Government Grants for Women

Fund Your Education

6 out of 10 college freshman are women, so there are more and more scholarship programs and grants available that cater exclusively to women needing funding for college. Various organizations support financial aid initiatives for women, including advocacy groups government agencies and corporate benefactors.  Some awards are need-based, providing assistance for disadvantaged applicants, while others are merit-based, rewarding outstanding acheivement and scholastic performance.

Programs are in-place for diverse groups of women who need financial asssitance.  Some are earmarked for women returning to higher education, while others carry age-requirements that facilitate funding for adult students. Philanthropic groups and individuals who care about womens causes provide educational assistance that enables women to excel.  Individual colleges and universities also include gender-based financial aid opportunites within their campus-based assistance portfolios.

Pell Grants For Womengovernment grants for women

One of the most far-reaching government grant programs for women is the Federal Pell Grant Program. Pell grants have allowed female students to reach higher education goals for decades. Undergraduate degree programs qualify for Pell assistance, which is initiated by filing a standardized government financial aid application known as FAFSA.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) places applicants in-line for several government-backed financiaol aid programs, including Pell.  Women and their families submit information about income and financial needs, which the Department of Education distills into a standardized metric called Expected Family Contribution(EFC).  Your EFC serves as a basis for colleges and other financial aid professionals to evaluate your precise financial needs for college.

Pell Grants are issued as part of your overall financial aid package, and like other government programs, eligibility does not discriminate based on religion, gender or age. Pell Grants do not have to be repaid, and they are designated for students who need financial assistance. In addition, Pell applicants must take these conditions into account:

  • Demonstrated financial need is required to qualify for Pell Grants.
  • Pell grants aregiven to women studying in undergraduate programs, with some exceptions for post-baccalaureate certification
  • File a Free Application for Federal Students Aid (FAFSA) form by the June 30 deadline. The first day to file is January 1, so file early to get the financial assistance you need.
  • Applicants attend accredited colleges anduniversities, enrolled full-time or part-time.
  • The Pell Grant is not be applicable to online education or distance credit programs.

Additionl Government Resources Supplement Pell Grants

The Academic Competitiveness Grant is given to freshman and sophomores with excellent academic records, who show leadership qualities and are pursuing courses in math, science and other forward areas.

The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant: The National SMART Grant adds an additional $4,000 award for juniors and seniors who are studying engineering, mathematics, computer science, and technology. Qualified applicants are also receiving Pell Grants.

Grants for Women in Underrepresented Fields

Some grant programs available to women are funded by public and private groups that support specific fields or vocations where women are traditionally under-represented. Women with interests in math, science, engineering, technology, medicine, law, and business benefit from the efforts of groups that actively support these advancements financially. The following examples illuistrate the diverse scope of support for women’s educational causes:

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship Grant: This grant is given to women who major in science or mathematics. To qualify, you must have a high GPA and a strong desire to succeed at the graduate level in a related field.

The Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship for Minorities: This award is given to women and minorities who actively pursue careers in math, science, or engineering.

National Black Nurses Association Grants: This award is given to support and encourage the professional and educational advancement of African-American women in the nursing profession. Twelve annual grants and scholarships are given to undergraduate students who are enrolled in nursing programs. These awards typically range from $500 to $2,000 per year.

Fellowships in the Physical Sciences Grant: The National Physical Science Consortium offers this award to diversify the field of science. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply while studying at accepted universities. To be eligible students must:

  • Maintain a GPA of at least 3.0
  • Pursue a career in geology, astronomy, chemistry, math, or computer science.
  • Be enrolled in a pre-doctoral program.

Women in Engineering and Computer and Information Science Awards: These awards are given to women who are participating in graduate-level programs in science, engineering, computer science, and math.

The Regent’s Healthcare Scholarship for Medicine and Dentistry: This scholarship gives female residents of New York State a chance to receive grant money for dental or medical school. The award is given to women and minorities. Candidates must:

  • Enroll in New York State medical or dentistry programs.
  • Agree to serve in a New York State health care facility for a certain length of time after graduating.grants for women

Grants for Disadvantaged Women

Disadvantaged groups receive extra attention from scholarship and grant organiations working to lift them into higher education.  Economics and other limitations slow educational progress for women from disadvantaged backgrounds, so gender-based aid helps them meet tuition expenses and creates mobility. These resources, from the public and private sector, illuminate opportunities for disadvantaged women.

The Business and Professional Women’s Association Grant: This group pays special attention to financially disadvantaged women in higher education. Women of advanced age and those going back to school after absences are given highest priority for this award.

The Jeanette Rankin Foundation Award: This grant is given to women who are over the age of 35 and show economic need for higher education. Successful applicants arer pursuing  technical and professional degrees.

Raise the Nation Grant: This non-profit organization is dedicated to the needs of single mothers. An education grant is awarded based on financial need. They also administer a loan repayment program that is intended for women have student loans. Applicants must show a record of community service to receive financial assistance.

