Tuition and living costs increase every year. As costs rise out of many people’s reach, more and more people find that their goals and aspirations may be limited because of finances. Loans are readily available to make ends meet, but they must be paid back with interest. Luckily, there are other options to fund education, research and other endeavors.
Scholarships and grants are designed to give opportunities for education and advancement that would otherwise be out of their reach. Every year in the United States, millions of dollars in scholarships and grants are given out to worthy applicants. Many of those grants are specifically ear marked for Christian women.
The types of scholarships given to Christian women are more varied than most applicants guess when they first begin looking. Many applicants imagine that most scholarships available to Christian women are reserved for devout Christians, future ministers or other devotees. But there are scholarships and grants available to Christian women in all walks of life. From transgender women to those that can recite the tenants of faith, there are scholarships and grants waiting for Christian women from all walks of life.
All Majors are Welcome
Women entering seminary or bible college and women pursuing religious studies are most likely to seek out scholarships and grants for Christian women. But Christian women pursuing other, secular courses of study have lots of scholarship and grant opportunities available to them. In fact, the majority of scholarships are available to applicants studying a variety of subjects at religious and secular schools. Often, identifying as a Christian and a relationship with a church is enough to merit a scholarship or grant to support your pursuits.
Take, for example, The United Church of Christ Undergraduate Scholarship. This scholarship is given by the United Church of Christ through their Undergraduate Scholarship Endowment Fund. The fund was established in 1994 by a gift from the members of the Society of the South Congregational Church of Brooklyn, NY. Every year since the fund’s establishment, a small monetary award has been given to worthy applicants.
The United Church of Christ Undergraduate Scholarship is restricted to members of the United Christ Church. However it is available to United Church of Christ members majoring in any undergraduate subject. The courses in question must be taken at an accredited 4-year university. Applicants for the United Church of Christ Undergraduate Scholarship must be entering their sophomore, junior or senior year.
The United Church of Christ Undergraduate Scholarship is somewhat merit based. Applicants must provide a sealed, official undergraduate transcript containing their grade history up to and including their most recent semester or quarter. To qualify for the scholarship applicants must have at least a “C” average entering their sophomore year. Applicants entering their junior or senior year must have at least a “B” average. Only applicants under 25 years of age may apply.
In addition to transcripts, applicants must also provide a letter of recommendation from the Dean or Academic Advisor of their school and your local United Church of Christ pastor or youth counselor. Applicants must also provide a 500 word essay based on the question provided in the application.
On average, each student receives between $500 and $1,000. But the award is only given to students who can prove their personal financial need through a FAFSA form. The deadline for turning in the applications is on May 18th of each year. If that date falls on the weekend, the application must be received by the business day following the application.
Christian women pursuing secular courses of studies hurt themselves by assuming that only religious studies are supported by churches and organizations. Many scholarships and grants are available for all undergraduate or graduate students who qualify. Some are even specific to certain secular courses of study.
Smaller Denominations have Scholarships Too
Before you write your small denomination off, it pays to do an internet search. Many small denominations have scholarships available for their members. Even churches without central organizations or leadership offer funding.
Can’t find anything on the internet? Talk to your church leader. There may be scholarships available that are not listed on any website. Or your inquiries may inspire your church leaders to institute an annual scholarship that you and others can use later in your educational career.
You Don’t Have to Be College-Aged
Students fresh out of high school are the most likely to seek scholarships for their education. But older students often suffer the larger financial burden. These students often think that their only option to pay for school is to work extra hours or take out high-interest loans. However, there are many Christian scholarships available to women who are older than the typical college age.
The Antiochian Women’s Scholarship, for example, is reserved for Eastern Orthodox women who are over 26 years of age. The scholarship not only supports undergraduate and graduate schools but other trade and educational programs in non-traditional settings.
The Antiochian Women’s Scholarship primarily targets women who have the time to further their education but not the resources. To apply, applicants must simply fill out a form that lists the immediate costs of your education including tuition, books and fees, and housing. Applicants do not need to provide a transcript, but they must provide a letter or recommendation from their Eastern Orthodox parish priest
The Antiochian Women’s Scholarship Fund targets older women with the drive and purpose that often comes with maturity. Applicants must write a short essay about the course of study they are taking and how that education will benefit themselves, their families or the world. Applications are due June 1, 2012.
