Free College Grants for Women
Women should always have the chance to earn a degree. Unfortunately, college has become an unattainable goal for many would-be students. With college tuition at an all-time high, many women cannot afford to attend. Besides expensive tuition, students also need to have money to pay for books, transportation and a dorm room.
In 2011, one year at a public university cost nearly $12,000. Students had to spend approximately $5,000 to attend a community college or trade school. Despite these high costs, they didn’t come close to the expenses of a private university. It was only one year ago that students had to spend nearly $20,000 to attend a private school. The worst part is that tuition is still on the rise. Most students will spend even more than this for the 2012 school year.
To ease these prices, students should seek financial assistance. Many organizations provide grants to help students afford the cost of higher education. Unlike student loans, grants do not have to be paid back. When applying for college, women should look for as many grants as they can. With so many different options available, even low-income students have the opportunity to earn a college degree.
The best time to start looking for grants is prior to high school graduation. If students wait until they graduate, they are going to have a harder time. Many grants have deadlines that are in early in the year. Therefore, students need to be mindful of these deadlines. Students who plan ahead will have more success than those who do not. Not only will they have more grant money, they will also have more flexibility in choosing a school to attend.
The exact details about different types of grants will be discussed in the following sections.
I. Looking for Student Financial Assistance
College grants for women are separated by categories. They are categorized based on the reason that they are being presented. Some are offered for academic achievements. Others may be awarded based on a person’s minority status.
When searching online for financial assistance, use reputable sources. This is the best way to get updated information. If someone needs help, the following resources are a great starting point.
High School Guidance Counselors
To find grant information, high school students can talk to their guidance counselor. The counselor has all kinds of information about different grants that are available. Not only that, but the guidance counselor also has tools that can help with the search process.
Grants should not be the only concern for students. While applying for grants, it is also essential for students to apply to some colleges. Since schools have deadlines, do not wait for a grant to be awarded. If applications are put on hold, students may face a mailbox full of rejection letters. High school guidance counselors can also help students with their college applications. Even though funding has not been secured, students must move on with the application process. Guidance counselors are available to answer any questions or concerns that a student may have
If parents want to get involved in the search, they can start by talking to members of the PTA. Many of these members already have kids who are in college. Therefore, a lot of them have been through the process before. Talking to these members is a great way to get advice about finding grants. During this time, parents should also have a discussion with their daughter about the costs that are associated with college. It is important for parents to inform their child about how much the family can afford to contribute.
The Internet is a valuable tool. With the right search terms, a variety of grants can be found. Women can use words such as financial aid, students and grants to find what they are looking for.
One good resource is the site www.finaid.org. This site lists multiple different grants that women can apply for. In addition to government grants, it also catalogs ones from professional organizations. On this site, students can learn how the grant process works. It is a great place for females to see a directory of grants that they can qualify for.
II. Types of Grants That Can Be Obtained
A number of places award grants to students. Some of this financial assistance comes from the government. Other grants are handed out by private institutions and business tycoons. The grants are meant to help with tuition and other school related fees.
The majority of grants are given to a specific kind of recipient. For instance, they are often targeted towards people who are unable to afford college. Another common theme is grants that are awarded to people who have a physical handicap. Minority women and military veterans can also find grants that were created with them in mind.
Most higher education grants come from the following areas:
- The Federal government
- State governments
- Private corporations
- Public and private universities
No matter where the grant comes from, it is free money that students can use to pay for college. Since tuition is at an all-time high, any type of grant will come in handy.
Grants from the Federal Government
The federal government gives out grants to help low-income students. These grants are meant to make school obtainable for those who cannot afford to attend. Over the years, federal grants have played an important part in congressional income. Quite a bit of pressure is put on the government to support students who want a higher education.
When a woman wants to attend college, federal grants are a terrific resource. Although the federal government awards many grants, there are three major types in which students qualify. These three types are based on income level, area of study and military status. To request federal assistance, students must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA). This form can be found at www.fasfa.ed.gov.