The Women’s Independence Scholarship: This program is initiated by the Sunshine Lady Foundation and is designed to help women who have fallen victim to domestic abuse by their partner.

Atlanta’s Women Diversity Grants

Local organizations offer grants, which are administered on-campus, to a variety of student groups.  These diversity grants, available in Atlanta, illustrate some of the financial aid opportunities found on-campus.

Spelman College: This historically black college serves the education aspirations of African-American women. This college gives scholarships to incoming students based on financial need and academic major.

Agnes Scott College: Another Atlanta school that seeks to further women’s education, Agnes Scott dispenses grants and scholarships. The Goizueta Foundation Scholarship offers Hispanic women full tuition and assists students who have dire economic need.

The Altrusa International Award: The Altrusa International Foundation is an organization made up of professionals who help support women in domestic and foreign communities. This group offers grants for women to attend U.S. colleges.  Grants range from $250 to $1,000 per semester.  funds are awarded according to financial need and academic merit.

AAUW Awards

One of the biggest sources of funding for women seeking higher education is the American Association of University Women. The AAUW offers financial assistance for women who are getting back into education, and others pursuing professional degrees. The organization is responsible for four different grant programs. These programs allow undergraduate women from the US and abroad to participate

American Fellowships is a grant program for women entering medical professions  Women seeking graduate research funds and dissertation assistance are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is November 15th, and awards range from $6,000 to $30,000, for post-doctoral work.

The Career Development Grant is offered to women pursuing graduate-level education. The awards range from $2,000 to $12,000, depending on qualifications. To meet application deadlines, you will need to apply by December 15.

The International Fellowships Grant is awarded to international students who plan to study in postgraduate programs in the U.S.. For those with  Master’s Degrees, awards range from $18,000 to $30,000 each. The deadline for this particular award is December 1st.

The Selected Professions Fellowships is given to U.S. women acquiring degrees in engineering, architecture, computer science, mathematics, law, medicine, and business. The grants range from $5,000 to $12,000, for most degrees.

AWIS Grants

The Association for Women In Science Scholarships and Fellowships provide further options for women in higher education. This program awards $1,000 each, to women who are earning degrees in the natural sciences. It also goes to graduate students of geoscience or physics.  AWIS awards help diverse participants:

The American Society for Microbiology Award: The ASM has more than 20 awards available for scientists who participate in research and education at every level. Women are eligible, and contributions are made available toward the progression of women who study microbiology. Some women are selected to win the prestigious Roche Diagnostics Alice C. Evans Award. The Evans Award is especially prized since Alice C. Evans was the first woman to head the American Society of Microbiology.

Society for Neuroscience Career Development Award: This award is given to women who who are already demonstrating achievement and progress in their selected fields and are interested in neuroscience. To be eligible for this award, scientists must submit published contributions and must show leadership and organization  The award is funded by Merck & Co., Inc. and is valued up to $2,000.

Society for Neuroscience Louise Hanson Special Recognition Award: The Louise Hanson Award is given to women who make contributions in professional careers related to neuroscience.  This award also includes complimentary registration for the Society of Neuroscience conference.

M. Hildred Blewett Scholarship: Another scholarship that helps women who are returning to physics careers after absences. This scholarship is approved to cover expenses which include travel, salary, equipment, tuition and fees associated with schooling. Applicants for this grant, meet these eligibility standards:

  • A citizen of the United States, legal resident, or resident alien of either the US or Canada.
  • Living in the US or Canada and have ties with a educational institution or national lab.
  • She must have completed work in a PhD program.

Society for Neuroscience Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award: This grant is given to women who show outstanding achievement throughout their careers. Successful applicants are committed to  women’s roles in neuroscience careers. The award can be worth up to $5,000.

Funderberg Research Scholar Award in Gastric Biology Related to Cancer: Applicants for this award are investigating the field of gastric biology. This grant consists of an award worth $100,000 that is split into two years worth of aid that should be used for gastric cancer research. Female researchers who are in the fields of regeneration and regulation of cell growth, gastric muscosal cell biology, genetics of gastric carcinoma, oncogenes in malignancies, gastric cancer, etiology of epithelial malignancies, or clinical research of gastric carcinoma are eligible. The last day to apply for this grant is September 5th.

Alice T. Schafer Prize Association for Women in Mathematics: This grant is given to undergraduate women who are pursuing mathematics education as part of the Association for Women in Mathematics. The Alice T. Schafer Prize was first given in 1990 by the Association for Women in Mathematics and is named after Schafer for her contributions in mathematics. To be considered for this prize you must:

  • Excel at mathematics courses and programs.
  • Show great interest in mathematics.
  • Have the ability to work independently.
  • Have performed in math competitions.

