Scholarships for women are becoming more abundant in an effort to encourage gender equality in what is still a "man's world." Ever since the 1980s, women have held the upper hand by outnumbering their male counterparts on college campuses. In fact, over 57 percent of college students are female today. Women have also shown their brawny brains by earning an average high school grade point average of 2.76, which is significantly higher than boys at 2.56.
However, there's still a noticeable gender pay gap in all 50 states. According to the AAWU, full-time female workers may just 82 percent of male colleagues one year after college. Scholarships for women are determined to help females afford higher education and start occupying a bigger percentage of our economy's high-paying jobs. Whether you're just graduating from high school or returning to the workforce after raising children, the following are 20 great scholarships offered solely to ladies.
1. AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships
Deadline: January 10th
Annually, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers several Selected Professions Fellowships for up to $18,000 apiece for female students who are pursuing master's, doctoral, and professional degrees in architecture, computer/information science, engineering, mathematics, business administration, law, or medicine. Qualified applicants must be attending an accredited institution, be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be entering at least their second year of graduate studies, and show dedication to entering a career where women's participation has been traditionally low. Primary consideration for these graduate scholarships for women is given to ethnic minorities.
2. Alice W. Rooke Medical Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
Through the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the Alice W. Rooke Medical Scholarship is presented annually for $5,000 to women who have been accepted into or are currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. medical school to receive their M.D. or D.O. degree. Eligible candidates must be American citizens or legal residents, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.25, exhibit financial need, and strive to become a practicing medical doctor. Women studying pre-med, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, or physician assistant can't apply. Recipients who maintain good academic standing can reapply for four years.
3. Betty Rendel Scholarship Program
Deadline: June 1st
Administered by the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) in honor of her dedication to the Republican Party of Indiana, the Betty Rendel Scholarship Program gives $1,000 annually to three female undergraduate students majoring in political science, economics, government, or public affairs. Qualified women must be U.S. citizens, have successfully completed at least two years of college, attend an accredited institution, and show leadership skills for a career related to politics. Students must submit an official application with three letters of recommendation, college transcripts, and a one-page typed essay to their state's NFRW federation president.
4. Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
As one of four undergraduate scholarships for women, the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs (NANBPWC) offers the Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Scholarship to African American females who are earning a bachelor's degree in any academic area. Eligible recipients must be 35 years of age or older, attend an accredited college or university, have United States citizenship, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and demonstrate financial need. Along with the application, students must write a 300-word essay describing how the contributions of two African American trailblazers have benefitted them.
5. Ethyl and Armin Wiebke Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 28th
In the amount of $1,500, the Ethyl and Armin Wiebke Memorial Scholarship is granted annually through the Women Marines Association (WMA) for women who have served in the U.S. Marine Corps or Reserve, are directly related to an honorably discharged veteran, or have participated in a Marine Corps JROTC program. Eligible applicants must be sponsored by WMA members, attend an accredited U.S. college or trade school, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and take at least six credits per semester. Other WMA scholarships for women include the Virginia Guveyan Memorial Scholarship and LaRue A. Ditmore Music Scholarship.
6. Helen Muntean Education Scholarship for Women
Deadline: May 10th
Sponsored by the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA), the Helen Muntean Education Scholarship for Women is awarded for $1,000 each year to female college students who are enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in education to pursue a career in teaching. Qualified candidates must be communicant members of a ROEA parish for at least one year, have completed their freshmen year, attend an accredited college, show scholastic achievement, and participate actively in religious life. Applications must include a written statement, proof of admission, a high resolution photograph, and three recommendations.
7. Helping Hands for Single Moms Scholarship
Every year, the Helping Hands for Single Moms Scholarship is available for low-income single mothers residing in the Phoenix or Tucson metropolitan area of Arizona who are enrolling in post-secondary education to receive their first college degree. To qualify, applicants must have U.S. citizenship, be legally single or divorce without a domestic partner, obtain a minimum overall GPA of 2.8, carry at least nine credits per term, and have one or more children under age 11 living with them. Recipients must agree to attend the supportive program's regularly scheduled meetings to maintain the unrestricted scholarship for $270 per month.
8. Irene Drinkall Franke Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
The Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) hosts the Irene Drinkall Franke Scholarship program annually to award $1,500 to Lutheran women who are enrolling in an accredited college or seminary to complete a graduate degree for Christian ministry. Eligible applicants must be at least 21 years of age, be United States citizens, hold ELCA membership, maintain full-time enrollment, and have experienced an interruption in schooling for a minimum of two years since the completion of high school. Applications won't be complete without a pastor reference form, faculty letter of recommendation, and personal reference.
9. Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarships
Deadline: July 1st
Ranging in value from $1,000 to $7,000 apiece, the Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarships are awarded by Zonta International every year to give financial support to female students pursuing their bachelor's or master's degree in business management to obtain executive leadership positions. Applicants must be attending an accredited university anywhere in the world, have at least sophomore level standing, reside in a Zonta district/region, demonstrate initiative, and maintain an outstanding academic record. Women must submit two recommendations, verification of enrollment, transcripts, and a 500-word goals essay.
10. Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 1st
As one of the most respected scholarships for women, the Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund is available to provide $2,000 annually to low-income women aged 35 years or older who are pursuing a college education to benefit themselves, their families, and their communities. Eligible women must meet the program's income guidelines, be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be pursuing their first associate's or bachelor's degree, and enroll in a regionally or ACICS accredited institution. Selection will be based solely on applicants' goals, educational plans, and future vision for giving back to their community.
