Deciding to go back to school after taking time off to build a career or spend time with your family can be daunting.
And between tuition, textbooks, and other fees, returning to college can be prohibitively expensive.
Luckily, there are a number of grants for adults returning to school, as well as scholarships for women who want to go back to college to get their degrees.
Below are seven grants and scholarships designed specifically for women.
1. Go Girl! Grant
The Go Girl! Grant is offered by The Girlfriend Factor, an organization that provides educational grants and emotional support for women who are bettering their lives through higher education.
Since 2006, the organization has provided over 147 women in California’s Coachella Valley with $500,000 in grants.
To be eligible, applicants must be at least 25, demonstrate financial need, and be passionate about an educational path that will lead to a career.
If you want to apply, complete a grant application. You’ll need to write a one-page autobiography, provide information about your education and career goals, submit three references, and prepare for an interview.
Applications are reviewed twice a year: in January and August. To be eligible for consideration, you must submit your application by the 15th of the previous month (Dec. 15 and July 15).
2. Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund
Jeanette Rankin was the first woman elected to the United States Congress. Upon her death, she left a portion of her estate to create a scholarship for women returning to school.
Since its launch in 1978, the Jeanette Rankin Foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships to 1,000 women.
The Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund is for low-income women over the age of 35 who want to get their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Awardees are selected based on their goals, their plan forward, and how they plan to give back to the community.
To apply, visit the scholarship website. You can also review detailed eligibility information, including income restrictions. All applications must be received by March 1, 2018.
3. Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Award
Patsy Takemoto Mink served in Congress and was the first woman of color to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
In her honor, the Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation was launched in 2003. Since then, it has assisted low-income women, particularly mothers. This is a unique scholarship for moms looking to reduce their educational costs.
The organization is offering five awards of up to $5,000 each for low-income mothers pursuing an education. Awardees are chosen based on financial need, personal history, and future goals.
To be eligible, applicants must be a mother and at least 17 years old. You must also be entering a vocational training course or pursuing your associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
What’s more, an applicant’s income cannot exceed $20,000 for a family of two or $28,000 for a family of four. The organization opens up the scholarship to applicants in the spring of each year.
4. PEO Program for Continuing Education Grant
The Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO) offers up to $3,000 in need-based grants to women whose education was interrupted, but who now want to pursue a degree to better support themselves and their families.
To be eligible, a woman must be enrolled in school and be within 24 months of completing an educational program.
If you meet these requirements and would like to apply, you must have the sponsorship of a local PEO club. However, membership is not required. You can complete the form for sponsorship and submit it to a local chapter.
5. Society of Women Engineers Scholarship
For women interested in engineering or computer science, the Society of Women Engineers offers scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 in value.
While the society offers general scholarships for women, it also designates funds for non-traditional students and women looking to re-enter the workforce.
To apply for a scholarship for the 2018-2019 school year:
- Sophomores through graduate students: Applications are accepted between Dec. 1 and Feb.15
- Freshmen: Applications are accepted March 1 through May 1
6. Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award
The Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award provides support and financial assistance to women who are the primary earners in their families. Each year, the organization gives out more than $2.1 million in grants to nearly 1,500 women.
If you would like to apply, you must be the main source of financial support for your family. And, you must be enrolled in or accepted to a vocational training program or a four-year university. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate financial need.
Soroptimist will accept applications for the 2018 awards between July 1 and Nov. 15. To apply, complete the online application along with two reference forms. Then, submit your application during the acceptance period.
7. Women’s Independence Scholarship Program
The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) provides scholarships to women who are survivors of intimate partner abuse. The program is designed to help survivors regain independence and self-sufficiency through education and employment.
Full or part-time students with financial need are eligible. The primary goal of WISP is to help women who have been separated from their abusive partner for at least one year.
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and you can apply online on the WISP website.
Scholarships for women make going back to school possible
If you’ve been thinking about going back to school for a while, but have put it off due to costs, make sure you check out all of your grant and scholarship options.
There are many scholarships for women that are designed to help them meet their educational and professional goals. These, in turn, can help reduce your costs and prevent you from taking on too much student loan debt.
For more information about alternative ways to pay for school, check out how to find scholarships and other forms of financial aid.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2019!
|1 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
2 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 2/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 Important Disclosures for Discover.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|4.23% – 13.23%1||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.20% – 11.44%2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.84% – 13.49%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.50% – 10.11%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.25% – 13.25%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.85% – 6.99%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.95% – 9.81%7||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.45% – 12.42%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|