Many scholarships and grants available to Christian women are ear marked for women who are above a certain age. Applying for these scholarships and grants take these women out of the general applicant pool and place them with their peers. This increases the chance that they will be chosen and often means larger scholarships and grants because the pool is divided amongst fewer applicants.
Your Home State May Have Added Benefits
Many women’s scholarships and grants are given out on a national level. Certain states, however, have scholarship and grant opportunities that are unique to the state that the funding church or organization resides in. This restriction stretches out limited resources and affords organizations a closer relationship to their wards.
The Diamonds in the Rough Ministry International Scholarship, for example, reserves their scholarships for women who are seniors in high school in the state of Texas. Because the applicant pool is limited to women in one state, the chance of getting an award are greatly increased.
In addition to state restrictions, The Diamonds in the Rough Ministry International Scholarship is reserved for women who have exceled in some areas of their life. High academic achievers, leaders in their community or volunteer organizations and accomplished athletes are encouraged to apply. The scholarship is available to women of any denomination.
Applicants must have a high school GPA of at least 2.5 and must submit official transcripts along with their applications. By the time the application is submitted, the applicant must be enrolled in a college or university. No proof of enrollment is required at the time of application. It must, however, be provided before the scholarship is awarded. In addition to transcripts, applicants need a letter of recommendation from a current teacher, minister or mentor. The application deadlines are February 1st and August 1st.
Searching by state is a great way to find opportunities with a smaller applicant pool and more concentrated resources. Applicants awarded scholarships and grants in their home state are also more likely to be awarded the scholarship year after year and obtain support for their entire educational career. Applicants looking for a personal, long-term relationship to their benefactors will benefit most from awards from local sources.
Schools are Great Resources
When searching for potential universities to attend, Christian students would do well to research the scholarships available through those institutions. Certain universities have relationships to funds and organizations that donate money earmarked for scholarships. Many of these scholarships and grants are reserved for Christian women already attending these universities.
One large scholarship of this kind is the Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship. This scholarship is available to Christian women currently involved undergraduate programs in a variety of schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The list of schools is available on the Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship website. The list includes a number of reputable 4-year accredited universities.
To be eligible applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0. All majors and concentrations are welcome. However, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship is most often awarded to students who major in health-related subjects like nursing.
The Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship is awarded to roughly 200 students per year. Each chosen student is awarded between $500 and $2500. The award is renewable, but students must re-apply each year that they are in college. The application deadline is March 15th every year.
Many other organizations like the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation give grants directly to universities to be earmarked for Christian students. It pays to research. Ferreting out these school-based scholarships are a great way to compound other scholarships to increase the amount of money available for education.
Missionaries Have Access to Special Scholarships
Christian women who do missionary work are often eligible for special scholarships and grants. Many of these scholarships and grants are even available to applicants who promise or intend to do missionary work in the future. In exchange for a few years of missionary work, applicants may find funding for their educational endeavors.
The Women’s Missionary Union is a Baptist organization that gives a considerable amount of money to current and future missionaries. They have several scholarships and grants for undergraduate and graduate students who want to share their faith.
- The Women’s Missionary Union’s Hocutt Memorial Scholarship is available to women who are undertaking “academic preparation, internships designed to develop a person’s abilities to serve in the chaplaincy or missions field or for formal Continuing Education programs related to the chaplaincy or missions. “. Undergraduate and graduate university programs, apprenticeships, and certification programs are all eligible. The application deadline February 1st.
- The Juliette Mather Scholarship is another program available to missionary women throughout the Women’s Missionary Union. This program is only available to undergraduate students attending 4-year accredited University programs. All applicants must plan to go into a Christian ministry or enter a field that will help to prepare Baptist leaders. The application deadline is March 1st.
- The Women’s Missionary Union also organizes the R. Keith Parks Scholarship Fund. This fund provides scholarships for women who are entering or taking post-graduate course works in preparation for missionary work. To be eligible for the R. Keith Parks Scholarship Fund, applicants must plan on undertaking missionary work in a foreign country. The application deadline is March 1st.
