Financial Aid and Career Opportunities for Women

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Financial Aid

(see below for Career Opportunities

Looking for financial aid to help pay for your education? The following sites offer women-focused information about scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Some are for women regardless of field, while others are specifically for women (and sometimes men as well) in technical fields. Be sure, too, to check with whatever institution you're interested in attending. Some offer financial aid for women.

Last updated:   April 17, 2012   

The listings below are arranged as follows:

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Awards
  • Undergraduate Scholarships
  • Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowships/Grants
  • Miscellaneous Information

    Undergraduate and Graduate Awards
    Back to College: Resources for Re-entry Students
    This site offers very extensive resources devoted primarily to adult learners, though a number of the resources should also help traditional-age students. Includes a very extensive Financial Aid section.

    College Answer
    An extensive, searchable database of scholarships and fellowships for students from high school through graduate school. You have to register, but registration is free, as are the searches. You're asked a number of questions that are designed to pinpoint the financial aid opportunities for which you qualify. Sponsored by Sallie Mae.

    College Scholarships for Women, Graduate Fellowships, Research Internships & Grants
    Large, well-organized site with a searchable database. In addition to a section for women, there are sections devoted to subject areas and sections for specific racial/ethnic groups such as African Americans, Ethnic Groups & Studies, Hispanic Americans, Minorities, Native Americans, as well as a host of other sections.

    Gates Millennium Scholars Program
    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made a one-billion-dollar commitment to support the college and graduate education of high-achieving, low-income African American, Hispanic American, Native American/Alaskan Native, and Asian Pacific American students in the disciplines of mathematics, science, engineering, education, and library science, where these groups are severely underrepresented.

    Google Anita Borg Scholarships
    To honor computer scientist Dr. Anita Borg, the search engine Google is offering $10,000 scholarships for female undergraduate or graduate students in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field during the 2008-09 academic year. See website for further information about eligibility and deadline.

    Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship: Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
    As part of its ongoing commitment to furthering Anita Borg's vision, Google is offering multiple Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarships. The scholarships, on the undergraduate and graduate level, aim to encourage women to excel in computing and technology, and become active role models and leaders. Women studying Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and closely related fields in a University in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are eligible to apply. See website for more details.

    Grants for Individuals
    The Michigan State University Libraries have put together this exceptionally valuable listing of scholarships and fellowships. It is arranged by Academic Level (pre-college to post-doctoral), by Population Group (including Disabled, GLBT, Minorities, Non-Traditional, Veterans, and Women), and by Subject (Sciences includes technology).

    IEEE Scholarships and Awards
    The IEEE offers scholarships, awards, and competitions for both graduate and undergraduate students in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and related fields.

    International Federation of University Women (IFUW) Fellowships and Grants
    The IFUW offers international grants for postgraduate study and national awards for all levels of study from elementary and secondary education through postgraduate research, study, and training. These grants are open only to women; for some, you must be a member of IFUW. See website for more details.

    Office of Personnel Management's Scholarships for Service: Cyber Corps
    The Office of Personnel Management's Cyber Corps program offers up to two years of tuition, room, board, books, and an annual stipend for undergraduates and graduate students at selected colleges and universities who are interested in the "information assurance" field. The awards carry with them an obligation to perform a 10-week internship and to work for a U. S. Federal agency in an information assurance position for a period of up to two years. The awards are open only to U. S. citizens. More information is available at the web site.

    Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Program
    Annual awards open to women pursuing baccalaureate or graduate degrees in ABET-accredited engineering programs, engineering at SWE-approved schools, or computer science in CSAB-accredited programs, or ABET-accredited or SWE-approved schools. Includes information on awards targetted to reentry women.

    Star Costumes Mommy Blogger Scholarships
    Star Costumes offers a $500 scholarship to a qualified degree-seeking student who runs a blog for moms. Students must be currently enrolled full- or part-time at an accredited undergraduate or graduate post-secondary institution. The scholarship is offered for the first time in 2011, but the company plans to offer it in subsequent years as well. See website for more details. Deadline for submitting applications for the 2011 competition: October 31, 2011.

    This website at Carnegie Mellon University offers a large list of financial aid opportunities for women at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral level, primarily but not exclusively for those interested in Computer Science and related fields.

