Show off your girl power by applying for and winning the best women’s scholarships. These sex-based scholarships give cisgender and transgender women free money for college tuition help. According to the Pew Research Center, women make up 50.2 percent of today’s workforce with a college degree. Nearly 30 million American women have at least a bachelor’s. Nonetheless, there’s still a gender pay gap where women earn 85 percent of male salaries. Many organizations fund female-only scholarships to assist ladies who are breaking the glass ceiling. Here are 30 great scholarships for women that provide worthwhile, big-dollar amounts of $2,500 to $45,000.
Related resource: 20 Most Affordable Master’s in Women’s Studies
1. (ISC)² Women’s Scholarships
- Attend any U.S. or international college full- or part-time
- Choose a cybersecurity or information assurance degree
- Demonstrate academic achievement with a 3.3 or better GPA
Granted a 2020 Mom’s Choice Award, the Center for Cyber Safety & Education in Clearwater funds 10 (ISC)² Women’s Scholarships for up to $6,000 each year. Female students, including transgender women, can utilize funding for undergraduate or graduate cybersecurity education. Apply online between February 15th and April 15th with an autobiographical essay.
2. AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships
- Be women from historically underrepresented ethnic minorities
- Enroll full-time at an accredited U.S. graduate school
- Pursue male-dominated STEM, law, medicine, and business fields
Founded by Marion Talbot and Ellen Swallow Richards in 1881, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a DC-based nonprofit with more than 170,000 members. Each year, the Selected Professions Fellowships give $5,000 to $18,000 to fund master’s or professional degrees. Applications are due December 1st with transcripts and three references.
3. Abby’s Closet Dreams Scholarships
- Be female graduating high school seniors in 12th grade
- Intend to enroll full-time at an accredited college or trade school
- Maintain a cumulative GPA above 2.5 and have financial need
Since 2004, Abby’s Closet has donated over 30,000 prom dresses to young women at 250+ high schools across the Pacific Northwest. The Dreams Scholarships follow suit by gifting $2,500 to Oregon and Washington teen girls seeking higher education. Applicants must qualify to attend a Prom Dress Giveaway. Emailed applications and transcripts are due February 7th.
4. EFWA Women in Transition Scholarships
- Be female primary caregivers of dependent children under 18
- Return to college for a bachelor’s degree in accounting
- Complete satisfactory coursework with a 3.0 or greater GPA
Led by Robert Bendetti Jr., CPA, the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA) has an April 30th deadline for its four-year $16,000 Women in Transition Scholarships. Eligible U.S. mothers must be enrolling at least half-time at accredited colleges for accounting career preparation. There’s also the $1,000 Michele L. McDonald Memorial Scholarship available.
5. AGA Women’s Scholarship Program
- Be bona fide Alabama residents with a passion for golfing
- Need financial support for an accredited undergraduate degree
- Maintain full-time enrollment with a minimum “C+” average
Initiated in 1915, the Alabama Golf Association (AGA) in Hoover has 130+ member clubs with nearly 18,500 amateur golfers statewide. Each Spring, the Women’s Scholarship Program provides renewable $2,500 semester prizes worth $20,000 in total. In-state female high school graduates apply until March 2nd with recommendations, transcripts, and federal tax forms.
6. Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy Memorial Scholarship
- Be a female African-American descendent of U.S. slaves
- Pursue a doctorate full-time at an accredited medical school
- Commit to serving minorities in medically underserved areas
Started by Dr. Franklin McLean in 1946, National Medical Fellowships Inc. (NMF) has bestowed more than $40 million to 30,000 medical school students of color. The $5,000 Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy Memorial Scholarship honors the three enslaved women who are heralded as the “Mothers of Gynecology.” Black women pursuing M.D. or D.O. degrees can apply until March 16th.
7. Ann Fudge Scholarship Program
- Be African-American female students enrolled in undergrad studies
- Attend a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
- Display leadership and academic potential with GPAs above 2.8
Formed in 1986, the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) is a preeminent, DC-based nonprofit with over 800 Black senior-level management members. Its Ann Fudge Scholarship Program distributes $4,000 to $12,000 annually to honor the former CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands. African-American women must apply and upload a five-minute video essay before March 20th.
