College Scholarships & Resources for Women

Equality of opportunity helps students of all communities get access to funding for college. The following guide focuses on scholarships, grants, and a variety of resources specifically for women interested in all higher education majors, including healthcare.

A great career often starts with a college degree. But college is a major investment, especially when students pursue a four-year credential and beyond. Scholarships are a great way to cut down on this cost, and fortunately, there are many organizations willing to help women get over that financial hurdle.

This guide looks at the variety of scholarships available to women in higher education, offers advice on how to make your application stand out, and looks at resources that can help women network, advocate, learn, and make the most of their strong bond with other women through organizations and associations that cater just to them.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Women Students

The most common types of financial aid include grants, scholarships, and loans. Loans often come along with interest and must be paid back. However, grants and scholarships do not. Grants are often awarded based on financial situations, while scholarships look at academic merit, though of course there are some exceptions. Let’s take a look at the wide pool of scholarships from which a woman can pull some financial help when it’s time to take their education to a higher level.

General Scholarships

Organization

Organization

AAUW

Amount

Amount

From $2,000 to $12,000

Deadline

Deadline

November 15 (annual)

Eligibility

Must hold a bachelor’s degree earned before June 30, 2015, be a woman seeking to advance or change careers, and be permanent US residents.

How to Apply

Applicants must create an account to apply for these grants, as well as other opportunities through AAUW for individual educational funding.

Organization

Organization

Army Women’s Foundation

Amount

Amount

Between $1,000 and $2,500

Deadline

Deadline

1/15/20 (annual)

Eligibility

A woman who has served honorably in branches of the U.S. Army, with varying requirements beyond that, depending upon the level of study.

How to Apply

The online application requires an essay, transcript, two recommendations, verified military documents, and proof of enrollment in college.

Organization

Organization

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

2/27/20 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be at least 25 years old, from the state of Georgia, attending a non-profit accredited institution, and meet income guidelines.

How to Apply

The online application requires a resume, volunteer history, transcripts, the FAFSA results, and letters of recommendation, and more.

Organization

Organization

Executive Women International

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

4/15/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Students must be high school seniors living in the boundary of an EWI chapter with a plan to enter business programs of any kind (including healthcare administration) for a four-year degree.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through their nearest chapter, and can obtain information and application forms from there.

Organization

Organization

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

Amount

Amount

$500

Deadline

Deadline

2/27/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Must be a women 35 years of age or older, demonstrate financial need, and be pursuing a first degree in vocational, associate, or bachelor’s programs.

How to Apply

The online application requires a resume, volunteer history, transcripts, FAFSA results, letters of recommendation, and more.

Medical and Health Scholarships

Organization

Organization

American Medical Women’s Association

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

Rolling basis

Eligibility

Students must have at least 50 cumulative hours of service with AMWA and participate in a project to advance women in healthcare.

How to Apply

In addition to completing a downloadable application, students must be nominated by their supervising AMWA leader.

Organization

Organization

American Medical Women’s Association

Amount

Amount

$1,000

Deadline

Deadline

10/31/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Students must be a member of the AMWA, a leader in their medical school, and nominated by someone in their local chapter.

How to Apply

The application will include the nomination form, proof of membership, personal statement, and a current CV and contact information.

Organization

Organization

Daughters of the American Revolution

Amount

Amount

$2,500

Deadline

Deadline

2/15/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Must be enrolled in a nursing program, demonstrate financial need, and be a US citizen.

How to Apply

An application, as well as a letter of acceptance or transcript from the current nursing program.

Organization

Organization

Zonta International Foundation

Amount

Amount

$2,000

Deadline

Deadline

8/15/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

For female undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in a business discipline, including operation management and others that pertain to healthcare, and live in one of the areas serviced by Zonta International.

How to Apply

A downloadable application is available on the website; the applicant must work with their Zonta club to get the materials to the appropriate place.

