Many female graduate students face exceptional difficulty attaining advanced degrees and entering the workforce; these difficulties can be financial, personal, or related to the gender-based inequality women continue to face in society.
Women face many unique difficulties in their pursuit of higher education. Though female college students outnumber their male peers, making up more than 56% of current college students, they are still underrepresented in many fields. Moreover, female students owe a disproportionate amount of the national student loan debt, collectively owing $929 billion — nearly two-thirds of the total student debt in the US.
This inequality is exacerbated by systemic economic sexism, like the wage gap between men and women. In high-paying fields, men can sometimes earn up to 43% more than women.
Though these numbers are troubling, financial aid is available to support women pursuing graduate degrees by lessening the financial burden of higher education. Unlike student loans, scholarship awards are a form of gift aid, meaning they don't have to be paid back and are free money that can offset the costs of higher education, including graduate school.
Though a gender gap persists in both employment and wages, financial assistance from scholarships can provide opportunities for female graduate students pursuing careers in male-dominated fields, such as STEM fields, and can help women strive for high-paying jobs.
Younger women can also take advantage of scholarship opportunities! Whether an applicant is a female undergraduate college student or part of another group, such as female high school seniors, there are plenty of scholarships available.
Graduate scholarships for women are a form of financial aid available to university women who are pursuing a graduate degree. In some cases, these scholarships can be available to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Many scholarships for university women serve to break down the barriers faced by women pursuing a graduate program. In particular, financial aid can help women enter a variety of male-dominated fields, as costs can often prevent female college students from being able to achieve their personal and professional goals.
These scholarships may be exclusive to women in graduate school, but graduate students can apply for other scholarships for which they are eligible as well, regardless of whether it is specific to those attending graduate school. For instance, a scholarship may be open to female high school seniors as well as those pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. In this case, the scholarship is not explicitly for graduate school students alone, but would still be open to women pursuing a graduate degree.
There are more specific types of graduate scholarships for women as well, and they can be categorized by field, type of degree program, school, age, and identity. All university women should look into scholarships more specifically geared to their strengths and identities; the narrower the applicant pool, the better one's chance of winning!
Studying science, technology, engineering, and math (colloquially known as "STEM") can prepare students in graduate school for a number of career paths. There are many STEM scholarships available to women in graduate school, especially low-income women who demonstrate financial need.
There are many graduate scholarships for women in STEM or STEM-related fields on Bold.org, with new ones posted each week!
Women of color face many hurdles related to their race/ethnicity as well as their gender. There are significant divides in employment rates, education outcomes, and wages between white women and women of color.
Students of color are most likely to take out loans, with 84.3% of Black Bachelor’s degree students taking out loans for the 2015-2016 year, followed by 83.0% of Alaska Native and American Indian/Native American students and 72.2% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. Student loan disparities are made even worse due to the racial wage gap that disadvantages Black and Latinx workers, a discrepancy impacted by the underemployment of workers of color.
Scholarships can help break women of color out of cycles of poverty and allow them to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees to achieve their career goals.
Though they are women of color, Black women face many more specific barriers to success brought on by the unique oppression faced by Black people, as well as the intersection of racism and sexism they face in everyday life. With these difficulties in mind, financial assistance becomes more essential than ever to help level the playing field for marginalized individuals.
The disparity in education between white and Black adults combined with the disparities between men and women place Black women at a particular disadvantage in reaching professional and personal goals. These circumstances also contribute to the underrepresentation of Black workers in high-paying fields, such as management, STEM, and law, and which can be discouraging for any black women looking to join a graduate program.
The exact application and eligibility requirements vary with each scholarship program, so it's important to look over the scholarship description before applying.
Scholarships generally require some type of submission to apply and may include additional materials like transcripts or work samples. Some graduate scholarships require students to be pursuing a particular field of study or studying in a particular graduate program.
Additionally, some scholarships require a minimum GPA or a submission of a transcript, so students should also be mindful that academic performance can be a factor in graduate school scholarships for women.
Every scholarship is different and requires some time and effort, so always check the exact requirements of the scholarship for which you are applying to make sure you've met all qualifications to be considered.
Always reference the application and eligibility requirements of the graduate scholarships for women in which you are interested to make sure you are a good fit and better your chances of success. Check these materials before beginning your essay or application so that you don't waste any time on opportunities you don't qualify for.
There are scholarships specific to female graduate students who wish to enter a specific field while there are others open to all students. For instance, one scholarships may be awarded only to a graduate student studying computer science, while another may be for women engineers pursuing a bachelor's degree.
Scholarships are typically awarded based on a writing sample or demonstration of interest. There are also women's graduate scholarships that are only available to applicants who demonstrate financial need or who have a particular identity.
Narrow, specific scholarships will likely have smaller application pools than scholarships for all women or those for all graduate students. The fewer eligible applicants there are, the more likely you'll be to win!
Since there's less competition for narrow scholarships, students should consider scholarships with many criteria, such as scholarships specifically for people with particular identities, financial and educational backgrounds, or fields of interest. There are also scholarships exclusively available to students who attend a particular college or university or who live in a certain state.
Though many graduate scholarships for women are only awarded one time, there are also many opportunities that are awarded annually. Female students can apply for these scholarships each year of graduate school for additional chances to earn financial support.
Another way to increase your chances of winning scholarships for women is to make your profile on Bold.org strong. Donors look for profiles that are fully filled out, with detailed descriptions. The more thoroughly you fill in your Bold.org profile and the more bold points you have, the more likely you are to attract the attention of those deciding on scholarship winners. Moreover, some scholarships (including several on this list) are only available to applicants with a minimum number of bold points.
