Scholarships & Grants for Low Income Women, Inlcuding Unemployed & Homeless Women (2024)

In the twenty-first century, a college degree or vocational training beyond high school are necessary tools to obtain a well paying job. The days when a person graduated from high school, entered the workforce, and stayed with the same company until he or she retired are over. However, the cost of college tuition and books is prohibitive for many people in low income households who wish to better themselves by furthering their education. For low income women, college may be out of reach for them. Many low income women are single mothers who cannot afford to lose their income while attending school. There is another group of low-income women who were in the workforce for years, but because of corporate downsizing and manufacturing jobs moving overseas, they must learn new skills to find employment.

Many colleges and universities wish to achieve a diverse student body. They believe that a diverse student body and exposure to other points of view helps to create a well-rounded student. Other organizations and foundations, as well as the Federal government, wish to aid in assisting those who have the desire to earn a degree but may need help in achieving their goals.

Grants and scholarships are monetary awards given to students who meet certain criteria. These awards do not have to be paid back when the student finishes school. In an effort to encourage non-traditional students, minorities, or people who are pursuing certain majors, foundations will offer scholarships and grants to help offset the burden of tuition.

General Scholarships and Grants

These types of scholarships and grants can be awarded to anyone who meets the income requirements.

Federal Pell Grants

Scholarships & Grants for Low Income Women, Inlcuding Unemployed & Homeless Women (1)The most widely available form of financial aid is the Federal Pell Grant. Pell Grants are available to students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree. The amount of a Pell Grant is based upon these criteria: financial need, cost of tuition, and full or part-time status. The maximum amount that can be awarded is $5,500.

Any student whose parent or guardian died while serving in either the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts after September 11, 2001 automatically receive the maximum amount. However, the student must be less than 24 years of age to qualify.

To apply, visit FAFSA on the Web.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

For those students with exceptional financial need, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is available. A student must first qualify for a Pell Grant and have the lowest expected family contribution before they can qualify for a FSEOG. Awards are based upon need. Awards range from $100 to $4000.

For more information visit

Unmet Needs Scholarship

The Sallie Mae Fund offers an Unmet Needs Scholarship program. The purpose of this scholarship is to help low-income students help cover the cost of tuition not met by other scholarships or financial aid packages. A student must be enrolled in a fulltime undergraduate program through an approved, accredited institution to qualify for this scholarship. The student must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and be a US citizen or permanent resident. The program is available to families with a combined income of $30,000 or less. The amount awarded is based on need, but the student must have at least $1000 of tuition costs that are unmet.

Grants and Scholarships based upon Areas of Study

The following scholarships and grants are not available to just anyone. They are available to those who meet unique requirements. Requirements range from a specific area of study to membership in an organization.

Horizons Scholarship

The Women in Defense (WID) National Security Organization is the provider of the Horizons Scholarship. The funds are awarded to women who are pursuing careers related to defense or national security. In order to qualify for this scholarship, the applicant must be a woman, demonstrate financial need, attend an accredited college or university, carry a GPA of at least 3.25, and be a United States citizen. They must also be a graduate student or an undergraduate with a minimum of 60 credits.

Majors that meet the career criteria include economics, political science, engineering, government relations, computer science, physics, military history, and mathematics. A law or business major that relate to national security is acceptable.

Applicants must also provide transcripts to show their grade point average. They must also write an essay and provide two letters of recommendation.

To download an application, visit

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

Scholarships & Grants for Low Income Women, Inlcuding Unemployed & Homeless Women (2)The Society of Women Engineers website offers a list of scholarships to female students who are studying engineering. Criteria vary between each scholarship, but there are a number that have a preference for underrepresented groups. To apply, visit the Society of Women Engineers scholarship application page to create an account.

Grants or Scholarships Based upon Student’s Age

Not all low income students are fresh out of high school. Many of these women have been in the workforce and wish to return to school for job retraining or work towards a career change. Others have finished raising their families and wish to return to school. Older women who wish to pursue higher education are sometimes overlooked when awarding scholarships and grants. A few organizations have recognized the insight, point of view, and diversity older women bring to the table and now offer grants and scholarships to women who wish to return to school long after they have left high school. There are scholarships and grants available to these non-traditional students.

Talbots Women’s Scholarship Fund

Clothing retailer Talbots offers a scholarship to any woman who earned a GED or high school diploma at least ten years earlier. For 2012, Talbots will offer $200,000 in scholarships, including 17 $10,000 scholarships and one $30,000 scholarships.

Prospective applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited two or four year institution of higher learning. They must also have at least twenty-four credit hours remaining.