Some federal grants are more common than others. A few of the best ones include:
- The Federal Pell Grant
- The Academic Competitiveness Grant
- The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
- The National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART)
Each of these grants aims for a particular selection of people. The Pell Grant, for example, is meant for students in a low-income family. Despite their targeted group of characters, all four of these grants supply tuition assistance to those are in need of help. These grants make it possible for women to attend college.
In order to receive a grant from the federal government, it is imperative for students to fill out the FASFA. Without this form, the government is unable to award any grant money.
A. The Federal Pell Grant
This federal grant is named after the former United States Senator Claiborne Pell. When education reform was happening in the 1960s, Pell fought for schooling to be funded. Although it took some time, the Pell Grant was started in 1972.
Since it is funded by the government, the Pell Grant is paid for by American citizens. Each year, the government allots a certain amount of money to cover these grants. The amount of money that each college woman receives is based on her cost of school attendance. As a result, awarded amounts vary from person to person.
Determining a Student’s Eligibility
In order to receive a Pell Grant, students must be enrolled in a postsecondary institution. If the student has already earned bachelor’s degree, she cannot qualify for this grant. The Pell Grant is only awarded to undergraduate students. However, there is an exception to this rule: Some students can earn a Pell Grant if they are unable to afford tuition for their master’s degree.
Before awarding any grants, the federal government must recognize the college. They only acknowledge schools that have been accredited. When starting the college application process, make sure to check each schools level of accreditation. Not only that, but not all schools participate in the program. The best thing to do is check with a school’s financial aid department to see if their students can receive government assistance.
Pell Grants are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Keep in mind that a parent’s income is included in the decision. The United States government always includes family revenue as an available source to pay for college tuition. If a family makes too much money, then the student is likely to be denied as a grant recipient.
Possible Funding Amounts
Since the Pell Grant budget is updated on an annual basis, the total amount of money that a student can receive varies. The maximum amount that a student can get is usually around $5,500 per school year.
If they are in financial need, college women must reapply for the Pell Grant each academic year. In fact, students are required to fill out a new FASFA before the start of a new school year. Although tedious, this process allows the government to reassess a family’s financial situation.
For additional information about the Pell Grant, check out the government’s page. It can be found at http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/PellGrants.jsp.
B. An Academic Competitiveness Grant
This financial assistance award is often referred to as the AC Grant. Only first and second-year undergraduate students are eligible to apply. To receive the grant, students must attend a college that is accredited. Along with that, it needs to be a participating institution.
When a woman receives the AC Grant, the government is acknowledging her academic achievements. Like the Pell Grant, it awards money to students who come from a low-income family. Among these low-income candidates, the grant is limited to women and men who have achieved academic greatness. In 2011, freshman students were awarded $750. That same year, sophomores received up to $1,300. This form of financial assistance can be used in addition to a Pell Grant award.
In order to be considered for the AC Grant, students must receive good grades in a demanding group of classes. For example, English and science are required courses in the program. The other mandatory classes include math, social studies and a foreign language. If students have not earned credit for these courses, they will not be eligible for the grant.
The AC Grant is meant to inspire low-income students to perform well in high school. With this student-specific grant, teenagers are required to graduate with honors. Once in college, students need to have at least a 3.0 GPA to keep the grant. Therefore, the government is encouraging students to reach their academic potential. This award shows that hard work and effort can pay off.
Before a woman is considered for this award, she must first satisfy the Pell Grant requirements. After those obligations have been met, AC Grant applications will be reviewed. Even though a student can be awarded both grants, the cost of the college or university is considered in the equation. The collective total of both grants cannot exceed the cost of attendance. Neither grant is meant to give people free spending money.
To find out more about the Academic Competitiveness Grant, check out the government’s site. It can be found at http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/AcademicGrants.jsp?tab=funding.
C. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
This grant was created for students who are in the lowest income bracket. When a family is unable to provide financial support, students are awarded the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). If a woman is awarded the Pell Grant, she must first be considered for the FSEOG. Students receive this award when their expected family contributions are extremely low.
The program provides up to $4,000 a year. Since the grant is campus-based, the awarded amount depends on a person’s cost of tuition. Therefore, some students may receive more than others. The federal government considers both financial need and tuition costs when deciding how much assistance a person can use. The award cannot exceed the cost of tuition. Even if tuition is more than $4,000 a year, that is all the federal government can hand out.
To learn more about the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, check out http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/FSEOG.jsp.
D. The National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant
Most people abbreviate this grant as SMART. It was created to help undergraduate students fund their final two years of college. The program targets students who are unable to afford the rest of their education. SMART is awarded along with the Pell Grant. Therefore, students are required to qualify for the Pell Grant award.
Since it is only given to students who major in math or science, SMART is known to be a degree-specific grant. If students major in art history, for example, they are not eligible for this grant.
Determining a Person’s Eligibility
To be eligible for this grant, students must purse a degree in math, life science or computer science. Majors such as chemistry, biology and physics are all legitimate options. Engineering students are also eligible for the grant. On occasion, certain liberal art majors may be accepted. The federal government can even choose to award the grant to critical foreign language majors.
Before they apply for the grant, students must finish the required amount of credits in two years. While taking these credits, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher. Their school must be an accredited institution. Not only that, but students are also required to be enrolled at least part-time during their final two years of school.
Possible Funding Amounts
At this time, students can receive up to $4,000 per academic year. With that said, the SMART grant is based on funding allowances from the federal government. Therefore, the maximum amount can vary from year to year. It is recommended that students check the government site every now and then. This is the best way to learn about amount changes. Not only that, but it is also a good way to learn about new deadlines or eligibility requirements.
Awards amounts cannot exceed the cost of attendance. As long as it doesn’t exceed tuition expenses, the SMART grant can be combined with a Pell Grant.
To see if your daughter qualifies for the SMART grant, view full details for the program at http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/NewPrograms.jsp.
E. The Iraq or Afghanistan Grant
Women who have a lost a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan can apply for assistance. This grant is meant to reward military service. If they want to qualify, women must have already been enrolled in college when they lost their parent during the Iraq or Afghanistan war. Students are required to be 24-years-old or younger. Along with that, this service grant is only meant for students who do not qualify for a Pell Grant.
Visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/IraqAfghanServiceGrant.jsp for additional information.
F. A TEACH Grant
Like other federal programs, a TEACH Grant gives recipients nearly $4,000 each school year. In order to be eligible, women must be willing to work for a school that is located in a low-income area. Besides teaching low-income children, students can also choose to work in a high-needs area.
Across the country, certain subjects are facing a teacher shortage. These areas include bilingual studies, foreign languages, math and special education. Consequently, these are considered to be high-need areas.
Upon graduation, women must work for at least four years in a low-income school. Before getting the grant, students sign an agreement that they will complete a four-year teaching requirement within eight years of graduating. If a woman does not complete this four-year requirement, her grant is switched to an unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Not only does the grant need to be paid back, but there will also be interest due.
To learn more, refer to http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/TEACH.jsp.
Grants from the State Government
There are many states that provide students with financial assistance. Like federal grants, state programs target specific groups of individuals. For instance, some grants aim for a certain category of education. In order to fund grants, states use part of their revenue from lotteries. Each year, they designate a certain amount that will go towards the cost of funding higher education.
States take pride in assisting their residents with attending college. Even though the grants are not only for females, they are still a great resource to use. To get the advantages from state grants, women must meet certain criteria. The most basic requirement is to be a resident of the state. Another common requirement is that the student must attend school within state lines. Other criteria may include academic merit and financial need.