- Christian women pursuing a post-graduate degree and domestic missionary work should apply to the Carolyn Weatherford Scholarship Fund. The application deadline is March 1st.
Access to each one of the Women’s Missionary Union’s scholarships is available through their website via a single application form. Along with an application, applicants must submit three references. One reference must be from a recent teacher or professor. The second reference must be from a pastor or church leader. The third reference must be from a Women’s Missionary Union leader or a principal member of a volunteer organization that you are a member of. The application forms must attest to current missionary work or intent to engage in missionary work after graduation. In addition to reference letters, applicants must include a list of your major accomplishments and mission activities.
There are a number of churches and other organizations who similarly award Christian women who pursue missionary work. Often, Christian women who were not previously considering missionary work decide to invest the time in exchange for several thousand dollars in educational aid.
Christian Scholarships for Transgender Women
Once upon a time, Christian communities closed their doors to members they did not approve of. Luckily, times have changed. Christians women who identify as lesbian, intersex, transgender and bisexual are not only welcomed in many churches but also eligible for scholarships and grants.
One of the most notable of these scholarships is the Lee Frances Heller Memorial Award. This scholarship was established in the memory of Lee Frances Heller. Heller was a minister from 1965 to 1985. After Heller retired, she came to terms with her transgender identity. She spent the last 15 years of her life ministering to transgendered men and women.
To honor her memory, the Lee Frances Heller Memorial Award is offered through the Transgender Scholarship and Education Legacy Fund. It is awarded annually to Christian transgender students who intend to take religious studies. The scholarship may be applied to religious studies at any college, university, seminary or bible school.
The application process for the Lee Frances Heller Memorial Award largely centers on the applicant’s experience as a transgender woman. Applicants must have demonstrable experience in a leadership role in their church, a volunteer organization or another organization. The application must also include an essay that discusses the applicant’s experience as a transgender woman and their relationship with their church.
The application deadline is January 10th. Only one applicant is chosen every year and awarded $1500. Present the application through the Transgender Scholarship and Education Legacy Fund.
Organizations that offer Christian scholarships for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex students often have small applicant pools and large awards. Not all scholarships require the student to major in religious studies. However, the scholarship awards often require that students become active in their respective communities and are a great head start to activist work during an academic career.
Certain Scholarships Grants Cater to Women with Unique Experiences
Christian scholarships and grants aren’t always only based on beliefs. Certain organizations, churches and foundations establish scholarships for Christian women with specific background or experiences. This category of scholarships is often overlooked, but there are many resources available for women who have grown up in foster care, suffered abuse or surmounted other difficult obstacles in their lives.
Inspire Women is an organization that gives scholarships and grants to Christian women pursuing their education. Sixty percent of their scholarship awards go to women that come from backgrounds of abuse.
Inspire Women scholarships largely go to women with a desire to go to a seminary or other specialized religious program but have limited financial means. Applicants must be accepted to a seminary or biblical college. The award is meant to be added onto university or government financial aid and is only awarded to students who are also receiving another type of financial aid.
Inspire Women also gives grants to ministry leaders who run an IRS-approved non-profit church or Christian organization. The grants must be used to educate members, fund mission trips, produce CDs or books or spread the word of God.
Finding scholarships that cater to women with unique experience requires a considerable amount of leg work. However, there are significant benefits to be gained. The applicant pool is small and a powerful personal essay carries more weight than academic performance.
The great thing about grants for Christian women is that there are several available to women who are undertaking post-graduate studies. Like scholars in other fields, Christian scholars and researchers can obtain grants to help fund their research in certain areas. They are designed to pay for rent, food and other basic necessities to free up the scholar’s time for research.
Large organizations and churches like the United Methodist Church give large awards to historical studies and publications. The United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Archives and History regularly gives sizable grants to scholars that research the history of the United Methodist Church.
Many of these grants are available only to women or scholars who study the history of women in the United Methodist Church or any of the churches and organizations that gave birth to the United Methodist Church. Larger sums are available to scholars who publish original manuscripts on the subjects. Once every four years, a sizable grant is given to scholars who publish book-length monographs on subjects related to Methodist history. The awards are given year-round and the amount of each grant is determined by the size and scope of the research project.