The application window for the upcoming academic year opens in April. Visit Talbot’ to apply.

Jeannette Rankin Foundation Women’s Scholarship

Jeanette Rankin was a proponent of women’s rights. In 1916, she was the first woman elected to Congress. Upon her death, Rankin left a portion of her estate to assist “mature, unemployed women”. This money became the seed money for the Jeanette Rankin Foundation. The foundation awarded its first scholarship in 1978.

The Rankin Foundation Scholarship is available to women at least 35 years old and enrolled in an undergraduate or vocational program at an accredited university and are pursuing technical or vocational training, an associate’s degree, or their first bachelor’s degree. They must also meet income requirements and be a United States citizen.

To apply for this scholarship, visit

Emerge Scholarship Fund

The Emerge Scholarship is geared towards the female non-traditional student such as the woman whose education was either delayed or interrupted. It is also meant for those women who have a vision to succeed in spite of obstacles.

In order to qualify for this award, the applicant must be at least 25 years of age and accepted into a program of study at an educational institution. Applicants must furnish either their acceptance letter or current transcript. Along with the application form, applicants must complete an essay and furnish two letters of recommendation.

While no preference is given to race, religion, physical impairment or national origin, preference is given to those who live in the state of Georgia.

Visit the Emerge Scholarships Website for more information on how to apply.

Scholarships for Single Mothers and Low Income Women with Children

Many low-income women are also single mothers. These women are often discouraged from furthering their education because they believe that an education is out of their reach. Tuition may be one reason, but many single mothers feel that they cannot afford to quit working or work part time in order to juggle school, work, and caring for their children. This is true for women who lack a support system of friends or relatives who are willing to help them out. Fortunately, there are scholarships available especially for women in their situation.

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation

Patsy Takemoto Mink, former Hawaii representative, was a staunch Title IX advocate. Title IX is the federal law passed in 1971 which states, “No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”. The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation awards five scholarships of up to $2000 each to low income mothers who are pursuing their education. The applicant must be enrolled in skills training, English as a second language course, or GED program. The applicant may also be pursuing a technical/vocational degree, associate’s degree, first bachelor’s degree, or a professional/masters/doctoral degree in an accredited program. Applicants must also meet income requirements to qualify.

Visit the Patsy Mink Foundation website for an application.

Association of American Indian Affairs Displaced Homemaker Scholarship

To encourage more Native Americans to pursue higher education as a means to combat the poverty that occurs on the reservations, the Association of American Indian Affairs offers a $1500 scholarship to any Native American who meets the criteria of displaced homemaker. The applicant should be age 35 or older and has never attended college or completed college due to family responsibilities. The funds are dispersed on a semester basis. The funds can also be used for child care, day to day living expenses and transportation.

Association of Non-Traditional Students for Higher Education Scholarship

The Association of Non-Traditional Students for Higher Education (ANTSHE) is a group consisting of students, academic professionals, institutions and organizations whose mission is to assist and advocate for non-traditional students who wish to further their education. The scholarships are funded by donations. Three scholarships are awarded every spring for the upcoming school year. Forms for the 2013 academic year are available beginning in June of 2012. For specific information, contact ANTSHE at

This is just a small sampling of scholarships and grants available to low income women. There are other websites that list hundreds of different scholarships for every available need. This website is not affiliated with any of the sites listed.

College Not only does this website list a variety of scholarships, but also gives valuable information on a range of topics from completing the essay portion of the application to how to avoid scholarship scams. is the United States Department of Education’s website, which has a section containing information on financial aid available to students.

With the availability of scholarships and grants, higher education may not be as out of reach as previously thought. A student has peace of mind knowing that they can receive financial aid that does not require it be paid back. This can go a long way towards knowing that the burden of student debt is lessened.

Scholarships & Grants for Low Income Women, Inlcuding Unemployed & Homeless Women (2024)


Is scholarships for moms real? ›

Yes – there are many scholarships out there reserved specifically for moms to pursue a higher education! One great example is the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Scholarship. This annual scholarship program offers low-income women with children up to $5,000 to put towards education or professional training.

Are both grants and scholarships considered free money meaning that you do not have to pay them back? ›

Grants and scholarships are free aid (otherwise known as “gift aid”), meaning they don't need to be paid back, making them the most sought-after options. The main difference between a grant and a scholarship is where the funds come from, eligibility criteria, and the application process.

What is the difference between a scholarship and a grant which one will you have to repay? ›

Grants are need-based financial aid that don't need to be repaid. Scholarships are merit-based financial aid that don't need to be repaid. Student loans must be repaid, with interest, within a given loan term.