Some examples of state grants include:
A. The Alabama Commission for Higher Education
With this grant from the state of Alabama, students can receive $1,200. The award is available to both part-time and full-time students. In order to be eligible, applicants must attend a pre-approved university or college. Women can apply for the grant through their school’s financial aid department.
For additional information, go to www.ache.state.al.us/studentasst/programs.htm.
B. The Arizona Commission for Higher Education
This Arizona grant provides students with $2,000 worth of assistance. However, it is only available to students who plan on attending a private university within the state of Arizona. If women do not earn their bachelor’s degree in five years, they will have to pay the state back.
The grant is known as the Arizona Early Graduation Grant. It is meant to help students who were able to complete high school early. Before the board considers any candidates, they must pass an Arizona standards test.
College women must fill out the FASFA to be considered. Along with that, they must directly apply for the grant by going to www.azgrants.gov.
C. The California Student Aid Commission
Every year, California awards thousands of grants to students. Out of all these grants, many are given to women. Most of the requirements include having a good GPA. In addition, financial need is another common requirement. The state helps many low-income women who want to achieve a higher education.
Since state legislature budgets change each year, awarded amounts will vary. Some students will get more than others. The rewarded amount depends on the annual state budget. Not only that, but amounts also vary by school. Some colleges allow the grant to cover the cost of room and board, textbooks and other supplies. However, there are other schools that only allow the grant to cover the cost of tuition.
Before a parent’s daughter can apply for a California grant, she must fill out the FASFA.
California Grant A Entitlement Awards
The California Grant A Entitlement Award is one of the many grants that the state provides to residents who wish to obtain a higher education. These grants are available to students who have a 3.0 GPA or higher. They can be utilized at almost any college within the state of California. For instance, they are eligible at both universities and community colleges.
During the 2011 to 2012 year, students who were attending University of California received approximately $12,100 in grant money. At California State University, qualified students were given almost $5,500 for the year. For students attending private universities, they received nearly $10,000 to pay for tuition.
California Grant B Entitlement Awards
If a student has less than a 3.0 GPA, she can still qualify for a California state grant. In order to receive this award, students only need to have a 2.0 GPA. During their first year of school, women are guaranteed $1,551 in funding. More funding can be given in the following years. To continue the award, students are required to complete a certain number of credits. California Grant B Entitlement Awards are given to students who attend the University of California, a private institution, a state University or a career college.
California Grant A and B Competitive Award
If a student does not meet qualifications for the California Grant A or B Entitlement Awards, she can submit an application for the California Grant A and B Competitive Award. The main difference between these grants is that the competitive awards are not a guarantee. A majority of these competitive awards are given to students who were unable to meet the requirements for the entitlement grants.
To submit an application for an entitlement grant or a competitive award, California residents must fill out the FASFA by the state deadline. When doing this, students must send in proof of their GPA. This is usually done by having the high school mail a copy of the student’s official transcript.
To learn more about these grants, check out the California Student’s Aid Commission website. While at this site, students can also review requirements and download relevant applications. The site can be found by going to www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?id-33.
Women’s Colleges with Financial Aid Opportunities
There are several women’s colleges that offer students grants to attend their institution. Most of these colleges award grants based on financial need, merit and area of study. In addition, some of the grants consider ethnicity and religious affiliation.
Like with other grants, students must complete the FASFA. Part of this application will have students select which college they plan on attending. Although this is the main requirement, some colleges also want their students to fill out an additional application. This other form must be given to the school’s financial aid office. Otherwise, the student may not receive any funding.
If a student is a good athlete, then she is likely to receive a grant to attend a college for women. Many of these institutions also award students who are majoring in art or science. Besides grants, women’s colleges offer a number of athletic scholarships. Over the years, they have been improving their athletic pool. Now, these schools are also focusing on providing financial assistance to low-income students.
Here are some women’s colleges that offer grants to students.
