Many older women would love to go back to school but are held back by the potential cost. Fortunately, it is still possible to find scholarships for women over 50. I hope that these resources help you to make all of your educational dreams come true.

Where to Find Scholarships for Women Over 50?

Older women often look back on their lives with a sense of nostalgia at what could have been. Many have a strong desire to return to school and finish a degree. Others have developed an interest in a subject during their lives and want to dig deeper.

But, not surprisingly, money is often an issue when making the decision to go back to school. The good news is that there are several places to look for scholarships for women over 50.

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a leading organization that promotes education for women. Their mission is to break through economic barriers so that all women can get a great education. AAUW provides more than $3.7 million in funding for more than 245 fellowships and grants.

They offer six categories of fellowships. This includes an International Fellowship for full-time study or research in the United States. It is open to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. This is a great option for women living in other parts of the world.

What you need to know:

US citizen: No

Live in the US: No

Minimum age requirement: Depends on the fellowship

Deadline for application: Depends on the fellowship

Jeanette Rankin Foundation Scholarship Fund

Jeanette Rankin Foundation grants are available to women over the age of 35 who are US Citizens. Applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited school and meet certain income requirements.

The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund aims to empower low-income women to change their lives through education. It has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to more than 700 women.

What you need to know:

US citizen: Yes

Live in the US: Yes

Minimum age requirement: 35

Deadline for application: Applications begin in November

The Soroptomist Club

The Soroptomist Club funds the Live Your Dream Award program which helps women who need financial help with their education but not exclusively for women who are older than 55. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.

Residents of Soroptimist’s member countries and territories can apply. This includes the US, Canada, Argentina, Panama, Venezuela, Bolivia, Taiwan Province of China, Brazil, Guam, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, Philippines, Colombia, Peru, Korea, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Japan.

What you need to know:

US citizen: No

Live in the US: No

Minimum age requirement: No age requirements

Deadline for application: November 15th

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation for Low-Income Women and Children

Established in 2003, the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation aims to carry on some of Mink’s most ardent commitments: educational access, opportunity, and equity for low-income women, especially mothers; and educational enrichment for children.

What you need to know:

US citizen: Yes

Live in the US: Yes

Minimum age requirement: 17

Deadline for application: TBA

Newcombe Foundation

The Newcombe Foundation is a US-based organization that supports mature women by providing financial assistance to help them get their bachelor’s degree.

The foundation partners with universities and colleges in New York City, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington, DC area. This may be a great option for women living on the U.S. East Coast.

What you need to know:

US citizen: Yes

Live in the US: Yes

Minimum age requirement: 25

Deadline for application: Variable

Literary Grants

If you are a writer, there are several groups to explore. This includes the National League of American Pen Women, A Room of Her Own, Loft Literary Center, and Money for Women. A more comprehensive list can be found at the Women’s Art website.

What you need to know:

US citizen: Depends on the grant

Live in the US: Depends on the grant

Minimum age requirement: Depends on the grant

Deadline for application: Depends on the grant

Humanitarian Grants

If you’re planning to write something educational or work on a humanitarian project, you can check with NEH, the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For example, if you want to write about issues facing women over 60, working with a multigenerational workforce, or anything that would benefit awareness of a specific social issue, the NEH may have a grant to offer.

What you need to know:

US citizen: Yes

Live in the US: Yes

Minimum age requirement: None

Deadline for application: Depends on the grant

Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA)

The EFWA helps women to advance their careers as accountants. The foundation provides scholarships at all education levels and offers specific Women in Transition (WIT) and Women in Need (WIN) Scholarships to women who are the main source of family income.

What you need to know:

US citizen: Yes

Live in the US: Yes

Minimum age requirement: None

Deadline for application: April 30th

Society for Women Engineers

The Society for Women Engineers (SWE) helps women to obtain degrees in higher education that lead to engineering degrees. SWE offers the BK Krenzer Memorial Re-entry Scholarship and the Wanda Munn Scholarship for non-traditional women students, including older female students.

What you need to know:

US citizen: Yes

Live in the US: Yes

Minimum age requirement: None

Deadline for application: Depends on the scholarship

Philanthropic Educational Organization

The mission of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) is to promote women to achieve their life and career goals by providing scholarships, loans, awards, and grants.

They are looking to help women of any age who want to support their family and/or themselves, by returning to school to continue their education which may have been interrupted.

What you need to know:

US citizen: No

Live in the US: No

Minimum age requirement: None

Deadline for application: Depends on the scholarship

You are never too old to learn something new. Don’t forget that there are lots of free online education options like Coursera that offer certificates of completion. But if you want to earn a formal degree and money is tight, there is financial support to pursue.

We know attending college at any age is difficult but going back to school to get a further education will forever change your life and the lives of your adult children and grandchildren. They will be inspired by your tenacity and willpower, and you will be proud of yourself.

Have you gone back to school as an older student? How did you manage with the money? Are there any other great scholarships for women over 50 that you are aware of? If you have any other suggestions, or have had experience with any of the programs listed in this article, please join the conversation in the comments section below.

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