11. Linly Heflin Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 9th
In the amount of $3,000, the Linly Heflin Scholarship Program distributes 20 to 25 annual awards for financially needy women with sound academic record who will be attending an accredited four-year college or university accredited by the SACS this fall. Eligible recipients must reside within Alabama, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, scored at least 23 on the ACT, demonstrate significant unmet need, and have U.S. citizenship. Applications should have an official transcript, two letters of recommendation, a small photograph, federal income tax returns, and a personal goals statement.
12. Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund Grants
Deadline: January 16th
On a very competitive basis, the Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund gives grants annually to empower exceptional women from our globe's developing countries to study at an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution full-time for an academic year. Qualified applicants must demonstrate financial need, be a national of a participating MMMF country, be 25 years old, and intend to return to their developing country to spend two or more years empowering more women. Grants can also be given to young women wishing to pursue their studies in select universities of South Africa and Latin America.
13. Michele L. McDonald Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th
Through the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA), the Michele L. McDonald Memorial Scholarship is presented annually for $1,000 to female undergraduate students who are pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting. Qualified recipients must carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, attend an accredited U.S. university, show an aptitude for business, exhibit financial need, and be committed to a career as an accounting or finance professional. Preference will be given to women who are returning to college from the workforce or after raising children.
14. Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship
The Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship is a one-year program that provides exceptional female graduate students with $15,000 in tuition assistance and a $2,000 conference travel allowance. Eligible women must be enrolled full-time at an accredited U.S. institution in their first year of a M.A./M.S. or Ph.D. program for computer science, electrical engineering, information science, bioinformatics, or mathematics. Students must be nominated by their universities and be supported by the office of their department's chair, so direct applications won't be accepted.
15. Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Scholarship
Deadline: August 1st
In honor of the U.S. Congresswoman who became the first elected woman of color and worked tirelessly for women's rights, the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Scholarship is awarded annually for $5,000 to five low-income women with children who are pursuing post-secondary education or career training. To qualify, candidates must be at least 17 years old, be mothers with minor dependent children, enroll in a degree-granting program, attend an accredited non-profit higher learning institution, and have an annual family income less than $20,000. Women must send two application copies with two references and a short 500-word essay.
Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Scholarship
P.O. Box 479
Honolulu, HI 96809
16. Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
Offering $20,000 over two years, the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation Scholarship is given to highly motivated underprivileged women who are currently attending Cabrillo College, Hartnell College, or Monterey Peninsula College. Qualified applicants must be California residents, have U.S. citizenship or legal residency, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, intend to give back to her community, be eligible for financial aid, and have a history of outstanding extra-curricular success. Recipients can use the funding to gain admissions to any University of California campus for completing their junior and senior year in a bachelor's degree program.
Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation Scholarship
5214F Diamond Heights Blvd. Suite 808
San Francisco, CA 94131
17. Sister Thomas More Bertels Scholarship
Deadline: June 1st
Sponsored by the Daughters of American Agriculture of American Agri-Women (AAW), the Sister Thomas More Bertels Scholarship is available to provide $1,000 to women aged 24 years or older who wish to continue their educational pursuits with a major in agriculture, agricultural leadership, rural sociology, rural medicine, or a similar field. Applicants must be the wives or daughters of farmers, showcase significant economic need, have work experience in agriculture, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and extol the virtues of agriculture. Ladies must submit an application, financial status information, three references, a one-page essay, and a signed creed.
18. Susan Ekdale Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 12th
As part of the Salt Lake Chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), the Susan Ekdale Memorial Scholarship provides $2,000 annually to female undergraduate or graduate students who are attending a Utah higher learning institution to study geology or closely related geosciences. Funding will be used to cover the costs of attending a mandatory geoscience field camp, including tuition, textbooks, and equipment. For consideration, candidates must submit an application, one letter of recommendation, a letter of eligibility from their department chair, and a maximum two-page essay highlighting their future as a woman in geology.
19. Women's Independence Scholarship Program
Since 1999, the Women's Independence Scholarship Program has worked to break down barriers for formerly battered women seeking to improve their employability and financial stability by pursuing an accredited degree at any U.S. institution. Eligible candidates must have survived intimate partner abuse, be American citizens or legal residents, have been accepted into post-secondary education, have sought services from a domestic violence agency for a minimum of six months, and have a definite plan for career advancement. Awards typically range from $250 to $2,000 per school term based on financial need.
20. Yukiko Howell Memorial STEM Scholarship
Deadline: November 2nd
Newly created in 2014 by Women in Aviation International (WAI), the Yukiko Howell Memorial STEM Scholarship is designed to provide $1,500 annually to female student members who are pursuing any science, technology, engineering, or mathematics degree to fulfill their dreams of a career in aviation. Women must have WAI membership, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, attend an accredited two or four-year U.S. institution, have experience volunteering in aviation-related events, and demonstrate unmet financial need. The program can help women take off on a career as avionics technicians, aircraft mechanics, air traffic controllers, aerospace engineers, meteorologists, pilots, and more.
Finding the financing to attend college and rise towards success in even male-dominated industries can be overwhelming. Scholarships are much more effective at lowering your tuition burden than student loans by providing free gift money that won't need to be repaid. There are a wide range of undergraduate and graduate scholarships for women in virtually every field to help boost your long-term return on investment. Harness your girl power to make college more affordable by checking out these 20 excellent scholarships for women. Of course, don't forget to apply for the Best Value Schools STEM Scholarship for Women before the deadlines too!