10 Fantastic Scholarships for Women Returning to College

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Life happens. And for those of us that have been around the block a few times, we know it doesn’t always occur in a straight path. The choice to go back to school can lead to new life-changing opportunities, but it can also be a daunting financial commitment. Luckily, there’s help available. Below are NerdScholar’s picks for scholarships that celebrate women returning to college–whether that’s finishing a degree or completely changing careers. Most of these scholarships are only open to women and have an age minimum requirement.

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The Talbots Scholarship Program

Talbots annually awards seventeen $10,000 scholarships and one $30,000 scholarships in honor of Nancy Talbot.  This program celebrates women who demonstrate courage, conviction and an entrepreneurial spirit.  Amongst other requirements, women must have earned their high school diploma or GED before September 2001.

P.E.O.  Program for Continuing Education

The P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) is an organization that has chapters all over the United States.  The P.E.O. awards $3,000 grants to outstanding women who find it necessary to return to school to support themselves and/or their families.  Besides being sponsored by a P.E.O. chapter, applicants must have had at least 24 consecutive months as a non-student.

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship

In honor of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to be elected to the United States Congress, this scholarship celebrates women who have a vision of how their education will benefit themselves, their family, and their community.  The scholarship awarded eighty $2,000 scholarships in 2010.  Women that apply must be at least 35 years of age as well as low-income.

Emerge Scholarship

Emerge is an organization that prides itself in empowering women through education.  Their mission is specifically to aid women whose educations have been interrupted and who understand the power of giving back to their communities.  They award ten scholarships ranging from $2,000-$5,000 annually.  Applicants must be at least 25 years of age.

Linda Lael Miller Scholarship

Linda Lael Miller is a bestselling author who aims to encourage women to continue their education.  She awards a total of $10,000 to women who are able to demonstrate how achieving their education goals will enhance their and their family’s future.  Applicants must be at least 25 years of age.

EWI ASIST (Adult Students in Scholastic Transition) Scholarship

EWI (Executive Women International) is a global women’s organization with chapters across the country that focuses on furthering women in their careers by upholding community values.  They award twelve $2,500 scholarships annually to non-traditional students who face economic, social or physical challenges.  Students must apply first through a local EWI chapter and be at least 18 years of age.

SWE Scholarships

SWE (Society of Women Engineers) awards multiple scholarships to women who pursue an engineering degree and 2 of which are especially created for re-entry students.  The Olive Lynn Salembier scholarship and the BK Krenzer Memorial scholarship each offer one reward of $1,500 and $2,000 respectively to women re-entering school to complete their engineering degree.

Soroptomist Women’s Opportunity Award

Soroptomist is an international women’s organization for business professionals that work together to improve the lives of women and girls.  Three $10,000 awards are given to women finalists who have overcome obstacles to get back on the road of achieving their dreams of higher education.   Applicants must apply through a local branch.

AAUW Virginia Beach Branch Scholarship

Female students, aged 23 or older, who are residents of Virginia Beach, may apply. This scholarship is awarded to students who are returning to college after a gap. Applicants should have completed a minimum of 2 semesters at a U.S. college or university and be enrolled in a Hampton Roads undergraduate program. Students must have maintained a 3.0 GPA.