Christian women who plan to study, write or research the history of a church or religious organization or the history of women’s roles in said churches or organizations would be wise to contact those churches or organizations to obtain information about available grants. Even if grants are not readily available, council or clergy members may be encouraged to establish grants to add to the existing scholarship surrounding their denomination.
Work with Women
Grants and scholarship aren’t only limited to Christian women pursuing academia or a future in the clergy. Many grants for Christian women are ear marked for those women who do work in the community to empower other Christian women.
Church Women United is such an organization. They give scholarships to local or global organizations that are run by women or engage in activities that empower women. No extensive written application is necessary. Instead, applicants must present their case in person in front of a committee made of Church Women United members.
Church Women United gives roughly $250,000 worth of grant money per year. Individual grants are commonly between $250 and $5,000. The deadline for in person applications is August 1st.
Christian women who spend time inspiring or uplifting other women will find that there are a number of grants available to them. Those grants may be used to start an organization, fund excursions or pay bills. Scholarships may also be available for women who wish to further their education to continue their inspirational work.
Community Work Counts
Scholarships for Christian women are often awarded on the merit of deeds more than on the merits of academic achievements. Potential applicants with strong presences in the community or in volunteer organizations often find more options in Christian women’s scholarships even if they do not earn the top grades in their class.
The College for Christian Leaders, formerly known as The Eckmann Foundation, is a non-profit organization founded in 1988. Every year they give a scholarship to reward leaders in the Christian community. And although the scholarship is awarded to a variety of students, special consideration is given to minority students. The scholarship is given to students of any Christian denomination.
To evidence their Christian community leadership skills, applicants must have a ministry reference from someone in their church. Applicants must also write a 100 to 200 word essay on Christian testimony. A second essay must be submitted on the subject of a person who lived in the last century that the applicant would like to spend the day with and why.
Applicants must be entering or currently enrolled in graduate or undergraduate courses in California, Oregon or Washington. The minimum acceptable GPA for applicants is 3.0. To qualify for the College for Christian Leaders scholarship, students must also provide proof of their need.
The combined income of the entire family, the parents and the student, has to be below $75,000. This includes parents, step-parents and the income of any working students in the household. You will have to provide copies of the tax returns for the past two years from all family members. Once selected, applicants must submit to a personal interview by a panel of College Christian Leaders. The application deadline is May 23rd each year.
Christian women with strong ties to their community will find a number of scholarships and grants at their disposal. These types of scholarships are a great way to supplement mediocre academic performance that might exclude them from other types of scholarships and grants.
Put Your Religious Knowledge to Work
Part and parcel of being a Christian is learning and often committing to memory the tenants of your religion. Certain churches, organizations and funds reward students who retain that knowledge. Simply being able to recite and understand a prayer or concept may give you several thousand dollars in scholarship money.
The Samuel Robinson Award, for example, offers a scholarship to Presbyterian students who know how still remember the answers to the Westminister Shorter Catechism.
Applicants must be full-time college students preparing to enter their junior or senior year at one of the 69 colleges the Samuel Robinson award has a relationship with. The application must include a 2,000 word essay on the Catechism. Different topics are provided to applicants each year the scholarship is given.
Students chosen for an interview must recite the answers to the Westminister Shorter Catechism in person. Twelve students are chosen each year. The typical award is between $2,000 and $5,000 per student. Applications must be post marked by April 1st.
Something as simple as a commitment to the tenants of faith may result in big dividends. Leaving no stone unturned is the key to maximizing scholarship money. Making a list of the tenants of faith and Googling each of them may turn up surprising scholarships and grants.
Denomination Doesn’t Always Matter
There are many denominations of Christianity and the availability of scholarships for Christian women reflects that diversity. Because these denominations represent the majority of Christians in the United States, Protestant, Catholic and Baptist scholarships make up the majority of Christian scholarships available. But there are many non-denominational scholarships available to Christians of all types all over the United States.
There are a wealth of Christian scholarships and grants available in the United States. The best way for Christian women to search is to think beyond church attendance and volunteer work. There are scholarships for Christian women in all walks of life. Applicants do well to think about what makes them unique and use that to narrow their search. Scholarships and grants provide the most support when they are only offered to a few Christian women with unique or specific qualities.