A. The Agnes Scott College
If a woman is a member of the Presbyterian Church, she may qualify for a grant at the Agnes Scott College. Besides religious affiliation, the grants are based on ethnic background, area of study and academic achievement. The school also likes applicants who display leadership ability.
To read more about these opportunities, go to www.agnesscott.edu/admission/undergraduate/finacialaid/agnes-scott-scholarships.aspx.
B. Alverno College
Alverno College gives money to students who are from a low-income family. Their grants can be used in addition to federal aid. Some of their grants are only awarded to people who are Wisconsin state residents. They also have a number of grants that are handed out to first-year students.
For information about eligibility requirements, check out www.alverno.edu/financialaid/typesoffinancialaid/grants/.
C. Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr College considers a variety of factors when they are dispensing grants. If a student has little to no income, the college is likely to award her a grant based on financial need. With that said, the college will not award any grants until students have exhausted their resources with the federal government. This college also requires women to be enrolled as full-time students. Otherwise, students will miss the opportunity to receive a Bryn Mawr College grant.
Go to www.brynmawr.edu/sfs/types/undergraduate.html to learn more about financial assistance opportunities.
D. Lesley College
This women’s institution provides need-based grants for four years of study. No matter the area of study, low-income women will receive assistance. At this college, women are encouraged to study anything that they want. The grants can be used alongside federal aid.
For more information, go to www.lesley.edu/services/financial_aid/lc.html#grants.
E. Simmons College
Simmons College awards grants to women who are facing enormous financial burdens. One example of a grant that they provide is known as the Gilbert Grant. This grant is awarded to Massachusetts residents who are in financial need. Another grant that they offer is referred to as the MASS Grant. To receive this grant, students must attend Simmons College.
To learn more about funding opportunities, college women can refer to www.simmons.edu/financialaid/new/undergraduate/grants.php.
G. Wellesley College
Like Simmons, Wellesley College is also located in Massachusetts. Female minorities have a great chance at earning a grant from this school. This is due to the fact that the school favors a diverse population. They offer grants to both Hispanic women and African Americans. In addition, the school also awards a number of grants to students who are the first in their family to attend college.
Subject-Based Grants for Women
Many foundations, organizations and universities provide women with subject-based grants. They do this in order to attract women to a field that is primarily dominated by men.
Female high school graduates should strongly consider majoring in something that is dominated by males. Not only are grants more readily available, but it can also be easier for women to find a job upon graduation. Some of the fields that provide a number of grants include engineering, nursing, science, math and medical research. Large corporations are one of the biggest grant providers when it comes to women entering a specialized degree program. A few of the most well-known organizations that award grants to college women include:
- The National Physical Science Consortium
- The National Black Nurses Association
- A Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for Minority Students
A. The National Physical Science Consortium Grant
Although anyone can be awarded this grant, it mainly targets women and minorities. The goal of this grant is to improve the amount of women who major in science and engineering. A $20,000 annual stipend is awarded to recipients of the NPSC Graduate Fellowship. Another bonus is that the fellowship is renewable for up to six years. To get an application, go to www.npsc.org/.
B. Zonta International
This subject-based grant is meant for women who are pursuing a doctoral degree. The program is also known as Zonta International’s Amelia Earhart Fellowship. Each year, 35 women are awarded $10,000 to pursue their degree in aerospace engineering. Women from multiple countries are given the award. The grant can be used at any accredited university that offers a degree in aerospace science. To be eligible for this grant, it is essential for women to have an excellent academic record.
The application for Zonta International can be downloaded by going to www.zonta.org.
C. The Society of Women Engineers
If a woman is enrolled at an accredited institution, she may be eligible to receive this award. The Society of Women Engineers wants to give females the opportunity to enter the engineering career field. The amount of funding that a person can be granted ranges from $1,000 to $20,000.
Visit their website at https://scholarships.swe.org/applications/login.asp to apply.
