Scholarships for Women

women studying

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), women accounted for the majority of college students in 2015. In fact, there were about 11.5 million female students compared with 8.7 million male students. However, even though men make up less of the college population, their ability to win scholarships is about the same as that of women, according to Mark Kantrowitz, author of the book "Secrets to Winning a Scholarship". That's not to say, however, that scholarships for women are not out there. In fact, according to a scholarship study by NerdScholar, there are four times as many scholarships specifically earmarked for women as there are for men. So, what are the online college scholarship opportunities available to you? Here is our comprehensive list of scholarships for women:

General Scholarships for Women

Although some scholarships are specific to ethnic background or field of study, the following scholarships are general enough to apply to most women looking for help with college funding.

Formerly known as the Jeanette Rankin Foundation, this organization offers scholarships to low-income women ages 35 and over.

  • Application Deadline: March 18th
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Need-based
  • Academic Status: Must be pursuing a technical or vocational education, associate degree or bachelor's degree for the first time

This women's organization, founded in 1869, offers several educational scholarships to advance the careers of women. Its STAR scholarship awards $2,500 to high school seniors in the U.S. and Canada who meet certain age and academic requirements.

  • Application Deadline: After a local chapter contacts a prospective applicant, the applicant has 30 days to submit her application materials. Recipients will be announced annually by April 30.
  • Renewable: No
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Merit-based (based on leadership, extracurricular and community service)
  • Academic Status: Must be a high school senior

P.E.O. believes that the key to world peace is education, which is why it also offers scholarships to women, specifically ones who are international students pursuing a graduate-level education in the U.S. or Canada.

  • Application Deadline: Eligibility period is from September 15th to December 15th.
  • Award Amount: The maximum amount awarded is $12,500.
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Need-based
  • Academic Status: Must be qualified for admission to full-time graduate study

This organization offers scholarships for women who hold bachelor's degrees and are preparing to advance or change their careers.

  • Application Deadline: December 15th
  • Number of Scholarships Awarded: 241 AAUW fellowships were awarded during the 2015–2016 school year.
  • Award Amount: $2,000–$12,000
  • Academic Status: Must have received a bachelor's degree at least five years before the award period

AAU also offers scholarships for women pursuing a graduate or postdoctoral degree and who are not citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

  • Application Deadline: December 1st
  • Renewable: Up to five are renewable for a second year
  • Number of Scholarships Awarded: 241 AAUW fellowships were awarded during the 2015–2016 school year.
  • Award Amount: $18,000–$30,000
  • Academic Status: Must have earned a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) by September 30, 2015 and have applied to a proposed institution of study by the time of the application

Scholarships for Women in Science

Although support has grown for programs that expose girls to the field of science, just 28 percent of the world's researchers are women, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. These scholarships aim to combat those figures by supporting women's entry into the sciences and also their continued education in their chosen field.

This industry organization offers this scholarship in the name of particle physicist M. Hildred Blewett. At Blewett's request, this scholarship focuses on women whose physics research careers were interrupted for family or other commitments.

  • Application Deadline: June 1
  • Award Amount: A one-year award of up to $45,000
  • Renewable: Yes, for one additional year
  • Academic Status: Must have completed work toward a Ph.D.

This award recognizes outstanding achievement by a woman physicist early in her career, allowing her to give lectures in her field of physics.

  • Application Deadline: July 1st
  • Award Amount: $2,500 plus a $4,000 travel allowance
  • Renewable: No
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Merit-based
  • Academic Status: Must have received a Ph.D. within ten years

This scholarship focuses on master's and doctoral students studying all scientific disciplines involving ocean and coastal areas.

  • Application Deadline: December 10
  • Award Amount: This scholarship may provide yearly support of up to $42,000 per student
  • Number of Scholarships Awarded: 3 to 4 per year
  • Renewable: Yes
  • Minimum GPA: 3.3 or higher
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Need-based
  • Ethnicity: Scholarships are targeted particularly for women and members of minority groups

This organization offers a scholarship in memory of Dorothy Skinner who was a scientist and advocate of women in science. The award recognizes women Ph.D. students who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship and show high potential for excellence in research. It provides travel support for women Ph.D. students in order for them to present their research.

  • Application Deadline: December 10
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Merit-based
  • Academic Status: Must be a presenting author

This organization created this scholarship to help raise awareness to the contributions of women divers. Scientific diving is a key component of undersea exploration. Scholarships are offered to women studying dive medicine, marine conservation, marine biology, underwater archaeology, marine education, journalism, graphic arts or photography.

  • Application Deadline: November 20
  • Number of Scholarships Awarded: 28 in 2016
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Merit-based

Scholarships for Women in Engineering

Of all the science fields, women are most underrepresented in the field of engineering. According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, only 19 percent of women studying science choose to focus on engineering. That's why scholarships such as these exist – to give minority engineers a leg up.