Girls in high school have plenty of opportunities for finding scholarships and grants for college. Businesses and large corporations now seek to support women entering fields such as engineering, math, and computer technology. Other programs give girls the chance to hone their writing skills, make videos, or submit art and poetry in order to compete for scholarships. Some colleges offer scholarships that are only geared toward young women who have gained admission to that particular college.
To find these scholarships, young women in high school should start the application process early. A young woman in high school may want to begin looking at scholarships during the freshman or sophomore year of high school.
Many scholarships are listed on scholarship search engines, while other scholarships will require more focused research on the websites of particular colleges. Some scholarships, such as the Scholastic Art Portfolio scholarship, require an immense amount of time and energy. The earlier you know about this type of scholarship, the earlier you can start preparing the necessary work for it.
Making a list with all of the potential scholarships one is interested in is a good start. On this list, an applicant should place the deadline next to each scholarship. This will motivate an applicant to keep materials organized early on and submit the application as soon as possible. Knowing the deadlines also helps a high school student to balance her time between schoolwork and applying for scholarships.
I. Corporate Scholarships
A few corporations are renowned for the support they offer young women. Obtaining a scholarship from one of the following corporations can mean that a young woman graduates tuition-free from college. While corporate scholarships are rather competitive to obtain, they do provide substantial financial assistance to those who ultimately receive such scholarships. Below is a list of the top corporate scholarships for women in high school.
The Kellogg Company
The Kellogg Company offers incredible financial opportunities for minorities and women in high school. Every year, this corporation provides over $200,000 in support for minorities and women to attend college. Kellogg Scholarships are available through particular colleges, so young women will have to check out the website to find out more about the application process.
General Electric scholarships typically provide up to $5,000 per winning applicant. The money supports women entering fields such as engineering or business. To apply, one will have to submit three letters of reference, a transcript, and a personal statement describing one’s career goals.
Best Buy Scholarship
The Best Buy Scholarship program offers $1,000 to over 1,200 winning applicants. The winners are selected on the basis of grades, volunteer participation, and extracurricular activity involvement.
To apply for a Dell Scholarship, young women must be in their last year of high school. The minimum GPA requirement is only a 2.4, but that does not mean this scholarship isn’t competitive. The scholarship puts forth its criteria in selecting winners based on such phrases as “individual determination to succeed” and “ability to communicate hardships you face and ability to overcome them.”
Winning this scholarship is much more than just winning a paycheck. In addition to winning $20,000, students become part of a Dell Scholar community. These scholars also receive the latest technology equipment from Dell so that they can succeed in college. They receive textbook credits, PCs, laptops, printers, ink, and other supplies.
Apple offers scholarships to high school seniors as well. Apple provides $2,000, as well as a MacBook Pro and iPod Nano. To apply, visit www.apple.com for more information.
II. Community College Scholarships
Community college scholarships are often easier to obtain than corporate scholarships or competitive merit-based scholarships. A community college scholarship can provide hope to a young woman who may find herself in difficult circumstances in high school.
Community college scholarships exist for young women who may be pregnant, have a low income, or face other hardships in life. This is not to say one must be facing these tragic circumstances to qualify for a community college scholarship. Some of these scholarships do benefit young women who are at the top of their class in high school. Attending a community college for a couple years on a scholarship and then transferring to a larger university is an attractive option for young women who are supporting their own education.
Dual enrollment is typically the most popular way to earn college credits while in high school. The reason this program is so beneficial for young women is because it helps them save money in college.
A young woman in high school can earn 20 to 40 college credits during high school that ultimately transfer to a University. When these credits successfully transfer, she will be able to graduate a year or two early from college. With the average cost of tuition being around $20,000 a year, this means a young woman could potentially save $40,000 in tuition fees by graduating early.
To learn more about a dual-enrollment program, speak with the guidance counselor at your high school. You should have information about the ability to obtain credits from a local community college. Some high schools provide the dual-enrollment program free of charge to young women in high school. Inquire about any scholarships that are available for the dual-enrollment program.
The way that the dual-enrollment program works is a student can take up to two extra college courses in a regular semester. The typical high school student will take these courses in the evening after her high school classes. Some high schools will allow these courses to be taken in lieu of high school courses. This can save a student time in her high school schedule.