Grants from Professional Organizations
A number of professional organizations want to empower women. As a result, they create grants to help women achieve a higher education. Some of the professional organizations that do this include:
A. The American Association of University Women (AAUW)
This professional organization was specially created to help women with their educational endeavors. Awards that are funded through this organization are referred to as career development grants. Anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000 can be awarded. Minority women have the best chance to receive this grant. Along with that, it is also commonly given to women who are entering a nontraditional field of study.
Interested candidates can learn more about it by going to
B. The International Federation of University Women
The International Federation of University Women offers grants to females throughout the world. With these grants, women are free to pursue a degree in any field that they want. The only stipulation is that the women must belong to one of the organization’s national federations.
Awards are handed out in Swiss Francs. In American money, the amounts range from $3,300 to $6,670. Potential applicants can go to www.ifuw.org/what/fellowships/international/ to learn more about the organization.
With their grants, the Microsoft Corporation wants to entice women to join the technology field. In order to do this, they are handing out a number of subject-based grants.
A. Graduate Women’s Scholarship Program
This award is meant for women who are entering their second year of graduate school. It is a one-year scholarship that goes to women who have a great academic record. The women must be attending school for computer science, mathematics or electrical engineering. If their application is accepted, students will earn a $15,000 award. In addition, successful applicants are also given $2,000 as travel allowance to attend a Microsoft conference.
In order to apply, candidates must submit academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae and an application. To download the application, women can go to www.research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/awards/fellows-women.aspx#Application.
B. Blacks at Microsoft
This program is great for African American women. If they are majoring in technology, anyone who is of African descent can apply. However, there are certain requirements that must be met. For instance, students need to have at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA. Along with that, they must demonstrate financial need. Then, a final requirement is that candidates must display leadership capacity. Successful applicants will be awarded up to $5,000 in financial assistance.
Before they can apply, students must complete an application packet. Part of this packet will require letters of recommendation, transcripts and essays. Students will also be required to create a resume. In order to download the Blacks at Microsoft application, please visit www.microsoft.com/about/diversity/en/us/programs/blacks-scholarships.aspx.
Grants from Foundations
When in need, students should always look for funding from corporations. Large companies often provide grants to attract future employees. Some of the best companies to seek assistance from include engineering, manufacturing and software. Students can find corporation grants for both undergraduate and graduate studies.
Most foundation grants require students to work as a trainee at the company while they are enrolled in school. The corporation works with the student to come up with a core group of classes to take.
If the rewarded amount is not enough to cover the cost of tuition, students can also apply for grants from the federal and state government.
Some examples of foundation grants include:
A. Soroptimist International
As a nonprofit organization, Soroptimist works to make women’s lives better. They provide financial assistance to women who are seeking higher education. It is the goal of Soroptimist to help when achieve their dream job.
Soroptimist International operates in 19 different countries. In order to be eligible, recipients must reside in one of these 19 different locations. The students have to prove that they are in financial need. Along with that, candidates are required to be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate institution. This nonprofit organization looks for women who have overcome significant obstacles in their life.
To apply for the grant, visit www.Soroptimist.org.
B. The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF)
The MMMF is awarded to international women who are attending college in the United States. To be considered for the grant, students must prove that they plan on returning to their home country after graduation.
Applicants for this award must come from a lower-income country. Once they graduate, students have to return to their own country within two years. The only people who are considered for this grant are ones who have displayed a willingness to help women and children. Furthermore, applicants must be 25 or older. If they demonstrate financial need, they are more likely to get an award.
With the MMMF, students can receive up to $11,000 to fund their education. Applications can be found at www.mmmf-grants.org/grants-us.html#criteria.
C. The Sunshine Lady Foundation (SLF)
This foundation is a scholarship program. The goal of the foundation is to help women gain their independence. If a woman has ever been abused by her partner, then she may be eligible for some education funding. The program provides money to women who have left an abusive domestic relationship.