    Undergraduate Scholarships
    APS/IBM Research Internship for Undergraduate Women
    The American Physical Society and IBM sponsor a summer research internship program to encourage undergraduate women students to pursue graduate studies in science (including computer science) and engineering. The internships carry a salary and include an additional $2500 for use during the school year. Female students with sophomore or junior standing at a US college or university at the time of application are eligible. Minimum 3.0 GPA. No citizenship restrictions.

    In addition to a $500 scholarship for female students, College also offers awards for bloggers and for students studying web design or library & information science, as well as for minority students. See the website for details.

    CWIT Scholars Program
    The Center for Women in Technology at UMBC offers a merit scholarship program for talented undergraduates majoring in computer science, information systems, business technology administration (with a technical focus), computer engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical/biochemical/environmental engineering, or a related program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). CWIT Scholars receive four-year scholarships ranging from $5,000 – $15,000 per academic year for in-state students, and from $10,000 – $22,000 per academic year for out-of-state students, to cover full tuition, mandatory fees, and other expenses. Each CWIT Scholar participates in special courses and activities and receive mentoring from faculty and participating members of the IT and engineering communities.

    Billing itself "The SmartStudenttm Guide to Financial Aid," this site offers information and advice about scholarships, loans, other types of aid, calculating need, recognizing scams, and more. It links to the FastWeb Scholarship Search, for which you have to register (no cost).

    Foundation for Information Technology Education
    The Foundation's website lists several scholarships open to students who are pursuing or intend to pursue an undergraduate degree in Information Technology.

    FreSch: Free Scholarship Search
    Lots of information about sources of financial aid and strategies for obtaining it. Includes a searchable database of scholarships; one search category is gender.

    Gay Dating Sites - Speak Out Against Prejudice Scholarship
    One $5000 scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year will be awarded to a student passionate to help "stop bullying, prejudice, and negative stigmas generally, in particular as they relate to the GLBT community." The scholarship will cover non-tuition related expenses such as rent, childcare, textbooks, utilities and groceries for the academic year. The application deadline is June 1, 2012. See website for more information.

    Microsoft Scholarships for Women and Under-Represented Minorities
    To encourage students from groups currently under-represented in computer science to pursue technical degrees, Microsoft offers merit-based scholarships. More information is available at the web site.

    National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program
    The NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral and social science health-related research. Awards will pay up to $20,000 for one year; recipients may reapply for additional years (not to exceed four scholarship years). More information is available at the web site.

    National SMART Grant
    A National SMART (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent) Grant provides up to $4,000 for each of the third and fourth years of undergraduate study. The grant is for full-time students who are U.S. citizens, eligible for a federal Pell Grant, and majoring in physical, life, or computer sciences; mathematics, technology, or engineering; or in a foreign language determined critical to national security. For more information, see the web site. Awareness and Prevention Scholarship
    This $5000 scholarship was created to financially assist US students committed to raising awareness of and preventing nursing home abuse. Any student enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution is eligible to apply; however, this scholarship is particularly suited for students studying nursing, social work, psychology, or healthcare administration and planning to pursue a career that will help combat nursing home abuse. The applicant must also be receiving some form of need-based aid. The scholarship will help pay for non-tuition related living expenses for the 2012-2013 academic year that are not covered by the recipient’s current financial aid, such as rent, childcare, books and school supplies, utilities, and groceries. Applications must be emailed or postmarked by February 15, 2012. See the website for more information.

    The Jeannette Rankin Foundation Women's Education Fund
    Scholarships for low-income women 35 years of age or older who, through undergraduate or vocational education, are seeking to better themselves, their families, and their communities.

    Single Mom Scholarships
    Information about a number scholarships for single parents offered by both public and private sources. The information was compiled by

    Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Awards
    The Soroptimist International organization offers Women's Opportunity Awards to assist women entering or re-entering the workforce in obtaining the education and skills training they need to improve their employment status. Applicants must be female heads of household who are enrolled in or have been accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program. Recipients may use their awards for any expenses related to their educational pursuits, such as tuition, books, housing, child care, and transportation.

    The Student Guide
    A comprehensive resource on student financial aid available from the U.S. Department of Education. Available in English and Spanish.

    Talbots Women's Scholarship Fund
    Need-based scholarships (five $10,000 awards and fifty $1,000 awards) for women who earned their high school diploma or GED at least ten years ago and are seeking an undergraduate degree from an accredited two- or four-year college or university or a vocational-technical school. Only students at four-year institutions are eligible for the $10,000 award.

    Tau Beta Pi Engineering Scholarships
    Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, awards one-year scholarships of $2000 each for students majoring in engineering [including computer engineering] and entering their senior year in college.