DePaul University is one of the leading universities to build a partnership with local community colleges. DePaul is one school that supports the giving of community college scholarships to young, gifted women who may then transfer and complete their degrees at DePaul.
Learning More About Dual Enrollment Programs
The Davidson Institute for Talent Development has put together a comprehensive website for young women in high school who are gifted. This website contains other links to websites explaining the dual-enrollment process and applicable scholarships. This website is quite organized, as young women can research dual-enrollment programs on a national, state, or organizational basis. The site also posts links for information on early admission to major Universities in the area.
Summer School Scholarships
Another form of dual enrollment is the summer school program. Summer school programs allow high school students to get a taste of college life during their high school years. Through these programs, students take up to two college courses over the course of eight weeks during the summer. Students can attend all different types of summer schools.
Harvard Summer School Program
Young women can even apply for the Harvard Summer School Program, if they so choose. The Harvard Summer School Program is one of eight programs offered at Ivy League colleges throughout the United States. This program features courses such as Political Philosophy and Introduction to Western Art History. Classes are usually taught by Harvard faculty, although some faculty come from other colleges around the world such as Oxford University.
If a young woman in high school has her heart set on attending a summer school program, she may apply for financial aid directly from that program. It is a little-known secret that summer school programs are very generous in their financial aid offers. Colleges like Harvard want to see the best and brightest young women attend their programs, so they will try to work with your financial situation.
Joyce Ivy Foundation
In addition to financial aid from summer school programs at schools like Brown or Yale, young women can also obtain financial assistance through the Joyce Ivy Foundation. The Joyce Ivy Foundation provides summer school scholarships to Ivy League colleges to young women in the Midwest.
Every year, the Joyce Ivy Foundation expands the number of scholarships it offers to young women. They provide full and partial scholarships to cover the cost of tuition expenses, living expenses, and travel expenses for the summer. In addition, young women join a network of scholars who will serve as a support system in the future. The program also provides mentors for these young women as they embark on a summer of educational freedom.
Applicants considering this program should apply early, as they will also have to apply separately to a summer school program. The list of programs that have been approved by the Joyce Ivy Foundation can be found at its website. They include schools such as Brown, Duke, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
III. Merit-Based Scholarships
National Merit Program
The National Merit Program awards over 10,500 scholarships every year. It is one of the oldest scholarship programs in the United States, begun in 1955.
To participate in the National Merit Program, applicants must be a United States citizen, be a full-time high school student, and obtain a qualifying score on the PSAT test. The PSAT stands for “Preliminary SAT.” If a student scores in a certain percentile, he or she will be invited to apply for a spot as a National Merit scholar.
To become a finalist, one will then have to submit other information. A committee will consider an applicant’s high school endorsement, self-reflection essay, transcript, involvement in extracurricular activities, and most recent score on the SAT exam.
Out of over 15,000 Finalists, only about 8,000 will ultimately receive scholarships in this program. It is a highly competitive program for very accomplished and gifted students. Winning one of these scholarships is typically a very positive accomplishment to list on one’s applications for colleges. Highly selective colleges in the Ivy League system will typically look for this sort of accomplishment in the application of high school students.
Girl Scout National Competition
The Girl Scouts organization provides tremendous support for young women in high school. It administers a few different scholarship programs every year. Some programs, like the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, focus more on the community service aspect of an applicant’s application. This program awards scholarships to high school students who have demonstrated exceptional public service to their local and state communities.
The GSCNC Gold Award Scholarships are given to young women who have earned their Girl Scout Gold Award. Only 17 of these scholarships are given every year. To qualify for one of these scholarships, young women will interview with local businesswomen, submit high school transcripts, and submit a personal reflection essay. Semifinalists who are not selected for this scholarship will still receive a bond worth $200.
Be sure to check out the Girl Scout website for other scholarships available to particular communities. The site also lists other more specific scholarships, such as the Corinne Jeannine Schillings Foundation Scholarship. This scholarship was created to commemorate the life of Corinne Schillings. At only 26 years old, Corinne lost her life in a water taxi accident. The scholarship is given to Girl Scouts who are pursuing a major or minor in a foreign language.
