Finding Scholarships for Women in Your Field of Study
If you’re like so many women these days, you’re probably concerned about how you’ll pay for your education. Whether you’re still in high school and just beginning to look at colleges and universities or you’re considering going back to school after several years, you should be looking into scholarships for women and how they can help you.
Scholarships, grants, and other financial aid are all available for women trying to get their degrees and gain employment in their chosen fields. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. By filling out this form, you can determine your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) This application is used by nearly all colleges and universities to determine eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs. While loans need to repaid, with grants or scholarships, on the other hand, you could get funding for your education that you’ll never have to pay back.
The Difference Between Grants and Scholarships for Women
So, what is the difference between a grant versus a scholarship? Most scholarships for minorities and women are awarded based on academic achievements and aptitude, whereas most grants are awarded based on financial need. The application processes for both are rigorous, and both take time and effort to complete.
The scholarships and grants for women that award the most financial aid also attract the most applicants, and competition can be very high. That’s no reason to give up on the idea of getting a scholarship or grant for your education. Putting the time and applying for several scholarships and grants for women could mean the difference between going to the university of your choice and in your preferred field of study OR putting off your education indefinitely until you can afford to pay for your tuition and expenses.
How A Scholarship For Women Can Help You
Many women apply for student loans by first filling out the FAFSA form. It is important to note that student loans that you can get won’t always cover your costs for tuition, books, room and board, etc. Even if they do, you’ll still be looking at potentially crippling debts for years to come after you graduate.
Getting just a small scholarship that applies to only a single semester of your college career can take away part of that burden. If you apply for more scholarships for minorities and/or women, you’ll be more likely to have even more of that burden lifted. You could even get a full college education without any student loan debts when you graduate.
Science and Engineering Scholarships
Are you interested in a career in engineering or the sciences? If you want to study any of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects, you can probably qualify for one of the numerous science and engineering scholarships for women.
You can find scholarships specific to women in almost any field of study, but scholarships for women are much more common in typically male-dominated fields. If you plan on entering a program in computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, or any other hard science, you have quite literally hundreds of scholarships to choose from in your field.
The tech industry, for example, is constantly looking for more and more competent and educated women. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of privately funded scholarships and both publicly and privately funded grants to bring more women up to speed and into STEM industry jobs. Even if you are not interested in pursuing a career in a male-dominated field, you may still be able to find a large number of college scholarships for women that apply to your major and your school of interest. You just have to know where to look and what to look for.
Looking for Scholarships for Women in Your Field
Years ago, finding scholarships for women was a lot more involved and a lot more time-consuming. Today, though, a simple Internet search can lead you to a plethora of choices. For example, the National Science Foundation has a number of scholarships available to women on their funding page. A simple search for “women” gives you numerous pages of possible scholarships for black women, minorities, and/or scholarships for women over 40. You can narrow this down to better fit your field by searching for “women and engineering”, “women and chemistry”, etc.
You can search any of these for the keywords “women” and your major or field of study. CareerInfoNet.org is actually the US Department of Labor’s scholarship resources site.
Scholarship Criteria and the Application Process
Scholarships and other funding opportunities (like grants) differ in their criteria and application processes. For example, the criteria for a government-funded grant may be largely based on income and financial need, but it may also include other requirements. Qualified candidates might be required to be women living in a certain state or municipality, full-time undergraduate students, and/or women seeking degrees in specific majors.
To qualify for Alice Conger Patterson Scholarships, you must be a woman over the age of 23. You must demonstrate financial need, and you must be applying to or enrolled in a 4-year college or university, “In the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina.”
Showing financial need usually involves providing tax and income information about yourself and any applicable family members, including your spouse if you are married. Showing outstanding academic aptitude for some scholarships includes writing an essay or otherwise demonstrating your achievements. Some scholarships will require, for example, letter of recommendations from professors and mentors.
The databases listed above will not only have information on grants and scholarships for women, but they’ll also have information on how to apply for scholarships and who qualifies for them. With a little bit of research, you can find amazing funding opportunities to help you get the education you deserve without burdening yourself with debts.
Search and Apply for Scholarships on ScholarshipChart.com
ScholarshipChart.com helps students and parents search and apply for scholarships, grants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through ScholarshipChart.com.