Recipients can use their award at a number of colleges. It is applicable at technical and vocational schools. Not only that, but the award can also be used at a public or private university. Single mothers are the most successful applicants. In addition, successful candidates are students who can prove that they have financial constraints.
Most recipients are undergraduate students. However, a limited number of graduate applications may be accepted. Graduate-level funding is harder to attain. The reason for this is that women must prove that they will be unsuccessful without it.
Women must be separated from their abuser for at least one year to be considered for a scholarship. They must be a United States citizen. Along with that, they must demonstrate the desire to earn a degree.
For more information about the Women’s Independence Scholarship program, visit www.wispinc.org/programs/wisp/tabid/62/default.aspx.
Grants for Low-Income Women
Many low-income women assume that they cannot attend college. Fortunately, they are wrong. If they use the right resources, then all students can afford college tuition. Several grants have been created specifically for low-income women. These grants help women achieve their dreams.
Here is one example of a grant that is only awarded to low-income women.
The Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund
This fund offers both scholarships and grants to women who lack the financial means to pay for college. In order to be eligible, women must be over the age of 35. Along with that, applicants must be a United States citizen. The Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund only offers awards to those who are attending an accredited institution. As long as the school is accredited, it can be a community college, a university or a vocational program.
When picking applicants, a student’s level of income is the primary focus. However, the selection committee also considers other factors. For instance, committee members may look at an applicant’s goals for the future.
To determine income levels, committee members will examine a student’s salary and household size. In order to determine if they meet income criteria, women can compare their financial status with the Department of Labor’s Lower Living Standard. To apply for a grant, download an application from www.rankinfoundation.org/students/applications.
Funds for Single Mothers
Single mothers often face a lot of challenges. As a result, grants have been created to help mothers who want to pursue a higher education. These grants come from independent foundations, state governments and even some colleges. Keep in mind that most of these grants require single mothers to have little income.
A. The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Funds
The Arkansas state government set up a scholarship fund to help single mothers. This fund is meant to offset the cost of college. If a mom wants to be considered for funding, she must demonstrate financial need. Another requirement is that her dependents must be under the age of 18. Then, the final condition requires this to be the mother’s first time earning a degree.
Mothers can read all of the guidelines and limitations by visiting www.aspsf.org/students.html. Besides that, applications can also be found at this site.
B. Association on American Indian Affairs
The Association on American Indian Affairs awards grants to women who have financial burdens. Every year, the association gives displaced homemakers $1,500 to help pay for college. These displaced homemakers are women who have never been to college. They are usually over the age of 30 and have young kids to care for. On occasion, the association also awards money to individuals who started college but had to drop out due to family obligations.
For additional information, visit www.indian-affairs.org/scholarships/displaced_homemakers.htm. Here, people can read about eligibility requirements, fill out an application form and learn more about the association.
C. Andersen Nontraditional Scholarship for Women’s Education and Retraining (ANSWER)
This foundation is commonly abbreviated at ANSWER. It awards money to single-parent mothers who are over the age of 25. To be eligible for funding, the mothers must be raising children who are in grade school.
ANSWER requires applicants to be legal residents of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Applicants from adjoining counties in North and South Carolina may also be accepted. In addition, students are required to attend a four-year degree program at an undergraduate institution. Students who are working towards a two-year nursing degree are also eligible.
For further information, visit www.fftc.org/page.aspx?pid=710.
D. The Single Parent Scholarship
If a single mom plans on attending school at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, then she may be eligible for special funding. The school awards single moms with $8,000. In order to be eligible, candidates must show a potential for success. Along with that, they must prove financial need and have dependent children. When handing out awards, the school shows preference for returning female students.
E. The Coplan Donohue Single Parent Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to single parents who are in the pursuit of higher education. Although amounts vary, the average recipient receives $1,000. In order to be eligible, students must not have completed more than 30 credit hours. Successful applicants are parents who have primary custody of their children and are going to school full-time.
