare, transportation and other expenses not covered by traditional scholarships."

How to Apply: Women must apply online by submitting a 500-word essay, the application and other required documentation of their academics.

Jeanette Rankin Foundation Scholarship

Award: $2,000

Founded in honor of the first woman to be elected to the United States congress, the Jeanette Ranking Foundation is awards scholarships to women who are in lower income brackets. One of the oldest organizations of its kind, the foundation awards 80 grants for women each year. Applicants must be over 35 years of age, in a low-income bracket, a U.S. citizen enrolled in or accepted to an ACICS accredited school, and pursuing higher education in some form (vocational education, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree).

How to Apply: Application materials will be available on the Jeanette Rankin Foundation website when the application cycle is open to students.

U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarships

Award: $1,000-$2,500

The U.S. Army Women's Foundation supports women who have served in the U.S. Army who want to pursue their higher education goals with the USAWF Legacy Scholarship. They have scholarships for women in community college or at a four-year college or university.

How to Apply: Mail application materials and a short, two-page essay to the scholarship committee: USAWF
Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 5030
Fort Lee, VA 23801

American Association of University Women Scholarship

Award: $6,000 to $30,000

With more than 100,000 members and 500 college/university partners, the American Association of University Women is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world. Awarding scholarships for women across the globe, the AAUW awards financial aid for American and international students, as well as career development and community action grants. More than 10,000 women from 130 countries have received grants. The AAUW awards three separate scholarships for American students. The Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship requires a doctoral degree and study in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences; Dissertation Fellowships require a student have received approval for their research proposal by their university; short-term grants require a doctorate degree.

How to Apply: Application materials and instructions may be downloaded from the AAUW website.

Mr. and Mrs. Spencer T. Olin Fellowships for Women in Graduate Study

Award: Full Scholarship

The Mr. and Mrs. Spencer T. Olin Fellowships for Women in Graduate Study awards financial aid to female students at Washington University in St. Louis. Students must be pursuing graduate (Masters, PhD, MBA, etc.) studies in architecture, art, science, business engineering, or social work.

How to Apply: Applications can be submitted online through the Olin Fellowship website.

Talk to your admissions officers get a full list of financial aid opportunities available to you at your university, or use a scholarship search tool. Nearly every college and institute of higher learning has scholarships and grants available to women. Chances are, there’s at least one for you!

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