Why are grants and scholarships important to women? ›

Women comprise a majority of students at most colleges but they remain underrepresented in many high-paying fields. An abundance of scholarships and grants geared toward female students might help narrow this gap, especially those that are specific to certain areas of study, such as engineering or science.

How do I know if my scholarship is legit? ›

Signs of a Scholarship Scam
  1. Charging a fee. Most scholarship scams charge some kind of fee. ...
  2. Requesting unusual information. ...
  3. Asking for your bank account number. ...
  4. Telling you that you won a scholarship, but you never applied. ...
  5. Claiming to be a foundation or tax-exempt charity. ...
  6. Sends you a scholarship check.

How do you find scholarships I can actually get? ›

How do I find scholarships?
  1. the financial aid office at a college or career school.
  2. a high school or TRIO counselor.
  3. the U.S. Department of Labor's FREE scholarship search tool.
  4. federal agencies.
  5. your state grant agency.
  6. your library's reference section.

Which two forms of financial aid are considered free money? ›

Gift Aid. Gift aid is free money. It includes grants and scholarships. Grants are typically awarded based on financial need, while scholarships are awarded based on merit.

What is the scholarship that pays for everything? ›

What's a full-ride scholarship? It's a financial award, like any other scholarship, but with a difference—it covers all your college expenses. And not just tuition—a full-ride scholarship also covers your housing, meals, books, lab fees, and sometimes even living costs.

Which two types of financial aid is free money that you do not have to pay back? ›

Scholarships, grants, and work study are the three main financial aid types that don't need to be paid back.

What 3 steps should you take to get scholarships and grants? ›

Three Steps to Tap into Grants and Scholarships
  • Complete the FAFSA. You must fill out the FAFSA to qualify for federal aid. ...
  • Find Out What Financial Aid Forms Your College Requires. Apply for your college's gift aid by filling out the required forms. ...
  • Research and Apply for Outside Scholarships.

What are two types of scholarships you can receive? ›

There are primarily two kinds of scholarships: private and institutional.

Who is eligible for Direct Plus loans? ›

Direct PLUS Loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students. PLUS Loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

Who is the largest provider of scholarships for women? ›

The Miss America Foundation is the largest provider of big college scholarships to young women in the U.S. The Miss America Organization, comprised of more than 50 licensed funding groups, is responsible for millions of dollars in scholarship aid at the local, state, and national level.

How many women get scholarships? ›

It seems that scholarships are equally distributed between sexes — 59% of recipients are female and 41% are male. According to scholarship statistics by race, only 38% of recipients are minority students, and 62% are white students.

Why do people give money for scholarships? ›

Scholarships go further than being financial aid for many students. They reward deserving students with the ability to afford higher education. This could help them pursue a college degree. They bring brand awareness of sponsoring companies to students who want to jumpstart their career.

Does scholarship money go directly to you? ›

Most scholarship money will never enter your personal bank account or come as a check in the mail. Instead, the program will send the money you received directly to the college or university you're attending, to be put towards your tuition and approved expenses, such as room and board or books.

Are scholarships sent directly to you? ›

Private scholarships may be sent directly to your college account or directly to you in the form of a check or direct deposit into your bank account. If you win a scholarship and you're not sure how you'll receive the money—just ask.

Are scholarships easy to get? ›

Scholarships are one of the best ways for students to pay for college. While many scholarships require extensive applications and essays, others are more straightforward and easy to apply for.

What is the easiest way to get a full scholarship? ›

7 tips for getting a full-ride scholarship
  1. Start preparing early. ...
  2. Perform well academically. ...
  3. Take challenging classes. ...
  4. Excel in extracurricular activities. ...
  5. Apply for admission at multiple schools. ...
  6. Develop relationships with teachers and counselors. ...
  7. Submit a stellar application. ...
  8. Private scholarships.
Feb 7, 2023

How do you find scholarships that almost nobody knows about? ›

Consumer Reports Magazine, and other sources, list the following sites worth checking:
  2. Scholarship
  4. (affiliated with FastWeb)
  5. Scholarships. com.
  6. The US Department of Labor's Career OneStop site.
Nov 19, 2019

What is the most difficult part of finding scholarships? ›

The main challenges of searching for scholarships are finding opportunities you are eligible for, as mentioned, and taking the time to search for scholarships. Though most students have a busy schedule, it can really pay off in the end if students can find the time to apply for a few scholarships.

