There are many opportunities for financial assistance to college in the form of scholarships and grants. These types of assistance are different from federal or private loans because they do not have to be paid back.
Students often take on student loans without a full understanding of how that debt will adversely affect their income and financial security after graduation.
They will be paying back their loans for several years with many thousands of dollars in interest tacked on to the original principle amount. With the rising cost of college tuition, applying for scholarships and grants can be highly beneficial.
Some scholarships may require very little time or effort while others have extensive applications that include letters of recommendation, essays, proof of financial need, and interviews.
Scholarships can be very lucrative and are worth the time it takes to research and apply. (Note: applicants should be wary of any scholarship service that requires a fee to use; legitimate scholarship opportunities are almost always free of any application fees.)
Another benefit of scholarships is that there is no limit to how many one individual can receive, and often scholarships are awarded for more than just one year. Most scholarships are for tuition and fees, but some may also cover room and board, books, or offer a stipend to the student.
Prospective students will find that many scholarships have specific eligibility requirements that can be based on age, heritage, field of study, financial resources, residency, and other criteria. Applicants have the best chance of winning scholarships if they have high grades, extra-curricular activities or volunteer work, solid references, and a strong desire to further their education.
In additional to national scholarships, students should contact the specific schools they are interested in and inquire about scholarships and grants. Often there are scholarship monies available that are not openly advertised. Applicants can also directly contact professional organizations that are related to their field of study; these groups often have scholarships available to interested parties.
The following is a compilation of several scholarships and grants, including some that are available only for single women.
The Alice Mcarver Ratchford Scholarship is for a single woman at the University of North Carolina who has never been married and lives on campus at UNC.
The Possible Woman Foundation International Scholarships are for single women who are seeking non-traditional careers. Learn more here.
Accounting and Business Scholarships
- AWSA Scholarship: The American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) awards scholarships to current undergraduate or graduate female students pursuing a degree in accounting; applicants must be a current member of ASWA to be eligible to apply
- EFWA Scholarship: The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA) offers several different scholarships for women who are pursuing either undergraduate and advanced degrees in accounting; women are allowed to apply for as many scholarships as they are eligible for
- Klausman Women in Business Scholarship: The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarships are awarded to women who are pursuing a degree in business
- Microsoft Scholarship: Microsoft offers a Research Graduate Women’s Scholarship to a woman who is entering her second year of graduate studies; the award is significant and amounts to approximately $15,000
- SWE Scholarship: The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) awards several scholarships to women who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in engineering or computer science at an accredited university
- AACEI Scholarship: AACE International Competitive Scholarships are awarded to full time students pursuing a degree in engineering, construction management, or other related fields; the awards range from $2000 to $8000. Application deadline: February 15.
- ASDSO Scholarship: The Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) Undergraduate Scholarship is for upcoming college seniors who are enrolled in an accredited civil engineering program. Application deadline: March 31.
Health Related Fields of Study Scholarships
*The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a Nursing Scholarship Program that is designed to help attract students to the nursing field; in exchange for full tuition and a stipend, students agree to serve 2 years after graduation working at a health care facility that has a critical shortage of nurses
*The Gallagher Koster Health Careers Scholarship Program awards 50 annual scholarships to junior or senior year undergraduate students who are studying a health related field such as nursing, pre-med, biology, social work, pharmacy, or dentistry; applicants must have a financial need and a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
Application deadline: mid May
Gallagher Koster Health Careers Scholarship
*The Blanco Foundation, Inc. Scholarship is offered by this non-profit group to a student who is entering the nursing field
Application deadline: February 1
*One of the most well known government educational grants is the Pell Grant; this award is based upon financial need and will not exceed $5500 per year
*Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are for low income students at over 4,000 universities; the U.S. Department of Education determines the need of individual students and awards these grants of varying amounts
Scholarships Offered by Private Corporations and Non-Profit Organizations
*Best Buy offers scholarships to high school students who plan to move on to college as a full time undergraduate student; the company awards $1000 scholarships to 1200 students based upon their academic and community service records
Application deadline: mid February
*The Dell Scholars Program is for highly motivated students who are preparing to pursue at least a Bachelor’s degree; this is a substantial scholarship in the amount of $20,000
*Linda Lael Miller Scholarships are awarded to women who are non traditional students seeking to improve their lives through education
Application deadline: early September
Linda Lael Miller Scholarships
*P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) offers several different scholarships for women, including:
1. Program for Continuing Education Award for North American women whose educations were interrupted at some point and wish to continue their studies
2. Scholar Awards for women pursuing doctoral degrees
3. STAR Scholarship for a high school senior who is continuing on to college
*American Association of University Women (AAUW) has an abundance of awards for women, including:
1. Scholarships offered by local and state branches of the AAUW
2. American Fellowships to women completing doctoral programs or conducting research for publication
3. Career Development Grants for women who are preparing to re-enter the workforce or change careers through a new degree
4. Selected Professions Fellowships for women pursuing careers in traditionally male dominated fields such as law and medicine
*The Emerge Scholarship Program gives awards to women who are trying to return to school after a hiatus or wish to change careers; scholarships are usually in the amount of $5000