    Vanguard Women in Technology Scholarship Program
    Vanguard has established a scholarship program to aid female students entering their senior year of college who are majoring in computer science, computer engineering, web design, or related technical engineering disciplines. Scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at a select accredited four-year institution of the student's choice.

    Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowships/Grants
    AAUW Educational Foundation Fellowships and Grants
    The American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers several kinds of fellowships: American Fellowships support women doctoral candidates completing dissertations and scholars seeking funds for postdoctoral research leave; Career Development Grants support women who hold a bachelor's degree and who are preparing to advance their careers, change careers, or re-enter the work force; International Fellowships are awarded for full-time graduate or postgraduate study or research to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents; and Selected Professions Fellowships are awarded to women who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who intend to pursue a full-time course of study during the fellowship year in designated degree programs (including a masters's degree in Computer/Information Science) where women's participation traditionally has been low.

    AT&T Labs Fellowship Program
    Three-year fellowships for outstanding women and minority students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and are pursuing Ph.D. studies in computer and communications-related fields.

    Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
    Support for up to four years of full-time Ph.D. study that must include work in computer science, mathematics, and a scientific or engineering discipline. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens.

    GEM: Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science
    GEM offers graduate fellowships and internships to increase the number of underrepresented minorities pursuing graduate degrees in engineering and natural science disciplines, including computer science. Grants may be renewed for up to four years. See website for more information.

    Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowships
    The Hertz Foundation supports graduate students working towards the Ph.D. in applications of the physical sciences ranging from electrical engineering to molecular biomedicine. Among the computer science fields eligible for support are Artificial Intelligence, Hardware/Systems Design, Robotics, and Advanced Computing Structures, as well as Operations Research and Computational Neuroscience. Fellowships may be used only at certain universities. Open to citizens and permanent residents of the United States.

    IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Program
    The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. These include: computer science and engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering, physical sciences (including chemistry, material sciences, and physics), mathematical sciences (including analytics, statistics, operations research, and optimization), business sciences (including financial services, risk management, marketing, communications, and learning/knowledge management), and service science, management, and engineering (SSME). Additionally, IBM pays special attention to an array of focus areas. See website for more details.

    L'Oréal Postdoctoral Fellowships for Women in Science/Technology
    Though L'Oréal's excessively glitzy web site makes it hard to find information, apparently the cosmetics company is still awarding one-year fellowships worth up to $60,000 each to women who are postdoctoral fellows in the life and physical sciences. A 5-page FAQ is available in pdf format here. Somewhere on the website there appears the statement "Further details about the criteria of the applicants and the terms of the fellowship are available on our facebook page."

    Myra Sadker Doctoral Dissertation Award
    These dissertation awards are designed to promote and support graduate students engaged in educational equity research. Doctoral level dissertations that explore gender bias or promote educational equity and fairness based on gender will receive top priority. Dissertations that investigate gender as it impacts other demographics (race, ethnicity, religion, class, sexual orientation, etc,) will also be considered. Awards are $2,000 for one year only. Deadline for application: December 1.

    OWSD: Postgraduate Training Fellowship
    The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) offers graduate fellowships "for female students from Sub-Saharan Africa or Least Developed Countries (LDCs) who wish to pursue postgraduate training leading to a doctorate degree at a centre of excellence in the South outside their own country." The stated purpose of the fellowship program is "to contribute to the emergence of a new generation of women leaders in science and technology, and to promote their effective participation in the scientific and technological development of their countries." More information about requirements, eligibility, deadlines, etc. can be found on the website.

    National Physical Science Consortium Graduate Fellowships
    The National Physical Science Consortium is a partnership between government agencies and laboratories, industry, and higher education. NPSC's goal is to increase the number of American citizens with graduate degrees in the physical sciences and related engineering fields, emphasizing recruitment of a diverse applicant pool including women and minorities. The NPSC Graduate Fellowship is unique in being: open to all American citizens; lasting for up to six years; providing a $20,000 annual stipend; covering tuition; including one or two paid summer internships with a government agency; providing a mentor and the opportunity for a lasting relationship with the sponsor. The application is easy to complete, requiring the same information as other national fellowships. The online application typically opens August 25 and closes November 30. See website for more details.

    National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
    NSF graduate fellowships offer three years of support for advanced study in the mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, and behavioral and social sciences, including the history of science and the philosophy of science. Intended for students in the early stages of their graduate study.