ACS Award in Pure Chemistry: The ACS Award is given to help encourage research in chemistry that is carried out by women in North America. This award amounts to $5,000 and up to $1,000 for travel expenses upon receiving the award. Nominees must:

  • Be born after April 30, 1974.
  • Have accomplished research in her career that was merited.
  • Must have conducted unusual research and be original.
  • The research must have been conducted in North America.

Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences Award: This award is given to recognize individuals who have involvement in the progression of women in chemistry and their development as professionals as chemists or engineers. A $10,000 grant is made to an institution, chosen by the award winner, to further advance objectives in chemistry. Another $5,000 is given to the award winner and travel expenses are covered up to $1,500 to receive the prize. This award is given by the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society and is given to nominees from any setting including professional, government, or even an independent facility. This award is granted to any woman regardless of age or nationality. To apply for this award, nominees must turn in application by November 1st.

women grants from the government for college

Vannevar Bush Award: This award is given to honor exceptional service to women in science and technology. Winners are contributors to the welfare of the Nation through activities that include science awareness, technology, and public policies. To apply for nomination, go to Previous winners include Bruce Alberts, from Science Magazine; Mildred Dresselhaus, Institute Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Norman Augustine, who is the former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Lockheed Martin Corporation. To be accepted as a nominee, applications must be turned in by November 3rd.

The National Science Board Public Service Award: The National Science Board Public Service Award is awarded to honorable individuals who have helped increase understanding of engineering and science in the US. This award is given to those who have public involvement in science awareness and can include mass media, educational programs, and science entertainment. Winners of this award can be women in media and also on television. To apply, go to and register your information by November 3rd.

MAA Grants for Women in Mathematics Projects: The MAA grant is given to those who help school girls appreciate and gain interest in mathematics. This award is given by the Tensor Foundation who helps solicit colleges, universities, and mathematics faculties to propose nominees for this grant. Women who seek this award must create a project that involves:

  • Organizing clubs for women who are interested in science and math.
  • Provide hosting to math clubs.
  • Create a network of professional mentors to direct girls for math projects.
  • Conduct summer mathematics programs for girls in high school.
  • Bring high school women to colleges for Math Day.
  • Structure a math club and mentor young women to start their own math clubs.
  • Create partnerships with industry professionals to connect women student with the real applications of math in real-world applications.

This award consists of a cash prize of $6,000 and must be applied for by February 12th.

Women in Technology Leadership Awards: This award is given to recognize achievements by women who are in technological organizations. These nominees must be great role models, mentors, or leaders in their field. They must also demonstrate success in technology or its related fields. The deadline for this grant is March 20th.

The American Society for Cell Biology Award: The American Society for Cell Biology Committee gives this award to those have made achievements in biology. The Junior Award is presented to those women in the early states of their careers. The Senior Award is given to a woman who has demonstrated science achievements and has shown a record of supporting women in science by providing mentorship to those in scientific careers. The last day to apply for this grant is March 31st.

More Awards from the Association for Women in Science

The AWIS Educational Committee gives out grants to women who complete their education in either technology, math, engineering, or science. These awards are obtained from contributions from donors. These 25 awards are given annually and total about $20,000. These awards are available to female undergraduates and predocoral students. To apply, students must:

  • Be enrolled in program that will result in a degree. The degree must be in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
  • Either be an American citizen or attend a university or college in the United States.
  • Be planning a science career that includes research or teaching.
  • Be applying for an AWIS award for the very first time.

The undergraduate awards are as follows:

Undergraduate Award: This award is given to college students who are in their second or third year of schooling and must have at lease one year left in their degree plan. This application requires a resume, an essay, and two separate letters of reference. Freshmen and seniors are not eligible for this award.

Kirsten R. Lorentzen Award: The Lorentzen Award is for sophomore and junior students who are studying physics or geoscience. To apply for this award, you must do a resume, an essay, and include three letters of reference.

The graduate awards are as follows:

Predoctoral Award: This award is available to students who are candidates for PhD selection. Women must complete their degree within 30 months and must include a resume, research study plan, and have two letters of reference.

Louise Meyer Schutzmeister Award: This award is available to women who are advancing to PhD status and must be studying physics.

Satter Award: The award is given to college students in the PhD program who have had to leave school for more than three years due to family. To apply you must do a resume, study plan, certificate of eligibility, and be able to show two letters of reference.

Barbara Filner Award: The newest award available is the Barbara Filner Award. It is given to a graduate student who has advanced to PhD level while doing mentorship and helping women advance in the science, math, and technology fields. This process requires you follow the same guidelines as the Predoctoral Award but also requires documentation of the activities you have done to help women become successful in their career ambitions.

Women have now been given a key component in attaining their dreams – higher education. With a strong educational background and multiple options, women can now set their goals on careers that have at one time been impossible to reach. There are multiple grants and scholarships for women to attain a degree and become involved in their profession.


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