There are several scholarship programs that help women from low income families get higher education. Most of these programs are funded by private organizations, however, there are also some federal education grants that you could apply for.
The recent economic crisis made the government realize the importance of education, and it promptly promised 40 billion dollars for the government grants program. Higher education will help the population get gainful employment, and better serve their family and community. There are many women, who can’t even afford to take a student’s loan and for them scholarships are the best financial aid, as the reward received in the form of scholarships need not be repaid. There are merit based and need based scholarship programs, each having its own individual eligibility criteria. Here is a list of some grants that you can apply for.
American Association of University Women
This organization has several grant programs that are aimed at helping women get higher education and a shot at better life. It provides more than 3 million dollars of funding for over 200 programs. The standardized application process is available online and eligibility criteria for specific grants is also mentioned on its website.
Anita Borg Scholarship
This grant initiated by Google, supports women looking to study computing and technology. One of the eligibility criteria is academic excellence, and students will need to have good GPA scores to qualify. It also looks at the leadership qualities demonstrated by students, before shortlisting them for the reward.
Gates Millennium Scholars
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awards scholarships to 1,000 students each year. This program also favors students from minority communities. Eligibility criteria dictates that students must be from low-income families and should display leadership qualities. Students will also be judged on their community service activities.
This is considered as one of the prestigious grants for older women as it offers anywhere between a $15,000 to a $30,000 reward. Application forms and eligibility details can be found on its website.
Jeannette Rankin Foundation
Each year the Jeannette Rankin Foundation awards scholarships to women aged 35 and older and has helped many women achieve their dream of higher education. The foundation provides assistance to any woman looking to enroll for an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and even to students looking to pursue technical or vocational training.
United Negro College Fund
This scholarship program which started back in the 1940s is aimed at helping students from African-American communities get higher education. It not only helps female students, but also their male counterparts. Like most other programs, this too has an online application process. The scholarships are applicable to the 39 participating institutes associated with the United Negro College Fund.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
It serves students from the Hispanic community. Just like the reward amount, the eligibility for each program also varies, but most programs require students to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Federal Pell Grant
Here, the aspirants are required to fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form to qualify for this program. The award amount depends on the status of enrollment, whether full-time or part-time, and also on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Contrary to the popular belief, there are many organizations that extend a helping hand to women looking to continue their education. Some grants have specific eligibility criteria, for example, they only help single mothers, others help those who are victims of domestic abuse, while for some, just being a woman is enough. Here is a list of scholarships that will help you.
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses
- Black Alliance for Educational Options Scholarships
- Toyota Community Scholars Award
- Coca Cola Scholars Foundation
- National Merit Scholarship Corporation
You can also check with your local church charities, as they also run scholarship programs that benefit women. The idea is to apply for as many scholarships as you can, because if you qualify, the reward will be well worth the efforts.