Ever notice that there are a lot of women in your college classes? It’s no coincidence. The National Center for Education Statistics predicted that 11.5 million women would make up the U.S. collegiate student body by this fall, compared to 8.9 million men.
But women aren’t just making up the majority of college classes. Women are also carrying the most student loan debt.
There are ways to ease this burden. Organizations that offer college scholarships or grants for women can help you save money on your education and decrease the number of student loans you’ll need. Here’s how you can find out which awards you might qualify for.
14 organizations offering college scholarships or grants for women
College scholarships and grants for women vary widely, from programs to further scientific research and help women in technology to those promoting women in sports and even an award from what might be one of your favorite party games.
The point is, you don’t have to be an academic all-star or major in STEM programs to earn free money for college.
In fact, you might be able to find help from some pretty unexpected places, like travel blogger and travel financial strategist Danielle Desir did. She won money for college with a scholarship from the New York Lottery and an award for minorities from popular novelist James Patterson. In her words, it’s best to “cast your scholarship search broad and wide.”
Take a look below to see if one of these 14 organizations can help you do just that.
1. Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Foundation
If you love all things gaming and want to make it a career, then you might be able to earn free money for your education from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Foundation.
The mission of this foundation is to further inclusivity and growth in the gaming community. And the foundation is making sure this includes women through its WomenIn initiative and scholarship.
This program aims to grow the number of women entering and staying in the gaming industry, while also working on best practices for promoting inclusion.
But you don’t have to be a developer to win this scholarship. The WomenIn scholarship is available to a variety of concentrations within the gaming industry, including animation, engineering, design, law, marketing, and more. There are two funding cycles per year with the applications due in the fall and spring, though the amount on offer wasn’t yet posted.
2. Adobe Research
Adobe has long been a name in software and is furthering its cause through the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship. Winners of this scholarship can take home a whopping $10,000 for college, as well as a mentor at Adobe Research, a chance to interview for an internship there, and a one-year Creative Cloud subscription.
To apply, you must be a woman majoring in a technical field, such as computer science or computer engineering. Applications are due in late fall of each year.
3. Alliance for Women in Media
The Alliance for Women in Media is all about bringing women and media together — in their words, to “expand networks, educate and celebrate accomplishments.” And they’re working towards this mission in part with several scholarships for women.
Between the four scholarships being offered by this foundation, winners studying media, communications, journalism, English, or other related fields can earn anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for school. Applications are now closed, but new details will emerge on their site in 2018.
4. American Association of University Women (AAUW)
With a mission to improve opportunities for women in education and the workforce, the AAUW offers a variety of fellowships and grants for women.
These include Career Development Grants, Community Action Grants, and International Project Grants. Specifically, the Career Development Grant is aimed to enable women with bachelor’s degrees to go back to school for a higher degree, additional certification, or courses that can help them change careers. You can earn anywhere from anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000 with this grant.
5. American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
If you plan to cultivate a career in disease prevention or health and wellness, the American Medical Women’s Association wants to help. Members of AMWA can apply for the Haffizulla Family Scholarship to win $1,000 for college.
To be eligible, you must be a member of AMWA and active within its student division.
6. Cards Against Humanity
You might know Cards Against Humanity as a game you play while imbibing with your friends on the weekends, but there’s more to the game’s creators than irreverent fun.
Cards Against Humanity has also developed the Science Ambassador Scholarship that pays full tuition for its lucky winners who study science, technology, engineering, or math. But, just like its well-known product, the company requires some creativity in the application process.
In addition to applying, applicants are required to make a three-minute video giving a mini-lecture on the STEM subject of their choice and make it public on YouTube. The work might well pay off though, since this scholarship gives you a full ride to college.
7. Center for Cyber Safety and Education and Raytheon
Another organization offering a generous payout for female scholarship winners is the Center for Cyber Safety and Education.
Women interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity or information assurance can apply for the (ISC)² Women in Information Security Scholarships. Winners can receive up to $40,000 for their education.
The Center for Cyber Safety and Education also offers the Raytheon Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarship. This scholarship also requires a focus on cybersecurity or information security, and winners can receive $8,000 for their studies as an undergraduate or a mid-career professional looking to move into this sector. Internship opportunities are also sometimes available if there are openings at Raytheon.
8. Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA)
Female number-crunchers rejoice: EFWA has scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate accounting students.
In fact, they have several scholarships for each — with six scholarships at the undergraduate level ranging from $1,000 to $16,000, and four at the graduate level ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. You can find details on each of these scholarships on EFWA’s website.
9. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation
It’s not all about numbers. Public relations, communications, media studies, marketing, and journalism majors can apply for the Advancement of Women in Sports and Entertainment Scholarship.
You can earn $1,000 for your undergraduate studies or your first year of graduate school with the help of this scholarship.
10. No Bull Sports
Sports lovers don’t have to rely only on the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation’s scholarship. Non-profit organization No Bull Sports offers scholarships for women pursuing athletics in college.
Winners can receive $5,000 in one of the three award cycles each year. Applicants should highlight their athletic activities (team sports or otherwise), their academic record, their leadership skills, and more. If you get to the semi-finals, you’ll be asked to submit a video that highlights who you are as a student athlete, with a heavy emphasis on your sharing your personality and how you embody the “spirit” of No Bull Sports.
11. Institution of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)
If you’re an industrial engineering student, you might want to join the Institution of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). Membership can make you eligible to win scholarships for your undergraduate or graduate studies.
IISE offers a wide range of scholarships, but women can earn one just for them through the UPS Scholarship for Female Students. Winners must be undergraduates and can earn up to $4,000.
12. Society of Women Engineers
If you haven’t already noticed, professional organizations can be a great way to earn grants and scholarships for college (not to mention a helpful tool for learning and networking). True to this description, the Society of Women Engineers awarded 233 scholarships in 2017 for a total amount of $715,000.
Female undergraduate and graduate students are eligible if they’re studying engineering, computing, or technology with an ABET-accredited program. Individual amounts for scholarships from the Society of Women Engineers range from $1,000 to $7,500.
13. Women Techmakers
Did you know Google has a program for women in technology? Known Women Techmakers, it even sponsors a scholars program in honor of Dr. Anita Borg, a computer scientist who worked to create inclusivity in technology.
This scholarship is now called the Women Techmakers Scholars Program and awards $10,000 to its winners, as well as membership in a global program to enable women to share information and collaborate on projects. Applicants must major in computer science, computer engineering, or a related technical field.
14. Zonta International
Zonta International is a global organization working to empower women and give them the resources to enter the professional realm. The program offers multiple scholarships designed to do just that.
The Jane M. Klausen Women in Business Scholarship awards $1,000 to $7,000 to women working on a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business management. The Young Women in Public Affairs Award gives $1,000 to $4,000 to female teens who are committed to public service and civic causes. And the Amelia Earhart Fellowship offers $10,000 to female Ph.D. students of aerospace sciences or aerospace engineering.
Don’t stop here when looking for scholarships or grants for women
As long as this list might be, it’s not exhaustive. There are yet more ways to secure a grant and diminish the cost of your college education.
And regional grants are a great start. Review this list just for women from Scholarships.com to see what’s available where you live. Other options you might find include scholarships and grants for women going back to school and for female minorities.
Remember to search far and wide, just like Desir did. It’s a lot of work now, but it can pay off huge if you graduate under the curve on student loan debt.
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