    National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Awards and Scholarships
    Awards for graduate work are available from the Lesbian caucus and the Women of Color caucus, as well as one for a graduate student doing work in Women's Studies.

    Sigma Delta Epsilon/Graduate Women in Science (SDE/GWIS) Fellowship Program
    Several fellowships for women in a variety of scientific fields. To be eligible, the applicant must be enrolled as a graduate student, or engaged in post-doctoral or early-stage junior faculty academic research, and demonstrate financial need for continuation or completion of their research. The major component of the research can be either applied or basic. Exact Fellowships amounts will be determined by the SDE/GWIS Fellowships Committee and will range from $1000 to $10,000. See website for more details.

    Miscellaneous Information
    AAUW Community Action Grants
    Community Action Grants provide seed money to women, AAUW branches, AAUW state organizations, and local community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs or nondegree research projects that promote education and equity for women and girls. Recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

    Anita Borg Institute Awards for Women in Technology
    The Anita Borg Awards for Social Impact and Technical Leadership were established to recognize outstanding leaders who embrace Anita Borg's lasting vision to change the world for women and for technology. Each of these is a $10,000 award. A third, the Denice Denton Emerging Leader award, carries a $5,000 stipend. See website for more information.

    Elsevier New Scholars Program
    The New Scholars Program supports projects to help early- to mid-career women scientists balance family responsibilities with demanding academic careers. New Scholars seeks to actively address the attrition rate of talented women scientists caused by work-life balance issues. The Foundation provides one, two and three year grants to STEM institutions and organizations actively working towards a more equitable academia. These are apparently not grants directly to individuals but rather to institutions, to help them support early- to mid-career women scientists. See website for guidelines and more information, not just on the "How to Apply" page but elsewhere on the site as well.

    Single Mom Financial Aid, Scholarship Resources, Food and Housing Programs, Parenting Advice, and more
    This site offers a wide variety of resources, all focusing on the needs of single mothers. I've included it in this listing because it provides information about scholarships, loans, and other financial resources, but its focus is much broader than this, as the site's title indicates.

    Siyanda Financial Aid Information
    In 2006, Siyanda, an online database of gender and development materials from around the world, compiled an extensive listing of financial aid sources for women seeking funding for study, research, and/or training. The funding is international in scope and is not just for women in IT--it covers a very broad range of fields and levels--undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral, and training. Some of the information is now outdated, but some may still be useful.

    Systers Pass-It-On Grants Program
    The Systers Online Community offers Pass-It-On Grants to honor Anita Borg's desire to create a network of women in technical fields helping one another. Pass-it-on Grants are open to any woman over 18 years old in or aspiring to be in the fields of computing. Grants are open to women in all countries and range from $500.00 to $1000.00. Applications covering a wide variety of needs and projects are encouraged, such as small grants to help with studies, job transfers or other transitions in life; projects that seek to inspire more girls and women to go into the computing field; assistance with educational fees and materials; partial funding source for larger scholarships; mentoring and other supportive groups for women in technology, and more. See the website for more details and an application.

    Jobs and Internships for Women's Studies Students

    Career Opportunities for Majors in Women's and Gender Studies
    A page put up by Rutgers University's Career Services

    Employment Opportunties in Women's Studies
    This National Women's Studies Association page lists some job opportunities (primarily academic) in Women's/Gender Studies.

    Feminist Career Center
    Job openings listed in the Feminist Majority's Career Center; arranged geographically, with jobs in the Baltimore/Washington area listed first

    Internship Opportunities - NWSA Listing
    The National Women's Studies Association has a small but varied listing of interesting internship opportunities. Definitely worth a look.

    Job Searching Resources for Women

    Job Opportunities for Women's Studies Majors
    Compiled by Michigan State University

    Transform the World: What You Can Do With a Degree in Women's Studies
    An essay in Ms. Magazine by Women's Studies graduate student Nikki Ayanna Stewart.

    What Can I Do With a Degree in Women's Studies?
    Information from Ohio State University about careers chosen by some of their past Women's Studies graduates.

    What Can I Do With a Degree in Women's and Gender Studies?
    A 5-page pdf file from the University of Louisville.

    Copyright 2001-2011.
    Please send relevant additions and corrections to Joan Korenman. However, please do NOT write to ask me for help with or further information about financial aid. I don't have more information and can't help; such requests will simply go unanswered.

    Go back to Women's Studies Online Resources