8. M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship
- Be female U.S. and Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree for physics research careers
- Have overcome obstacles and interruptions to Ph.D. coursework
Directed by CEO Kate Kirby, the American Physical Society (APS) has developed five scholarships, including the M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship, since 1899. This one-year award provides up to $45,000 for women who’ve faced adversity during their Ph.D. degree journey in physics. Submit an institutional support letter, three recommendations, and the project proposal by June 1st.
9. Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Scholarship
- Be female U.S. citizens studying at NAAB-accredited institutions
- Complete 60+ credits for junior or higher standing in architecture
- Exhibit architectural design talent with a minimum 3.0 GPA
Partnered with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Architects Foundation has built eight funds since 2006, including the $10,000 Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Scholarship. Funding aids women from the third to fifth year to prepare for the Architect Registration Exam. Applications are due January 17th with a portfolio, current resume, and 1,200 original essay.
10. BC Women in Leadership Scholarship
- Be U.S. citizens or legal residents enrolled full-time in college
- Have junior or higher standing with a cumulative GPA over 3.0
- Declare any engineering or environmental sciences major
Dating back to 1947, Brown and Caldwell (BC) is a full-service engineering firm in Walnut Creek with over 1,700 employee-owners and a big $5,00 Women in Leadership Scholarship. This STEM women’s scholarship closes on August 15th for future environmental industry leaders. Applications are incomplete without a resume, 250-word essay, transcript, and reference letter.
11. Fellowship on Women & Public Policy
- Be female full-time graduate students at New York universities
- Have completed 12+ master’s credits in any academic field
- Verify at least three to five years of professional work experience
In Rockefeller College, the University at Albany’s Center for Women in Government and Civil Society (CWGCS) offers the Fellowship on Women & Public Policy each Spring. Recipients earn $10,000 stipends and tuition waivers for working 30 hours weekly at government placements. Fellowships last from January 1st to June 30th with a network mentoring program.
12. Daughters of the Cincinnati Scholarships
- Be graduating high school seniors who identify as women
- Have a parent or guardian who served in the U.S. Armed Forces
- Demonstrate financial need on the Student Aid Report (SAR)
Incorporated in 1894 by Revolutionary War descendants, the Daughters of the Cincinnati has a renewable, four-year $5,000 scholarship valued at $20,000 overall. Eligible entrants are the daughters of active-duty, retired, or deceased career commissioned military officers. Before March 15th, submit a recommendation letter, transcript, SAT/ACT score, and income tax return.
13. Deblinger Family Scholarship
- Be low-income, single female parents of children under age 18
- Enroll in an accredited California associate or bachelor’s program
- Reside in Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo counties
Endowed for $13.5 billion, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation led by CEO Nicole Taylor has grown 500+ scholarships since 2007. Specifically, the Deblinger Family Scholarship gives up to $10,000 to single mothers who maintain minimum 2.5 GPAs as non-traditional college students. Mailed application packets must arrive by May 22nd with a 500-word personal essay.
14. FWSF Scholarship Program
- Register full-time at an accredited Bay Area college
- Be juniors, seniors, or graduate students majoring in finance
- Show leadership skills and dedication a minimum 3.4 GPA
Celebrating its 30th year, the Financial Women of San Francisco (FWSF) Foundation has granted $2.6 million to over 300 Bay Area ladies entering the financial services industry. Each year, multiple scholarships give $10,000 for bachelor’s or $15,000 for master’s program tuition. High-achieving Californians must apply online by March 22nd with two recommendation letters.
15. GM Drive to Succeed Scholarships
- Be female high school graduates or GED recipients
- Enroll full-time at U.S. and Canadian higher learning institutes
- Pursue majors related to automotive management and retail
Launched in 2011, the General Motors (GM) Drive to Succeed Scholarship Program is run by the Women’s Retail Network to select 15-20 recipients of $5,000 annual awards. Funding empowers female college or trade school students who seek careers at automotive dealerships. Applications must be submitted by April 15th with a recommender form and 500-word personal statement.