Organization

Organization

Zeta National Education Foundation

Amount

Amount

$500 to $1,000

Deadline

Deadline

Rolling basis

Eligibility

Must be a member of Zeta Phi Beta, a full-time student, and an undergraduate studying in a counseling program.

How to Apply

Students must apply through their local chapter. Proof of enrollment is required.

5 Keys to Landing Your Scholarship

Scholarships are fantastic sources of financial aid because they don’t have to be paid back. And besides that, it feels great to get one – it shows that someone (or a whole committee!) believes in you. So, take it seriously by creating an application that shines. Here are some tips to do that.

  • Key #1: Get your application in early
    The earlier you get in that application, the more likely you will be to get a discerning eye on it. Why? As the deadline nears, the avalanche of applications pours in. If the committee looks at them on a first come, first look basis, getting it in early might give you an advantage.
  • Key #2: Apply for local scholarships.
    Apply to all the scholarships you are qualified for, but don’t discount smaller scholarships offered by local organizations and businesses. Those smaller dollar amounts can add up fast!
  • Key #3: Employ an extra set of eyes – or two
    Having someone else look over your application can help you catch errors you might never have seen on your own. This is especially true with essays and personal statements, where you might not notice the little problems without a good edit or two.
  • Key #4: Create a great essay that reflects who you are
    Almost everything else about the application is numbers – grade point average, scores, even financial info. The essay is where you can break free of the pack and stand out as an excellent candidate. Focus on writing about who you are and what you can bring to the table.
  • Key #5: Ask for letters of recommendation very early
    Colleagues, former professors, community leaders, and others who might like to write your recommendation letters are likely very busy people. Ask for letters of recommendation well before you even start your application, and remind them of the deadline.

College Resources for Women Students

Getting into and graduating from a college program can be tough; that’s a good reason why women must stick together and help each other with a hand up that ladder to acceptance. That ladder begins much earlier than the application deadline! Start now by getting your ducks in a row with financial aid, networking, skill development, and more as you begin the journey of getting into the healthcare field. These resources can help.

Academic & Career

  • American Association of University Women
    The AAUW focuses on higher education, advocacy, mentoring, leadership, and building skills among women so they can serve as a stronger force in the future.
  • Girls Inc.
    This inspiring organization helps girls and young women find their educational path, empower themselves through learning leadership skills, performing direct service, and embracing advocacy for what they believe in.
  • Young Women’s Project
    Designed for women who want to get involved in the DC area, this organization provides the opportunities to make a difference in education, health, employment, foster care, and more.

Social & Networking

  • 9 to 5
    This organization works to get equal pay, equal participation, and equal power for women everywhere. With several chapters and a national network, women can help each other reach their goals.
  • National Organization for Women
    NOW focuses on advocacy, networking, and social assistance of all kinds for women in the organization. Those who want to make a difference, especially through political means, will enjoy being a member.
  • Women in Healthcare Management
    Members can enjoy the strong social and networking aspects of this organization, which focuses on development and empowerment of women in administrative healthcare positions.

Advocacy & Diversity

  • Association for Women’s Rights in Development
    This organization supports women who are seeking to improve and enhance gender justice, human rights, and women’s rights across the world.
  • Coalition of Labor Union Women
    Through membership and local chapters, CLUW helps ensure women have a say in the activities of unions to which they might belong.
  • Global Fund for Women
    This organization works to provide grants for women in need around the world. Part of their work is funding education for women in areas where higher education (or even K-12 education) is scarce or discouraged.

Healthcare Education

  • American Medical Student Association
    Those who are in medical school can turn to this organization for assistance, such as educational opportunities for those who want to learn more about a particular area of practice.
  • American Medical Women’s Association 
    Established in 1915, this organization helps women in medicine and healthcare, including offering help with funding, leadership, some forms of education on niche subjects, and the like.
  • Women in Healthcare
    This organization focuses on professional development of women in the healthcare field through the use of further education, networking, and mentorships.