One thing we get asked about a lot is whether we know of any scholarships for single mothers, working mothers, and women in general. In fact, many private foundations provide grants and scholarships for women of all backgrounds and ages, including working mothers, women changing careers, women pursuing degrees in nontraditional fields, and women both beginning and returning to school. Here are 10 well-established scholarships for women:


Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP)

  • Scholarships for formerly battered women, for the purpose of getting an education that will help provide stable employment, personal independence, and self-sufficiency
  • Primary goal is to help single mothers with young children who have the greatest financial challenges (childcare costs, etc.)
  • You must be pursuing an accredited program (fulltime or part-time) at state-supported community colleges, state-supported colleges or universities, technical/vocational schools, private colleges or universities, proprietary schools
  • Application Deadline: Check website for complete eligibility and application details

Success!Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarships

  • Scholarships for mature (age 35 or older), low-income women
  • You must be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited school in pursuit of an associate’s degree or first bachelor’s degree in a technical or vocational education
  • Application Deadline: Check website in October

Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.)

  • Program for Continuing Education: $2,000 need-based grants to women returning to school to support themselves and/or their families
  • STAR Scholarship Pilot Program: $2,500 scholarships for high school seniors to pursue postsecondary education at accredited institutions
  • International Peace Scholarship: $10,000 (maximum) scholarships for international women students pursuing graduate study in the U.S. and Canada
  • Scholar Awards: Substantial merit-based awards for pursuing a doctoral level degree or postgraduate study or research at an accredited college or university
  • Application deadline: Check website

Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards

  • Scholarships (number varies): up to $10,000 each
  • For women who are the main breadwinners for their families and who have overcome challenges to return to school, to help them improve education, skills, and employment prospects
  • You must be enrolled in or have been accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program (you can’t already have an undergraduate degree)
  • Application deadline: December 1

Talbot’s Women’s Scholarship Fund

  • 60 Scholarships of $1,000 each and 6 Scholarships of $10,000 each (only applicants seeking a bachelor’s degree from a 2- or 4-year college or university are eligible for these awards)
  • For women who earned their high school diploma or GED at least 10 years ago
  • You must be seeking an undergraduate degree from an accredited 2- or 4-year college or university, or vocational-technical school
  • Application deadline: Check the website in the fall for a scholarship the following year

Possible Woman Foundation International Scholarships

  • Scholarships (number varies): approx. $2,000–$5,000
  • For stay-at-home moms entering the workforce in need of additional education/training, women returning to school after a break in their education, and women changing careers or seeking career advancement
  • Application deadline: January

American Association of University Women Career Development Grants

  • Grants: $2,000–$12,000
  • For women with a bachelor’s degree preparing to advance their careers, change careers, or re-enter the work force
  • Special consideration given to women of color and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credential in nontraditional fields
  • For pursuing master’s degree, second bachelor’s degree, or specialized training in technical or professional fields
  • Distance learning programs are eligible
  • Application deadline: December

Accounting Scholarships for Women in Transition

  • Scholarship: up to $16,000 over 4 years
  • Women in Transition and Women in Need Scholarships for women who have become the sole source of support for themselves and their family, either through divorce or death of a spouse; other circumstances also considered
  • For incoming freshmen, current freshmen, or women returning to school with a freshmen status pursuing an accounting degree
  • Application deadline: April

Royal Neighbors of America Scholarships for Women

  • Life Enrichment Scholarships for Returning Students (5): $500 each awarded to returning students over 21 and pursuing short term coursework
  • New Horizons Scholarships for Returning Students (10): $5,000 each one-time scholarships awarded to females over the age of 35
  • New Horizons Leader Scholarship for a Returning Student (1): $5,000/year for up to four years awarded to a woman over the age of 35 who goes above and beyond to volunteer in her community and achieve financial security, health and wellness
  • You must be a Royal Neighbors of America member
  • Application deadline: April

Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

  • Scholarships: $10,000 each/year; Finalists: $1,000 award each
  • For rising seniors and graduate students enrolled fulltime in Computer Science, Computer Engineering program, or closely related technical field
  • Application Deadline: February 1

Be sure to visit each scholarship site for complete FAQ, eligibility details, and application process, and deadlines. For more scholarship opportunities for moms, see our post Single Mom Scholarships.