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16. Helene M. Overly Memorial Graduate Scholarship
- Be female post-grads with accredited bachelor’s degrees
- Pursue graduate programs in any transportation-related field
- Have exemplary academic records with 3.0 or better GPAs
Chaired by Paula Hammond, the Women in Transportation (WTS) International has funded the $10,000 Helene M. Overly Memorial Graduate Scholarship since Spring 1981. It’s ideal for women seeking master’s degrees in transportation, logistics, engineering, and urban planning. Applications filed by October 25th are also considered for the $5,000 Leadership Legacy Scholarship.
17. HJWC Scholarship Program
- Be female graduating high school seniors
- Reside in the Western suburbs of Chicago
- Face economic disadvantages for entering college
Started in 1949, the Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club (HJWC) encompasses DuPage County as Illinois’ 5th District with over 3,300 members. Currently, the chapter presents two $4,000 scholarships each Spring after the April 16th deadline. Chicagoland women must complete the Google application with a typed community service resume, support letter, transcript, and essay.
18. Holly A. Cornell Scholarship
- Be female or minority students at accredited graduate schools
- Seek a master’s or Ph.D. degree related to water resources
- Conduct research on the North American water industry
Sponsored by the Jacobs/CH2M co-founder since 1990, the Holly A. Cornell Scholarship is granted through the American Water Works Association (AWWA) for $7,500 yearly. Funding is reserved for advanced education for careers in water supply treatment and management. Qualified women must complete the electronic application before December 13th.
19. Judy Kay Wendland-Young Scholarship
- Be non-traditional female students over 35 years old
- Enroll as first-time freshmen at accredited U.S. colleges
- Have significant financial need for bachelor’s degree tuition
Originated in 1910, the Jewish Community Federation (JCF) of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties has a $1.6 billion endowment to run 12 scholarship funds. The Judy Kay Wendland-Young Scholarship provides up to $20,000 to Bay Area Jewish women. Applications with transcripts, two references, FAFSA forms, and short essays are reviewed for August 1st decisions.
20. Linly Heflin Scholarship Fund
- Be female U.S. citizens and current Alabama residents
- Attend four-year, in-state colleges accredited by the SACS
- Maintain full-time course loads with 2.5 or greater GPAs
Honoring the founder of Red Cross Unit No. 2, the Linly Heflin Scholarship Fund has awarded more than 3,000 four-year, renewable awards since 1923. One of the South’s biggest and best women’s scholarships closes on December 31st. Alabama women apply as high school seniors to receive $7,000 annually or $28,000 combined for bachelor’s education.
21. AWMF Scholarship Program
- Be female students at accredited, four-year U.S. universities
- Select media-related majors like journalism and communications
- Carry 12+ credits per semester with a 3.25 or higher GPA
Renamed in 2010, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) is a Lexington-based nonprofit chaired by Keisha Sutton-James that awards $20,000 in annual scholarships. Two recipients earn $5,000 tuition checks for both the Fall and Spring term. By May 1st, applications must be uploaded with work samples, a teacher recommendation, and a media project concept.
22. Carlozzi Family Scholarship
- Be rising college sophomores, juniors, or seniors with GPAs over 3.2
- Attend accredited institutions in the Greater New York City area
- Declare communications-related majors for writing careers
Established in 1929 as a Theta Sigma Phi chapter, New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) has supported more than 300 female media professionals with $1.8 million. The Carlozzi Family Scholarship offers up to $10,000 annually for Tri-State members. Submit the application and required writing portfolio by January 25th to score March interview spots.
23. Deloris Carter Hampton Scholarship
- Be lesbian, bisexual, or transgender women of color
- Declare education, women’s health, dance, or related majors
- Demonstrate leadership in LGBTQ+ community activism
Created by Allan Tonning in 1985 during the HIV/AIDs crisis, the Pride Foundation has invested more than $70 million in LGBTQ+ youth with 60+ college scholarship funds. The Deloris Carter Hampton Scholarship gifts $5,000 to $10,000 for minority women from the Pacific Northwest. Apply online between January 13th and March 13th with a personal qualification statement.
