Scholarships for women can be controversial. There are laws against gender discrimination, and many women’s scholarship funds get bogged down in red tape. But these college scholarships for women are just one among many helpful resources available to females who are hoping to minimize the gender gap and pursue equality amidst their male counterparts.
Statistics show the need for such measures of inclusion and equality is perhaps greater now than ever. Even with “controls” that measure male and female statistics within the same job type and level of education, the gender gap as recently as 2016 revealed that women earn 98 cents on the dollar, compared to men. The uncontrolled, or “raw,” statistics are even more disparate, with women earning just 76 cents for every dollar earned by men. Minority women can expect further delays in their quest for equal pay; hispanic women and black women are projected to earn the same pay as men in 2248 and 2124, respectively.
This is not for lack of trying to gain some ground on the part of women. In fact, more than 11 million females were expected to attend college in 2016, encompassing a larger percentage of the college student population than males during that year. And, while paying for college is a challenge that members of both genders can relate to, women may face additional struggles compared to men when it comes to higher education, such as entering a historically male-dominated field — such as a STEM-related discipline — after graduation, or raising a family while pursuing a degree. Of all college students with children, 43% are single mothers while single fathers only account for 11% of students caring for dependent children.
This is where our list of dedicated college scholarships for women comes in. Some of the scholarships below are available only to single parents, returning students, or those pursuing specific subjects. We also included a special category for women’s scholarships designed to increase educational opportunities for women and increase their presence in STEM industries.
Eligibility requirements for women’s scholarships and how to get a scholarship typically vary from one funding organization to the next. Scholarships awarded by professional organizations often require the applicant to study a specific subject, such as business or technology. Other scholarships target non-traditional female students with financial need in a particular location, requiring applicants to meet specific residency and/or age thresholds. Other eligibility requirements may include:
- Identify as female
- Have legal U.S. resident status
- Meet specific GPA, SAT, GRE, or other merit requirements
- Enrolled in an accredited program
- Plan to study a specific subject or field
- Over a certain age
- Pursuing a first degree
- Meet specific financial need requirements
Requirements for women’s scholarships can vary greatly; while the above list contains many possibilities, it is not all inclusive. With a growing number of organizations establishing unique college scholarships for women, there are numerous diverse awards available for female students of all types and across many disciplines. The list below represents a small selection of scholarships created exclusively for women.