*The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation awards scholarships to low income women who are pursuing education or training to improve their quality of living; the foundation gives out at least five Education Support Awards that are worth $2000 each
Patsy Mink Foundation Scholarships
*The Elks National Foundation Legacy Awards is for children, stepchildren, and grandchildren of members of the Elks Lodge, which is a national charitable organization with several chapters throughout the country; the Foundation offers awards in the amount of $4000 and usually gives away 250 awards per year
Application deadline: February 1
Religious Based Funding
*The Italian Catholic Federation (ICF) Scholarships are targeted towards Italian Roman Catholics of Nevada, California, Arizona, or Illinois
*The Faith and Education Scholarship Fund is a $10,000 award for a member of the Church of Christ to be used at a liberal arts school
Application deadline: late March
*The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, offers John W. McDevitt (Fourth Degree) Scholarships to students attending a Catholic university
Application deadline: March 1
Knights of Columbus Scholarships
*The National Presbyterian College Scholarship is for students who are active members of a Presbyterian Church and are preparing to enter a college associated with the Presbyterian Church; they must also have at least a 3.0 GPA and show financial need
Application deadline: March 1
National Presbyterian College Scholarship
*Opportunity Scholarships for Lutheran Laywomen are for women aged 21 or older who are members of the Lutheran church and plan to go into a field other than ministry; there are several different scholarships available and vary somewhat in eligibility criteria
*The United Methodist Scholarship Program is for active members of the United Methodist Church
Application deadline: March 1
*The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation provides scholarships to students who are entering any of the 122 college institutions who are related to the United Methodist Church; there are several different scholarship programs, including Foundation Merit Scholars, United Methodist Leadership Scholars, and Named Endowed Scholarships
Methodist University Scholarships
Scholarships for Mature Women
*The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation Women’s Scholarship Program is specific to women over the age of 50 who are seeking to improve their lives by returning to school and learning new job skills
Application deadline: late March
*The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund offers assistance to low income women over the age of 35
Rankin Foundation Scholarships
Local Scholarships: California
*San Diego BBB Torch Awards range from $500 to $1500 and are for students in San Diego; the application includes a 400 word essay about marketplace ethics
Application deadline: mid October
*Capture the Dream, Inc. Single Parent Scholarship Fund is for single mothers who are pursuing an education in California
Application deadline: July 15
California Single Parent Scholarships
*Professional Business Women of California (PBWC) Scholarships for Young Women are awarded to encourage women to pursue an education and aspire to business leadship roles
Application deadline: early March
Local Scholarships: New York State
*The Susan W. Freestone Education Award is for a member of a Junior Grange in New York State who is also attending a two or four year college in the state; other awards offered by the New York State Grange include The DeNise Scholarship, the Cornell Fund, and the June Gill Nursing Scholarship to nursing students
Application deadline: April 15
New York State Grange Scholarships
*The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards grants to residents of New York who have shown financial need and are enrolled as full time students in the state of New York
*The New York Women in Communications Inc. Foundation Scholarship Program awards scholarships to New York women with academic excellence who are pursuing a career in communications
Application deadline: late January
New York Women in Communications Scholarships
Local Scholarships: Texas
*The Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG) Program offers financial assistance to Texas residents who are enrolled in two year colleges and show financial need
*The Rey Feo Scholarship Program is for San Antonio students who are pursuing a degree at a four year institution
Application deadline: March 31
*The Texas Urban Scholarship Fund is for students who are attending college in one of the several metropolitan areas of Texas including Dallas, Austin, Houston, Amarillo, and Lubbock.
I was recently told there was a grant for women that are under 4 foot 10. I am 4ft. 7″ and it doesn’t have to be paid back. I am searching, but only find for the tall women, what about short women. I am also single but I live in Ga. can anyone help me?
Really?! I can only assume that this is a joke. I have one eyelash that is longer than the rest, always has been. Can this be considered a genetic issue, and if so, is there a grant for this or possibly a government subsidy? Surely everyone and their dog has some sort of anomaly that can be used to gain free money. The government education system is failing so miserably that folks are expecting to gain free help to live their lives beyond high school. Get a job, save your money (ask for help on building a budget and stick to it), and go to school when you can afford to do so. And, yes, for a time it may mean having an entry level, minimum wage job until you have the training to do something with a better prospect. But the world needs ditch diggers too. Been there, done that.
Kindness goes a lot further than rudeness.
Yes, there are some scholarships that are weird out there. If she wants to get a good education, she should go now.
Didn’t you ever learn to keep silent when you are feeling to spout out rude and hurtful words? Obviously not.
I’m a bit late to this but apparently it is by the The Billy Barty Foundation.
I need help to find money for my schooling. I raised 4 kids without child support, I was abused as a child and as a young wife. I am 56 now raised my children to be successful and now I need a good career so I can build a nest egg for retirement. please help me in my need.
Do you know of any scholarships for single parent, non-traditional students in West Virginia?.
i want to further my education to support my family. things are hard these days, this would help me get employed n help my family
i am a single mother living in kenya, I am a nurse by proffesion, am passionate about my career, am seeking scholarship to upgrade to degree level, any help accorded will be greatly appreciated.
I need funding to help me pull through BSc. Medical Engineering 4 year course. I am already working and a holder of a Diploma in this field, but unable to meet the expenses involved with education and . I’m 42 years old SINGLE mother of a 15 yr-old(deaf) and 2 year old girls. Please help get into contact any organization or philanthropic individuals who can help me either with the Tuition fees or upkeep expenses, I am truly desperate and very determined to get this degree.
I am overwhelmed with trying to find scholarships and get back into school. I am a single mother of 2 with a full time job. I have not been to school in 15 years and am nervous, but trying to get it done. I want to make like better for myself and my children because we need it. PLEASE HELP!!!