Scholarships are grants for women are essentially the same thing: they are college loans that do not have to be repaid. However, scholarships are usually merit-based, while grants are need-based. In other words, scholarships are awarded based on your individual achievements. Grants are awarded based on financial needs. Grants are often funded by the government, either at the state or federal level. In order to apply for these grants, you must submit a FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Other grants are privately funded. Women may be able to find grants through their college or university, corporations, or nonprofit organizations. Depending on the source, some grants for women may also come with merit eligibility requirements. Qualifications for these types of grants can vary, as private organizations are free to establish their own terms.
As you might expect, eligibility requirements for women have at least one thing in common: applicants must be female. However, other requirements can vary considerably. Some grants require that you be a single parent, be returning to school after a long detour, live in a low-income household, or be pursuing a specific field or profession. Government grants for women usually require documented financial need. Private grants for women usually have unique requirements and may or may not focus on financial needs. In general, grants that can be applied to graduate studies are competitive. The grants listed below illustrate the different types of grants you may encounter in your search.
Types of Women’s Grants
- PEO Grant for Women Returning to College: The PEO Grant at Illinois State University is only for women whose educational endeavors were interrupted for at least two years and would like to return to college to finish their degree.
- Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund: This scholarship is only for women over 35 years old from low-income households who are pursuing a first undergraduate or vocational degree.
- AWM Travel Grants: These travel grants are awarded on a competitive basis to women pursuing post-doctoral research in mathematics. The awards are specific for international travel to conference in the field of mathematics.