Women Win Big in Scholarship Territory
Over the last few decades much has been made of gender inequality as it exists in many male-dominated fields.
Over the decades women have continued to carve out a space for themselves in the economy, usually finding a lack of balance economically, as well as professionally. Traditionally, the professional roles many women chose were in fields such as healthcare, education, the creative arts, and in administrative and support capacities.
Times have changed. Women on campus are outmaneuvering males academically and charging full speed ahead. No reason to hold back.
Contemporary female students are outperforming their male counterparts in the classroom, a controversial topic among educators. However for them, the groove has been greased; especially when it comes to fields in which girls have traditionally been absent: science, math, engineering, technology, business, and law.
Here are the popular funding sources for many women’s scholarships :
- Colleges and universities
- Professional organizations
- Corporate sponsors
If you haven’t already, browse our list of scholarships by field of study. Each leads to a more granular list of scholarships, many include programs for women, especially those in the sciences, math, engineering and technology. These offer fertile ground for generous scholarships and well-paying careers.
- The Selected Professions Fellowships sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers awards between $5,000 and $20,000 to females entering a graduate or post-graduate degree program in one of these fields.
- Scholarships for undergraduate and graduate women studying engineering and computer science are annually awarded by the Society of Women Engineers. SWE has become a visible force for professional women and well respected for their annual monetary support.
- Here’s a twist on programming: how about a scholarship for game development? Women are just as underrepresented in this ultra-specialized, and technically-artsy field. Check out the Women Gamers scholarships.
Not a left-brained kind of girl?
A lot of lip service is given to the STEM subjects, but whoop-de-doo, you say? No reason to leave out scholarships for women whose passions lean toward the arts.
From Colleges and University Sources
Selective scholarships for women may often be found right on your college campus or from the college of your choice. Go directly to the department in which you’d most likely major for the most relevant scholarships. Here are a couple examples:
- The Velma E. Stuit Scholarships for Women in Mathematics, Statistics, or Science, from the University of Iowa. Awards are $2,000.
- Bethel College Visual Arts scholarships programs invite talented art students to submit portfolios for selection.
If you already know what major you will pursue, then pinpoint scholarships specifically targeted to your interests: shop for the professional associations and organizations that fit your passions. Two very good examples are above, the American Association of University Women and the Society of Women Engineers.
Visit the organization’s student website, explore the types of scholarships offered, and what educational and learning opportunities are provided. You’ll have an advantage if you join an organization. Become involved in your chapter. This is the best strategy for winning money.
- Women Chefs and Restaurateurs is a professional organization as well as one of the only clearinghouses for professional sources for female chefs and those involved in the food industry. The WCR specializes in awarding dozens of challenging and “unique” internships and scholarship situations.
Minority and International Women
Without a doubt there are scads of scholarship opportunities available for all women. But in some cases the most worthy candidates are those women who are also educationally disadvantaged due to their minority status. Black and Hispanic women will find unending sources for educational funds, some from colleges and universities and many from public and private sources.
- The Margaret MacNamara Memorial Fund is open to international women born before 1970, with other stipulations attached. Students from outside the United States can locate quite a few scholarships available for them, especially as more and more emphasis is put on the oppression of women in third-world economies.
- The American Association of University Women’s Selected Professions Fellowships for African American women in Business, Law, or Medicine offer competitive and generous funds: $5,000 to $12,000. Applicants must be entering a graduate or post-graduate program.
- World Studio.org is a non-profit, international arts organization that works very hard to promote the work and education of minority and disadvantaged students. If you are “into” graphic arts, painting, furniture design, new media, photography, and a host of other expressive forms, check out the WorldStudio AIGA Scholarships. Awards range from $2,000 to $6,000.
- Do not fail to explore your scholarship chances through the United Negro College Fund or the Hispanic College Fund.
- Single mothers have additional scholarship opportunities.
Returning to College/Career Advancement
Women who already possess an undergraduate degree often choose to take on roles in family and childrearing. Many discover they wish to return to school, either to pursue more advanced degrees or simply to gain an edge with new skills. Pepperdine University's MBA program, Morning MBA, focuses on the unique needs of women in the business world.
- Talbot’s Women’s Scholarships are specially designed for women that originally earned a high school diploma, but for various reasons never made it to college. Now they must be at least 10 years beyond high school, but here is scholarship money to help them finally succeed. Fifty-five scholarships are awarded annually: 5 big winners earn $10,000 each and 50 others win $1,000.
- UCLA maintains a comprehensive list of women’s scholarships.
- The AARP Foundation Women’s Scholarship Program has been designed to meet the educational needs of women over 40 with a desire to return to school for a degree or just workforce development, not always easy to do. The Women’s Scholarship Program is about creating chances, opportunity, and ultimately, changing lives. Recipients of these scholarships are diverse and inspirational: A widow finding hope and opportunity through education. A recovering addict achieving her dream of graduating from college. A grandmother raising grandchildren with the hope of achieving a more secure future for her family.
Research shows women are disproportionately at risk of having insufficient funds in the second half of their lives due to lower earning and different work patterns. The AARP Foundation created the Women’s Scholarship Program in August 2007 to help women 40+ overcome financial and employment barriers by allowing them to participate in education and training opportunities they could otherwise not afford. In 2010, 125 women from all across the country have been awarded more than $450,000 in educational scholarships.
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