Scholarships for Women Over 40
Since WWII, but predominantly since the 1970’s, women have been going back into the workforce in droves. But in spite of the fact that over 50% of the workforce is now female, inequality in the workplace is still very much a fact of life. One problem that many women face is the skill gap that occurs when they re-enter the workforce after taking a break to raise their children. This is one of the reasons why specific scholarships have been designed for women over 40 years old who want to go back to school.
Types of Scholarships Available
The types of scholarships available for women over 40 are those obtained from colleges and universities, those scholarships available through professional organizations, and scholarships sponsored by corporations and other business enterprises. Particularly supportive are those industries that are looking for diversification in the fields of science and technology.
Today’s female students – regardless of age – are finally making inroads into areas that have been traditionally considered to be fields dominated by men; fields such as science, math, engineering, technology, business and law, and to help them achieve this many organizations give out awards targeted to these fields, but there are a number of scholarship options available to women over forty no matter what course of study they pursue.
Contemporary female students are outperforming their male counterparts in the classroom, a controversial topic among educators. However for them, the groove has been greased; especially when it comes to fields in which girls have traditionally been absent: science, math, engineering, technology, business, and law.
The Selected Professions Fellowships is sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and awards between $5,000 to $20,000 per woman to selected females that are entering a graduate or post-graduate program in the science or technological fields.
For those not interested in technology or science, there are art scholarships for women as well. Scholarships such as the Worldstudio Foundation AIGA Scholarship, which is dedicated to increasing diversity in the creative professions (including minorities, women, and those who are economically challenged).
College and University Scholarships for women over forty are plentiful from individual college campuses. Usually these scholarships are listed in the individual departments of the college, so going straight to the source (so to speak) can cut out a lot of red tape.
For minority and women of international status, there are some serious scholarship dollars available. The Margaret MacNamara Memorial Fund is open to international women born before 1970, and the American Association of University Women has selected Professions Fellowships for African American women in Business, Law and Medicine, and these aren’t even taking into account the United Negro College Fund or the Hispanic College Fund, both of which have monies earmarked for older students.
But perhaps it is those women who never got around to getting a college degree at all who have the most to benefit from scholarships available. Organizations such as the Talbot’s Women’s Scholarships are tailored for women who earned a high school diploma, but who never made it to college for whatever reason. The UCLA has a number of scholarships available, as does the AARP Foundation Women’s Scholarship Program which was designed for enabling women over 40 to get a degree or simply to obtain workforce development.
It is Up to You
As you can see, age is not an issue when looking at college scholarships. In fact, you may be in a better position to obtain a scholarship now than you were when you were fresh out of high school, and you will certainly appreciate the worth of a college education more than you probably would have when you were younger. So don’t let age be an issue, the time spent is worth the rewards.