The Coplan Donohue Single parent Scholarship is awarded to students who are attending Minnesota State University Mankato. Applicants must write an essay and submit letters of recommendation. For additional information, refer to www.msu.edu/wcenter/scholarships/.
III. Grants for Minority Women
The U.S. is considered a melting pot. In order to give minority women equal opportunity, certain grants have been created with them in mind. Due to these grants, the number of minorities in college has increased over the past few years.
A large percentage of minority women come from disadvantaged households. Many of these households are below the line of poverty. As a result, the women have no way to pay for postsecondary education. Even though it is alarming, there is some good news. Thanks to the increasing minority population, a number of grants have been created to help people get out poverty.
Minority women are encouraged to apply to as many grants as they possibly can. If these women explore financial aid opportunities, they will find a number of options. When researching minority grants, it is best for people to know how they are categorized. The most common categories include:
- African Americans
- Asian Americans
- Students who have disabilities
- Students who are Hispanic and Latin American
- Native Americans
- College students who are the first in their family to attend
A. The Jackie Robinson Foundation
At the Jackie Robinson Foundation, they fund minority students with up to $7,500. They do this by way of their Educational and Leadership Developmental Program. Successful applicants are students who can display leadership abilities. They must have financial need. Not only that, but applicants are required to attend a four-year university. The foundation usually chooses candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to community service.
In order to apply, check out their site at www.jackierobinson.org/apply/general-applicants.php.
B. The United Negro College Fund
The United Negro College Fund started back in 1944. Today, it is the largest funding source of all African American programs. Besides grants, the UNCF also offers scholarships and low-interest loans.
To learn about eligibility requirements, check out scholarships.uncf.org.
C. Asian Cultural Council Grants
If an Asian student is pursuing a degree in visual or performing arts, she has a good chance of receiving a grant through the Asian Cultural Council. This council favors students who are attending school for cross-cultural studies.
Eligible candidates are a United States citizen. The council usually chooses students who plan on studying abroad. In fact, the council was created to promote economic and trade bonds between the U.S. and Asia.
D. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Latin American women can obtain funding from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. They reward both undergraduate and graduate students.
While there are no GPA requirements, applicants must maintain a satisfactory course load. In addition, students are required to be a citizen of the United States of America. Students are usually chosen based on financial need and their commitment to community service.
In order to apply for financial backing, check out the site at www.chci.org.
E. The American Indian College Fund
Native Americans can find grants by researching the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. Here, students can find grants through the government or private agencies. In order to prove eligibility, students must show their Certificate of Indian Blood. This certificate shows funding institutions that the student is a documented Native American.
In order to apply for a grant, Native American students can go to www.collegefund.org/.
IV. The Application Process
Although it may seem difficult, the process to apply for grants is easy. The majority of grants only require a simple application to be filled out. However, students will need to have certain figures calculated. For instance, students should know their expected family contribution. Since many grants are based on financial need, these calculated figures will be used over and over again. The application process can be tedious, but it will be worth it in the end.
Nearly all grants require students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Therefore, this is one of the first steps that college women should take when trying to obtain a grant. This form can be found by going to www.fasfa.ed.gov.
V. Applying For Multiple Grants
In order to be successful when applying for grants, students should explore every option that is available. Female college students are more likely to see success if they apply for multiple grants. Even if a student meets the eligibility requirements, not every application will be accepted. Some grants have more applicants than they do money. Besides that, there are certain grants that are only offered for one year. Since most schooling takes longer than a year, students will need to find additional funding.
When applying for multiple grants, there are certain points that students must keep in mind. These points are:
- Federal grants are awarded one year at a time. Students can reapply for them year after year.
- Scholarships are usually received in a large lump sum. Some scholarships can be renewed if a student maintains a good GPA.
- Most private grants are only a one-time award.
- Certain grants are meant for undergraduate students. Then, others are meant for graduate studies. Keep this in mind when researching different grant options.
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