Scholarships for women can be controversial. There are laws against gender discrimination, and many women's scholarship funds get bogged down in red tape. But these college scholarships for women are just one among many helpful resources available to females who are hoping to minimize the gender gap and pursue equality amidst their male counterparts.

Statistics show the need for such measures of inclusion and equality is perhaps greater now than ever. Even with "controls" that measure male and female statistics within the same job type and level of education, the gender gap as recently as 2016 revealed that women earn 98 cents on the dollar, compared to men. The uncontrolled, or "raw," statistics are even more disparate, with women earning just 76 cents for every dollar earned by men. Minority women can expect further delays in their quest for equal pay; Hispanic women and Black women are projected to earn the same pay as men in 2248 and 2124, respectively.

This is not for lack of trying to gain some ground on the part of women. In fact, more than 11 million females were expected to attend college in 2016, encompassing a larger percentage of the college student population than males during that year. And, while paying for college is a challenge that members of both genders can relate to, women may face additional struggles compared to men when it comes to higher education, such as entering a historically male-dominated field — such as a STEM-related discipline — after graduation, or raising a family while pursuing a degree. Of all college students with children, 43% are single mothers while single fathers only account for 11% of students caring for dependent children.

This is where our list of dedicated college scholarships for women comes in. Some of the scholarships below are available only to single parents, returning students, or those pursuing specific subjects. We also included a special category for women's scholarships designed to increase educational opportunities for women and increase their presence in STEM industries.

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Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements for women's scholarships and how to get a scholarship typically vary from one funding organization to the next. Scholarships awarded by professional organizations often require the applicant to study a specific subject, such as business or technology. Other scholarships target non-traditional female students with financial need in a particular location, requiring applicants to meet specific residency and/or age thresholds. Other eligibility requirements may include:

  • Identify as female
  • Have legal U.S. resident status
  • Meet specific GPA, SAT, GRE, or other merit requirements
  • Enrolled in an accredited program
  • Plan to study a specific subject or field
  • Over a certain age
  • Pursuing a first degree
  • Meet specific financial need requirements

Requirements for women's scholarships can vary greatly; while the above list contains many possibilities, it is not all inclusive. With a growing number of organizations establishing unique college scholarships for women, there are numerous diverse awards available for female students of all types and across many disciplines. The list below represents a small selection of scholarships created exclusively for women.

General Women's Scholarships

Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: March 17

Named for Jeannette Rankin, a women's rights activist and elected in 1916 as the first female Congressperson, the Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund is awarded to 60 women each year. Other requirements include being over 35 years of age and from low-income households, and recipients must also be pursuing their first undergraduate or vocational degree.

Jane M. Klausman Women In Business Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000 and $7,000
  • Deadline: Varies

This scholarship hosted by Zonta International awards domestic and international scholarships in the amount of $1,000 and $7,000, respectively, to women pursuing a business or business-related degree. The scholarship is awarded to up to 32 domestic and 12 international students each year.

The M. Hildred Blewett Scholarship for Women in Physics

  • Amount: Up to $45,000
  • Deadline: June 4

Made possible in memorium by a generous bequest from particle physicist M. Hildred Blewett, this scholarship in her name was established to enable women to return to a career in physics research after a family-related interruption to their careers. Among the largest monetary awards in this category, the scholarship also covers expenses such as dependent care, salary, travel, and equipment in addition to basic tuition and fees.

AAUW Reading Branch Graduate Scholarship

  • Amount: Up to $2,000
  • Deadline: May 26

Offered by the American Association of University Women-Reading Branch, the Graduate Scholarship Fund awards a scholarship of up to $2,000 to women who are pursuing full- or part-time graduate study in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

The Marilynn Smith Scholarship

  • Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: April 30

Among four scholarships offered by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), the Marilynn Smith Scholarship is awarded annually to 20 high school seniors who will pursue golf at the collegiate level.

NEWH Women Leaders Scholarship

  • Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: October 17

Hospitality Media Group, LLC sponsors this scholarship for women in an undergraduate program who are pursuing a career in hospitality management. Award recipients are provided travel and hotel accommodations to be honored at a dedicated ceremony during the Boutique Design West trade show and expo in Los Angeles each year.

Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security

  • Amount: Up to $10,000
  • Deadline: February 1

Computing Research Association for Women (CRA-W) offers scholarships dedicated to promoting financial assistance and educational support for women who are forming careers in information security-related fields. CRA-W scholarships are supported by a partnership between Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) and the Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE).

Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards

  • Amount: $3,000-$10,000
  • Deadline: November 15

Among many programs aimed at promoting female empowerment and improving the lives of women and girls, Soroptimist's Live Your Dream Awards support education and training for women who want to make a positive change within their community and around the world. Recipients may apply their award to higher education, books, childcare, tuition, and transportation costs.

The ANSWER Scholarship Endowment

  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: March 3

The Foundation for the Carolinas offers the ANSWER endowment to female students who are at least 25 years of age and raising at least one child in grades K-12. Applicants must be planning to pursue a first-time, four-year degree or a two-year nursing or healthcare degree at a not-for-profit college or university in Mecklenburg, North Carolina. Those attending those programs at surrounding contiguous counties in North or South Carolina are also eligible for the award.

