Best Student Grants for Women
By Robert Bennett
, last updated January 10, 2012
Women make up 58% of the student population at American universities, and some of the best student grants are designated for women. It was not until the 1980s that colleges and universities began to recognize that many women were interested in attending college. In an effort to entice more females to higher education, the American government and private institutions opened existing grants to women or created grants specifically directed to women. Today, women are enrolling in everything from engineering to law in both undergrad and graduate programs and paying for them with grant money.
There are many college grants available for women. Need based grants provide money for college based on the student’s yearly income. The Federal government provides millions of dollars each year for both need based and merit based grants to college students. The most popular grant is the Federal Pell Grant program. The Pell Grant awards up to $5,550 per academic year to undergraduate students who qualify based on financial need. Although this grant is open to everyone, women are encouraged to apply for funds.
Another popular need based grant is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). This grant awards up to $4,000 for an academic year based on when you apply and what you need financially.
The merit based National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National Smart Grant) is awarded to Junior and Senior undergraduates majoring in life or physical science, computer science, mathematics, engineering, technology or a critically important foreign language. This grant awards up to $4,000 per academic year for tuition and related expenses.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) is a merit based federal grant offered to undergraduate freshmen and sophomore students. The student must be able to qualify for the Pell Grant, be a U.S. citizen, completed a rigorous high school plan and graduated with at least a 3.0 grade point average.
The TEACH grant provides up to $4,000 per academic year for students who intend to teach in areas that serve low-income families.
Students can apply for all of these grants at fafsa.ed.gov. Completing the FASFA form online will determine the applicant’s eligibility for these and many other grant opportunities.
In addition to federal grants, many states offer grants based on financial need and merit. For example, Wyoming Space Grant Programs offers grant money to students who pursue research in space science at a Wyoming college. Texas offers Texas high school graduates grants up to $6,780 per academic year depending on financial need. Check with your state for grants offered in your area.
Outside the federal and state grant programs many non-profit organization offer grants to college students. The TG’s Charley Wootan Grant Program awards grants totaling $5 million of which $4 million is awarded to Texas students.
The Business and Professional Women’s Association offers disadvantaged and minority women beyond college age grants for higher education.
For women over the age of 35, the Jeanette Rankin Foundation provides grants for economically disadvantaged women pursuing a technical or professional program.
These are just a few of the many grants available for women returning to college. Most grants require the applicant to complete her FASFA online.