24. Intel SWE Graduate Scholarships
- Be female U.S. citizens entering master’s or doctoral studies
- Major in computer engineering, computer science, or electrical engineering
- Exhibit academic promise with a bachelor’s GPA above 3.0
For 2019-20, the Society of Women Engineers in Chicago distributed nearly $810,000 overall to 260 female recipients enrolled at ABET-accredited institutions nationwide. The Intel SWE Graduate Scholarships provide $10,000 each to 20 annual winners. Applications are processed from December 1st to February 14th. Check out the $8,000 Anne Maureen Whitney Barrow Memorial Scholarship too.
25. Rebecca Gurley Bace Scholarship
- Be college junior, senior, and master’s students on U.S. campuses
- Choose technology majors in information security and cybersecurity
- Meet GPA restrictions with a “B-” average or better
Named for the “Den Mother of Cyber Security” in 2014, the Rebecca Gurley Bace Scholarship is a $10,000 prize presented by the Computing Research Association Widening Participation (CRA-WP). Eligible women must submit an essay, official transcript, updated resume, and original reference letter before February 1st. There’s also the Parisa Tabriz PrinSWSIS Scholarship available.
26. Toptal Scholarships for Women
- Be ambitious women aged 16 years or older
- Reside in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, or the Americas
- Pursue any type of post-secondary education program
Headquartered in Silicon Valley since 2010, Toptal is a global freelancer platform founded by Princeton alumnus Breanden Beneschott and valued at $100 million. Each year, $10,000 scholarships for women are distributed to five geographic regions worldwide. The Americas deadline is March 31st for submitting a 1,000-word essay on one’s work creating meaningful community change.
27. Elmira K. Beyer Endowed Scholarship
- Have resided in East Jefferson County for 24+ months
- Be sophomores, juniors, or seniors at accredited U.S. colleges
- Continue higher education after at least one gap year
Led by Catharine Robinson, the Port Townsend AAUW has operated the University Women’s Foundation (UWF) of Jefferson County since 1994 with several Washington scholarships. The Elmira K. Beyer Endowed Scholarship presents up to $11,000 annually for returning adult women. Applications postmarked by March 13th with three recommendations are considered.
28. Women With Promise Scholarship Program
- Be U.S. citizens or legal residents in Dallas and Collin counties
- Get accepted into an accredited university or vocational program
- Have volunteered with a nonprofit or social agency for 6+ months
Since 2013, Women With Promise has donated $50,000 to positively impact the lives of more than 45,000 women and children across North Texas. The women’s scholarships offer up to $5,000 apiece to fund college-level academic course tuition. Renewals are welcome if GPAs above 2.75 are maintained. Apply anytime with a sponsoring agency letter, two-page narrative, and federal tax return.
29. WWIN Star Scholars Program
- Be female Washington State residents age 18 or older
- Register for accredited certificate, associate, or bachelor’s programs
- Qualify for the State Need Grant and carry a minimum 2.5 GPA
Formed by Julia Love Pritt in 1992, Washington Women in Need (WWIN) is a Kirkland-based charity that runs the Star Scholars Program for $5,000 annual awards. Star Scholars collect up to $20,000 overall for a transformational college education. The application portal closes on April 12th for submitting state identification, the FAFSA form, and an unofficial transcript.
30. First Eight Scholarship for Women
- Be female graduating high school seniors in Pennsylvania
- Commit to an accredited, four-year college in the Commonwealth
- Maintain academic excellence with a 3.0 or greater GPA
Starting in 2020, AmeriHealth Caritas in Philadelphia will award the First Eight Scholarship for Women to honor the earliest female Pennsylvania General Assembly members. Recipients will renew $5,000 women’s scholarships each year for $20,000 in total. Qualifying U.S. citizens entering in-state bachelor’s programs can apply until March 31st for May decisions.