How to get free money? ›

Now that you know that these and other opportunities to earn free money are out there, it's time to find out where to look.
  1. Get Bank Rewards or Stock Bonuses. ...
  2. Earn Credit Card Bonuses. ...
  3. Take Advantage of Your Employer's 401(k) Match. ...
  4. Refer Your Friends. ...
  5. Search for Unclaimed Money. ...
  6. Apply for Grants and Scholarships.
Apr 3, 2023

How do I get financial assistance? ›

To find out if you are eligible for financial aid and other programs, visit You can take an eligibility questionnaire, learn more about programs, and find state and local contact information. Learn More: List of HHS assistance programs.

What are the 4 basic types of financial aid assistance include? ›

There are four basic types—grants, scholarships, loans, and work study—and four basic sources—federal, state, institutional, and private—of financial aid.

What is the highest scholarship you can get? ›

7 of the Biggest Scholarships
  • The Coca Cola Scholars Foundation. ...
  • The Gates Scholarship. ...
  • Dell Scholars Program. ...
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program. ...
  • Cameron Impact Scholarship. ...
  • Davidson Fellows Scholarship. ...
  • Ron Brown Scholar Program.
Feb 27, 2023

How much is a Cal Grant? ›

Cal Grant A – $4,000: This amount will be applied toward the tuition and fees of the school. Cal Grant B (freshman year) - $1,648: You can use your $1,648 access award amount as a living allowance to help pay for books and other college costs.

What is a Pell Grant loan? ›

The Pell Grant is the largest federal grant program offered to undergraduates and is designed to assist students from low-income households. A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances.

How many scholarships should I apply for to get money? ›

The short answer is that you should apply to as many as you can, as early as you can. This means that you need to be looking early, and finding out when deadlines are. But remember, you don't want to make a career out of scholarship searching and application.

What is a federal Pell Grant and how much money can a person receive? ›

How much money can I get? Amounts can change yearly. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $7,395 for the 2023–24 award year (July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024). your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

What are 4 general criteria that qualify a student for scholarships? ›

6 Guidelines for Choosing Scholarship Criteria
  • GPA. One regularly assessed criteria is a strong and consistent GPA. ...
  • Financial need. Often, scholarship criteria involve financial need. ...
  • Geographic boundaries. Geographic boundaries are another popular criteria choice. ...
  • Current employees. ...
  • Demographics. ...
  • Field of interest.
Jul 24, 2018

What are special scholarships? ›

Special Scholarships are awards for outstanding students who are not Finalists in the Merit Scholarship® competition. They are provided by National Merit® Scholarship Program corporate sponsors to complement their National Merit Scholarships given to Finalists.

What is a no essay scholarship? ›

No-essay scholarships are any scholarships that don't require an essay to apply!

What is a need based scholarship? ›

The term “need-based” is a designation that is based on a student's financial need. For example, a need-based grant might be awarded based on a student's low income.

What is DL PLUS loan? ›

Direct PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students or parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for education expenses. Direct PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate and are not subsidized, which means that interest accrues while the student is enrolled in school.

Do direct PLUS Loans require a credit score? ›

One of the eligibility requirements to receive a Direct PLUS Loan is that the applicant must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check is performed to determine whether a Direct PLUS Loan applicant meets this requirement.

Are PLUS Loans eligible for Biden? ›

Some parent PLUS loan borrowers would qualify for student debt cancellation under President Joe Biden's proposal, which remains in legal limbo. Single parents who earn up to $125,000 per year and married parents earning up to $250,000 per year stand to have $10,000 in debt erased.

What is the Campbell scholarship for women? ›

Campbell Foundation, offers one six- or nine-month postdoctoral fellowship for a female scholar whose research both documents the circumstances of women in the developing world and offers paths to concrete, practical strategies for improving their health, prosperity, and general well-being.

What is the possible woman foundation scholarship? ›

Possible Woman Foundation International

Sometimes women returning to school have been stay-at-home moms who are looking to get back into the workforce. These women could qualify for a Possible Woman Foundation Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 to $5,000.

What is the Pfats female scholarship program? ›

The scholarship program is open to undergraduate and graduate female athletic training students. This program awards 32 scholarships at $1000 per award - totaling $32,000.

What types of things can scholarships be used to pay for? ›

What you can use scholarship money for
  • Tuition. Depending upon your financial aid package, tuition will likely be your greatest expense when it comes to paying for your college education. ...
  • Room and Board. Living expenses vary by college. ...
  • Books. ...
  • Laptops. ...
  • Fees. ...
  • Transportation. ...
  • Recreational trips. ...
  • Car payments.
Oct 7, 2022

How are people selected for scholarships? ›

Down in the nitty gritty, judges will compare GPAs, test scores, experiences, essays, in order to see which candidate is most suited for their scholarship award. After this step, they'll pick their winner—or winners, depending—and send out notifications to the lucky and deserving student.