This organization offers scholarships for women who are studying engineering, computer science or a related field at an ABET-accredited institution.

  • Application Deadline: February 17th for sophomores through graduates, May 15th for freshman
  • Award Amount: $1,000–$15,000
  • Number of Scholarships Awarded: 220 in 2015
  • Renewable: Yes

Clare Boothe Luce, the widow of Henry R. Luce, bequested funding that would "encourage women to enter, study, graduate and teach" in science, mathematics and engineering. Grants are made directly to four-year, degree-granting institutions.

  • Application Deadline: March 7th
  • Award Amount: 13 educational institutions receive awards
  • Number of Scholarships Awarded: 1900 to date
  • Academic Status: The program includes undergraduate, graduate and professorship categories.

This program is for women pursuing an undergraduate or master's degree who are majoring in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Applications for the fall are open in January of the same year. Applicants are asked to write an essay of 500–800 words in length.

  • Application Deadline: April 15
  • Award Amount: $3,000
  • Renewable: No

This industry organization offers scholarships to female undergraduates entering their junior year of a four-year ABET-accredited engineering program. Applicants will be asked to write a 500-word essay on their engineering career goals and aspirations.

  • Application Deadline: TBD
  • Award Amount: $2,000
  • Renewable: No
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Merit-based

Active members of Women in Aviation International are eligible to apply to several scholarships for women training to become aerospace engineers, such as the United Airlines Tech Ops Women in Aviation Scholarship. This program offers two scholarships of $1,500 each to women currently enrolled in an aerospace/aeronautical engineering program.

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Award Amount: Women in Aviation has awarded more than $10 million to members over the past 20 years.
  • Renewable: No
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Merit-based

Scholarships for Women in Business

A 2014 Catalyst Census reported that women still hold only 4.2 percent of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies even though they make up nearly 50 percent of the global workforce. This is why many organizations with a focus on equality in the business world are offering scholarships with the aim of preparing women to bust through the glass ceiling.

This scholarship helps women pursue undergraduate and master's degrees in business management. Jane M. Klausman was a member of the Zonta Club, an international service organization that aims to advance the status of women. Applicants must first be nominated by their local Zonta Club.

  • Application Deadline: Applicants must first be nominated by their local Zonta Club.
  • Award Amount: Twelve international scholarships of $7,000 each and up to 32 regional scholarships of $1,000 each
  • Academic Status: Must be pursuing an accredited business program and demonstrate outstanding potential in the field

These scholarships are for women pursuing their MBA at schools which host C200 Reachouts events. Candidates must display leadership skills, entrepreneurial spirit and integrity, as well as a commitment to giving back.

  • Application deadline: TBD
  • Award Amount: $10,000
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Combination

This organization works with specific businesses, such as the Blindsgalore, Soccerloo and 4MD, to offer financial aid that helps women pursue their careers in business environments. Scholarship applicants must enter an essay writing contest to be considered.

  • Application Deadline: May 15
  • Award Amount: $2,000
  • Renewable: No

Scholarships for Women in Technology

Despite a great need for workers in the tech industry, women only make up 26 percent of the computing workforce, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Here are a few scholarships that can help fill the gap.

Google honors the memory of one of its own technological pioneers, Dr. Anita Borg, by offering this scholarship for women planning to enter a computing and technology field. Applicants are determined based on the strength of their academic background and leadership skills.

  • Application Deadline: Applications become available in the fall
  • Renewable: No
  • Academic Status: Open to both undergraduate and graduate level students

In order to qualify for this scholarship, women undergraduates majoring in technical science must demonstrate character, conduct, integrity, academic achievement and scholastic aptitude, community involvement, and participation in extracurricular activities. Scholarship amounts vary.

  • Application Deadline: February 15
  • Award Amount: $500–$2,000
  • Renewable: No
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0/4.0 or equivalent
  • Merit vs. Need-Based: Merit-based
  • Academic Status: Must be entering sophomore through senior year of undergraduate education

Created in 2010, this scholarship program supports women beginning their careers in the tech field. Applicants are asked to submit a 500-word essay on a prompt related to the technology field.

  • Application Deadline: April 15
  • Award Amount: Up to $10,000
  • Academic Status: Must have completed at least one year of education in the STEM field

This business offers scholarships for women enrolled in a Product Design, Interaction Design, UX Design or Computer Science degree program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Applicants are asked to write an essay about a female leader who inspires them.

  • Application Deadline: August 19
  • Award Amount: $2,500
  • Number of Awards: 1

This scholarship program aims to inspire women in the technology field. It is open to current undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields. Applicants are asked to submit a 30-second video that answers the question: "What is your dream career in tech and how do you plan to achieve it?"

  • Application Deadline: TBD
  • Award Amount: $25,000
  • Number of Awards: 3

Daybreak Game Company offers scholarships that are "designed to educate and recruit diverse, and often underrepresented, talent into the field of video game production, design, programming and engineering," according to their website. In addition to the scholarship, the winner will also be hired as a paid intern for up to eight weeks at the company's headquarters in San Diego.