Education Support Award

  • Amount: Up to $5,000
  • Deadline: Varies

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation will award five grants to low-income women with children who are pursuing a college degree or training program. Applicants must be of at least 17 years of age and a mother with minor children who can demonstrate financial need and state their civic-oriented or career goals post-graduation.

1,000 Dreams Scholarship Fund

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: April 1

Each year, the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship is awarded to up to five female students with financial need who are attending high school or a two-year or four-year college or university in the U.S. Students must demonstrate financial need.

Emerging Voices Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,000
  • Deadline: Varies

The Alliance for Women in Media and the Ford Motor Company Fund sponsor this essay-based scholarship intended to support educational programs for women in media. Recipients have the opportunity to guest-blog for AWM and travel to the Gracies Luncheon in New York City to accept their award.

The Rae Lee Siporin Scholarship for Women

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: June 9

The Rae Lee Siporin Scholarship for Women offers support for female students who have completed their freshman, sophomore, and junior year of college and are returning for their senior year after taking a break in their educational career. Applicants must be New Mexico residents attending a college or university in this state. Preference is given to students demonstrating financial need.

Yale University Women's Organization Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000-$3,000
  • Deadline: March 15

The Yale University Women's Organization's scholarships assist women who wish to return to their educations following a delay or disrupt; one specifically benefits women age 35 or older. Applicants must have an affiliation with Yale University, either personally or via an immediate family member. Money may only go toward tuition and academic fees.

Scholarships for African American Women

AAUW Selected Professional Focus Professions Group Fellowships

  • Amount: $5,000-$18,000
  • Deadline: January 10

Ahead of its time for awards of this type, the AAUW Selected Professional Focus Professions Group Fellowships program was created in 1970 for female African American students and other historically underrepresented minority women. One of the available scholarships for black women, it is available to applicants in their second, third, or third-to-fourth year of business administration, law, or medicine at an accredited college or university.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Career Development Grants

  • Amount: $2,000-$12,000
  • Deadline: December 15

One of the scholarships for African American women available, the AAUW offers specific grants to women in graduate study who are in need of assistance to re-enter the workforce or consider a new career. Though not required of applicants, women of color — or those who are pursuing their first advanced degree or seeking credentials or licensing in nontraditional fields — may be given priority.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship

  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: March 1

One of the most well-known scholarships for black women, this award is offered by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. The Malveaux Scholarship is given to a female African American student majoring in journalism, economics, or a related field as a college sophomore or junior enrolled at an accredited school.

The Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance Scholarship

  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: March 1

Also offered through the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., this is another one of the available scholarships for African American women. The Woman of Substance scholarship is specifically for African American women over the age of 35 who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate college program. An essay is required as part of the application, on the topic of "challenges to the mature student and how I overcame them."

Scholarships for Hispanic Women

Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,500
  • Deadline: March 31

Applicants to this scholarship are required to submit two essays on the subject of community leadership and social justice issues facing Latinas today. Applicants must be female students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in Northern California.

Young Latinas Leadership Institute (YLLI) Scholarship Program

  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: Varies

Since its inception in 2002, YLLI has awarded more than $144,000 scholarships for Hispanic women to Latinas in undergraduate programs in NYC and surrounding areas. Eligible applicants are Latinas currently enrolled in a three- or four-year program at a CUNY school with at least a 3.0 GPA.

Lambda Theta Nu Sorority Latina Scholarship

  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: Spring

Each chapter of the Lambda Theta Nu Sorority raises funds toward this scholarship for Latina students who are high school seniors in numerous locations across the U.S. Recipients may apply the funds toward their first year of college study.

Hispanic Women's Council (HWC) Scholarship

  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: June 27

Established in 2007, the HWC Scholarship is aimed at providing academic mentorship and financial support for female Hispanic students at the University of New Mexico or Central New Mexico Community College. More than 172 scholarships have been awarded to deserving students in academic, professional, and credentialing college programs.

STEM Scholarships for Women

Burlington Business and Professional Women's Organization Science and Technology Scholarship

  • Amount: $500-1,000
  • Deadline: March 3

One of numerous scholarships available through the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), the Burlington scholarship was developed specifically for female students who are single parents who are earning a degree and advance their career in the science and technology fields. Applicants must reside in select Vermont counties to be eligible for the award.

The Women Techmakers Scholars Program

  • Amount: $5,000 or $10,000
  • Deadline: December 1

Formerly called the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program, the Women Techmakers scholarship is open to female students who are studying computer science, computer engineering, or a technology/tech-related field. The award is merit-based and may be applied to bachelor's, master's, or Ph.D. programs.

SWE Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000-$15,000
  • Deadline: Varies

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) supports more than 10 scholarship programs for women pursuing engineering degrees at all levels of study and from all backgrounds, including awards sponsored by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the U.S. Air Force ROTC.

VIP Women In Technology Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,500
  • Deadline: March 7

The VIP Women In Technology Scholarship offers a financial award to numerous female students who are enrolled in or planning to enroll in a two- or four-year college program in computer science, information technology, management information systems, computer engineering, or a related technology-oriented field.

ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention, Inc. Academic Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: June 26

ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention offers a scholarship to women in biology, chemical engineering, and other STEM fields. Applicants must complete an essay on a topic that varies each year; prompts explore methods of preserving biodiversity and ways students can channel their STEM passions into a rewarding career.