What is a di offer? ›

A D1 offer is when a Division 1 college athletics program offers an athlete a spot on their roster. Receiving an offer does not guarantee the athlete admission to the school. Athletes must receive an acceptance letter from the school for the offer to be valid.

What scholarship pays for everything? ›

What's a full-ride scholarship? It's a financial award, like any other scholarship, but with a difference—it covers all your college expenses. And not just tuition—a full-ride scholarship also covers your housing, meals, books, lab fees, and sometimes even living costs.

What to say when they ask why you deserve a scholarship? ›

Talk about your Passion and Persistence

Letting your passion show through in your answer allows the committee to see your dedication. You deserve this scholarship based on your love of learning, your enjoyment of your field, or your passion for growth.

What is one key difference between a grant and a scholarship? ›

In general, grants are given based on financial-need, while scholarships are merit-based and awarded to students based on their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, field of study, and more.

What is scholarships 4 moms? ›

Scholarships for Moms is a scholarship program that is available to single or married women who are mothers or who are pregnant. Essentially, any college student or prospective college student who is a mother may apply.

How can a single mom get paid to go to college? ›

Federal Pell Grant is awarded to single mothers who want to attend college. You are eligible if you meet low income requirements and have not received a bachelor's degree. Apply by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.

Is scholarships com a safe site? ›

Is scholarships com legit? Yes, is a legit organization.

Are scholarships real money? ›

These financial awards differ from student loans because they don't have to be repaid. So, to answer a question we often hear, you do not have to pay it back if you get a scholarship. Students might receive the money directly as a check in their name. In other cases, the money is given to the student's school.

What is the Queen scholarship? ›

The Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships (QECS) offer a unique opportunity to study a two-year Master's degree in a low or middle-income Commonwealth country.

Who is eligible for Dr Ursula Mandel scholarship? ›

Ursula Mandel Scholarship. Several awards of up to $15,000 each, from which fees are paid, for graduate students in scientific fields related, allied or of value to the medical field. Applicants must have a doctorate as their degree objective. DDS, JD and MD students are not eligible.

What does 9.9 scholarships mean? ›

Truth: Most athletic scholarships are partial.

As an example, in NCAA D1 men's soccer, you are allowed to give out a limit of 9.9 scholarships for the entire team. Most teams carry an average of 29 players, so the coach is forced to give out partial scholarships to maximize the use of those 9.9 among more players.

How can a single mom make money staying at home? ›

How to Make Money as a Stay-At-Home Mom: 15 Ideas You Can Try
  1. Start a Print-On-Demand Business.
  2. Try Affiliate Marketing.
  3. Become a Digital Expert.
  4. Sell an Online Course.
  5. Become a Virtual Tutor.
  6. Give Babysitting a Go.
  7. Sell Items You Don't Need.
  8. Flip Items.
Oct 13, 2022

Do you get money for being a single mom? ›

There is a plethora of grants for single mothers — the likes of TANF cash assistance, food stamps, WIC, child care assistance, etc that have all played an important role in supporting single mother families in times of financial hardship.

How much can a single mom make a year? ›

How much does a Single Parent make? As of Jun 17, 2023, the average annual pay for a Single Parent in the United States is $36,628 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $17.61 an hour. This is the equivalent of $704/week or $3,052/month.

What should scholarships not ask for? ›

If an application asks for money, walk away. Don't give out bank or credit card information. Any financial data you provide should come from IRS or FAFSA data. Legitimate providers do not ask for bank information.

Is the $2,000 Sallie Mae scholarship legit? ›

In addition to scoring highly in terms of the wealth of funding opportunities that it offers, Sallie Mae earned high scores across all of the “Trustworthiness” metrics.

What is the Cameron Impact scholarship? ›

The Cameron Impact Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition, impact-driven undergraduate scholarship awarded annually to 10-15 exceptional high school students who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, community service, extracurricular activities, and academics.

How much money can I expect from scholarships? ›

The average scholarship amount is $5,000 to $10,000 annually. These scholarships are typically available through the college you are planning on attending. Community partners and professional organizations offer them as well.

Can I spend my scholarship money on anything? ›

Unfortunately, turning scholarship money into cash is not allowed. Despite being considered free money, scholarship funds are financial aid awarded for an intended purpose. That specific purpose is to pay educational expenses like college tuition, student fees, and other college costs.


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