  • Application Deadline: June 3
  • Award Amount: $10,000
  • Number of Awards: 1

If you are a woman pursuing an education, especially in a field that is underrepresented by women, look closely at the opportunities available to you. With a little research, self-reflection, and careful application writing, you may just score one of these scholarships that can put you on the path towards reaching your career goals.


  1. The Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, Google, Accessed July 2016, https://www.google.com/anitaborg/
  2. Auxilary Legacy Scholarship, National Society of Professional Engineers, Accessed July 2016, https://www.asme.org/career-education/scholarships-and-grants/scholarship-and-loans
  3. C200 Scholars Awards, Accessed July 2016, https://www.c200.org/c200/our_foundation/scholarship_criteria.aspx
  4. Career Development Grants, American Association of University Women, Accessed July 2016, http://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/educational-funding-and-awards/career-development-grants/
  5. Clare Booth Luce Program, Henry Luce Foundation, Accessed July 2016, http://www.hluce.org/cblapprocess.aspx
  6. Daybreak Game Company, Gamers In Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship Competition, Accessed July 2016, https://www.daybreakgames.com/scholarship
  7. Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Accessed July 2016, http://fosterscholars.noaa.gov/aboutscholarship.html
  8. The Dorothy M. Skinner Award Fund, The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, http://sicb.org/students/skinner.php3
  9. Engineering and Technical Science Achievement Scholarship, Alpha Omega Epsilon National Foundation, Accessed July 2016, http://www.aoefoundation.org/scholarships.php
  10. International Fellowships, American Association of University Women, Accessed July 2016, http://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/educational-funding-and-awards/international-fellowships/
  11. Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund, Accessed July 2016, http://www.rankinfoundation.org/students/eligibility/
  12. Maria Goeppert Mayer Award, American Physical Society, Accessed July 2016, http://www.aps.org/programs/honors/awards/goeppert-mayer.cfm
  13. M. Hildred Blewett Scholarship for Women in Physics, The American Physical Society, Accessed July 2016, https://www.aps.org/programs/women/scholarships/blewett/
  14. "Fast Facts: Back to School Statistics", National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed July 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372
  15. Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship, Zonta International, Accessed July 2016, http://www.zonta.org/Global-Impact/Education/Women-in-Business-Scholarship
  16. Women in Technology Scholarship Fund, Mediaocean, Accessed July 2016, http://wit.mediaocean.com/
  17. National Girls Collaborative Project, "State of Girls and Women in STEM," Accessed July 2016, https://ngcproject.org/statistics
  18. Peace Scholarship, Philanthropic Education Organization, Accessed July 2016, http://www.peointernational.org/about-peo-international-peace-scholarship-ips
  19. "Scholarships: Who Gets Them and Why?", NPR, Accessed July 2016, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=134623124
  20. "Scholarship Study: The Real Chances of Getting Free Money for College," NerdWallet, Accessed July 2016, https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/student-loans/nerdscholar-scholarship-study-5000-private-scholarships-analyzed/
  21. Society of Women Engineers, Accessed July 2016, http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/swe-scholarships
  22. STAR Scholarship, Philanthropic Education Organization, Accessed July 2016, http://www.peointernational.org/about-peo-star-scholarship-star
  23. The Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund, Accessed July 2016, https://www.sbmef.org/Site/Scholarships.cfm
  24. Tech Republic, "The State of Women in Technology", http://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-state-of-women-in-technology-15-data-points-you-should-know/
  25. Unesco Institute for Statistics, "Women in Science", Accessed July 2016 http://www.uis.unesco.org/ScienceTechnology/Pages/women-in-science-leaky-pipeline-data-viz.aspx
  26. United Airlines Tech Ops - Women in Aviation Scholarship, Women in Aviation  International, Accessed July2016, https://www.wai.org/education/scholarships/2017/united-airlines-tech-ops-women-aviation-scholarship-2017-0
  27. Women Divers Hall of Fame Scholarships, Accessed July2016, http://www.wdhof.org/scholarships/scholarships.shtml
  28. Women in Technology Scholarship, Buildium, Accessed July 2016, https://www.buildium.com/women-in-technology-scholarship/
  29. Women in STEM Scholarship, BHW Group, Accessed July 2016, https://thebhwgroup.com/scholarship
  30. Women in Technology Scholarship, Palantir, Accessed July 2016, http://www.palantir.com/college/scholarship/
  31. Society of Women Engineers Scholarships, Society of Women Engineers, Accessed July 2016, http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/swe-scholarships
  32. Auxiliary Legacy Scholarship, National Society of Professional Engineers, Accessed July 2016, https://www.nspe.org/resources/students/scholarships/auxiliary-legacy-scholarship