There are many exclusive scholarships on Bold.org for female students in graduate programs seeking financial aid. These scholarships provide financial assistance to encourage women enrolled in graduate schools already, as well as female undergraduate students who are considering graduate school.
The $7,000 Feltus Impact Fund Scholarship scholarship will support 7 women ($1,000 each) working towards degrees in political science, STEM, or social science so they can build a strong foundation of knowledge. Any female student in undergraduate or graduate school in Texas who is pursuing STEM, political science, or social science and who has 400+ Bold points may apply for this scholarship by July 20, 2022.
This $4,000 scholarship will financially support the educational goals of 2 young women ($2,000 each) who are interested in reducing disparities in Texas. High school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate women students from Texas are eligible to apply for this scholarship if they are going into fields such as pre-law, political science, public health, medicine, and other related fields. Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher to apply. Special consideration will be given to applicants from underrepresented and marginalized communities. The deadline is October 1, 2022.
The $2,000 Supermom Scholarship is designed to help undergraduate and graduate single mothers and those who have been directly impacted by one, on their path to obtaining a college degree. Having a college degree can open many doors for mothers and their children, which is an opportunity every woman should have. Single mothers and children or loved ones of single mothers may apply for this award by August 31, 2022.
The $1,500 scholarship seeks to support underrepresented women who are pursuing careers in business so they can make a difference in their community. Any female business student pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at Purdue University Northwest may apply for this scholarship by August 1, 2022.
This $1,500 scholarship seeks to support women who are pursuing degrees and careers in IT or STEM so they have the necessary resources to achieve their dreams. Any female student pursuing IT or STEM who has 400+ Bold points may apply for this exclusive scholarship opportunity by September 1, 2022.
For this scholarship, Bold.org partnered with Newsette – a free daily newsletter that celebrates women – to add to the list of exclusive scholarships for women. By applying, you’ll automatically be subscribed to The Newsette Daily Newsletter, which will deliver career, fashion, and wellness tips and tools straight to your inbox. The $1,000 Newsette No-Essay Leadership Scholarship for Women will be awarded to applicants who get the most out of The Newsette; the next deadline is August 1, 2022.
Bold.org has also partnered with The GIST – a female-founded and led sports media brand – to create The GIST Women’s Sports Business Scholarship, an exclusive $1,000 scholarship for applicants who get the most out of The GIST. By applying, you’ll automatically be subscribed to The GIST’s sports biz newsletter. While the scholarship will be awarded on May 1st, 2023, the scholarship will have rolling monthly application deadlines. Students applying within earlier application windows will have a greater chance of winning the award; the next deadline is August 1, 2022.
This $500 scholarship seeks to empower and encourage women who are pursuing careers in male-dominated fields and paving the way for the next generation of women. Any first-generation female student with 400+ Bold points who is an underrepresented minority (such as BIPOC or LGBTQ+ students) and pursuing a male-dominated field (such as STEM, software development, or the trades) may apply for this scholarship by July 1, 2022.
The $500 Women’s History Scholarship seeks to support female students so they can complete their degrees and go on to promising careers. Any high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student who identifies as female may apply for this scholarship by July 31, 2022.
As part of the long list of scholarships for women in STEM, the Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship exists to move the tech industry in the right direction by empowering the next generation of extraordinary women leaders. This $500 scholarship is open to female students at any educational level and field of study who intend to enter a technical or non-technical career that leverages technology to make the world a better place. While not required, being involved in entrepreneurial endeavors and STEM fields of study will be a plus on student applications. The deadline is October 31, 2022.
Graduate students are still eligible for many scholarship opportunities, they're just a bit less numerous than undergraduate scholarships.
Female graduate students can find scholarships by searching the Bold.org scholarships page by education level and selecting "Graduate." Next, filter the category to "Women" and make sure you are looking only at available scholarship opportunities by toggling the status to "Open." There are many scholarships available to both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as some exclusively offered to individuals in graduate school.
Students can also look at specific scholarship groups geared to their strengths and identities. There are also scholarships that are exclusively available to applicants who demonstrate financial need.
Some colleges and universities may offer scholarships exclusively for their students, so always check your university's financial aid office for more information. Fill out FAFSA to be considered for federal financial assistance.
Once you decide to pursue a graduate degree, you should also start considering scholarship opportunities. You can apply for graduate scholarships for women even if you are still working on your undergraduate degree. Once you've enrolled in a graduate school, you'll be able to send any scholarship funds directly to the institution.
Even before enrolling in a graduate program, you can apply for undergraduate scholarship opportunities. There are scholarships for any degree program, including business scholarship awards, medical school scholarships, scholarships for Ph.D. students, or scholarships for any other undergraduate or graduate program.
It's also never too late to apply for scholarships! Female students shouldn't feel limited by where they are in their graduate school career; it's never too late to find additional financial aid!
Eligibility requirements may vary depending on the scholarship. Always check the eligibility requirements of a scholarship before applying to make sure you are a good fit and are eligible to be considered — this will save your time and the time of the decision panel.
Some scholarship programs award students based on academics and may require a minimum GPA or a transcript submission. Others may be targeted toward women pursuing a particular master's degree program.
Additionally, other scholarships may be exclusively for female students attending a specific college or university or for those demonstrating financial need.
Always check the specific eligibility requirements of a scholarship before applying.
Every scholarship will have a different application process, so always follow the specific instructions in the description of that scholarship.
Some graduate scholarships may require an essay, a transcript, and a minimum GPA, while others may require additional forms and references.
In short — always check the details listed in the description for the women's graduate scholarship in which you are interested.
There is no limit to the number of college scholarships you can win on Bold.org. Apply for as many academic scholarships as possible to maximize your winnings and offset your tuition costs.