IV. Adoption Scholarships
Some young women in high school find themselves in uneasy predicaments. To deal with issues like pregnancy, different supportive scholarship organizations have developed over the years. The following organizations issue scholarships to young mothers or young women who choose to go through the adoption process. These organizations usually provide much more than a simple sum of money to these young women. They can also provide a supportive network of individuals who will help the young mother care for her children, while she seeks to accomplish her educational goals.
Birth Mother Scholarship Program
This organization has a board committee that allocates scholarships to young mothers who choose adoption. Every year, the number of scholarships given differs. The amounts awarded also depend on how many young women apply and the tuition of their respective colleges. The scholarships given by this organization are renewable for eight semesters. One must maintain a 2.5 GPA to qualify for the scholarship every year.
Teen Parent Connection
This program offers scholarships exclusively for young mothers who wish to attend vocational school or college. There is one caveat with this program, and it is that young women must live in DuPage County, Illinois. A young woman may apply for this scholarship when she is still pregnant. If this is the case, then the organization awards the scholarship upon the birth of the child.
APS Education Foundation
This scholarship program also offers financial assistance to young mothers. However, it differs from other scholarship programs, because it does not disqualify women who are not pregnant from applying. The scholarship will be provided after the child has been born. The parent must be enrolled in classes in order to receive the scholarship.
V. College Scholarships
Young women can be strategic about the way they apply to colleges in high school. By applying to a college with an all-female student body, a young woman may bolster her chances of receiving a full scholarship.
In addition, entering non-traditional fields for women will typically result in a young woman being gifted with a scholarship from a particular college. Fields such as technology, math, and science are striving to increase the number of women who work within them. As a result, many alumni develop strong scholarship programs at colleges geared toward young women in high school.
Applying for a particular engineering program or science program may ensure that a young woman receives a full scholarship to college. For the young woman who is seeking to achieve a full ride to college, applying to specific programs at colleges is the key. This will offer the best chance of success for a young woman.
Because Wellesley College is an all-female student body, the support for this college is tremendous in regards to scholarships for young women in high school. This school provides scholarships to women and men who have been accepted into Wellesley. It provides merit-based and need-based scholarships. These scholarships can range in amount from $5,000 to $9,000. The trustees of this organization are responsible for choosing the winning applicants.
Financial Aid Offices
Visit the particular financial aid offices of schools like Smith College or Wellesley College to learn more about how they can help you attend college at a decreased cost. Typically, when you apply for admission to an all-female school, you will automatically be considered for financial assistance.
If you have been denied financial assistance, however, do not let that stop you. Meeting with financial aid representatives in person can actually go a long way in changing your current financial aid package. Do not let an initial offer dissuade you from attending a particular school. Every school will work with you to find a way that you can ultimately attend.
VII. Being Organized for Scholarship Success
To ensure that you have the best chances of success in applying for scholarships in high school, you should be as organized as possible. The more organized you are, the more scholarships you will apply to. Many young women never even attempt applying to corporate scholarships because they think the competition is too stiff and that they have no chance. The truth is that thousands of these scholarships are not even given out since too few students apply for them.
1. Make a List of Scholarships
First, make a list of all of the scholarships that interest you. Do not pay attention to how big your list becomes, the requirements, or the deadlines for the particular scholarships. Simply allow yourself to create this list. You can use the scholarships listed in this resource for your list, as well as the scholarships listed through search engines provided in this material.
2. Narrow Down the List
After you make your list, now is the time when you can narrow it down. Look at your schedule and decide how much time you can allocate to applying for scholarships. Honestly, this is one of the most important things you can ever do in your lifetime. You will never again be able to save $20,000 to $40,000 on tuition with free money.
Because of this, you should put aside at least 10 hours a week for working on scholarships. That may sound like a lot of time, but it can be divided up over the week. You can decide to do a few hours throughout the week and then use a chunk of time on a Saturday or Sunday for scholarship applications. You can simply decide to work two hours a day on scholarships. Whatever way works best for your schedule, do that.
Even if applying for scholarships means you take fewer hours at your part-time job, you should still devote the time to scholarship applications. The money you can earn from scholarships will outweigh the small earnings you could have made from a part-time job.
3. Gather “Easy Information”
Now that the list of scholarships is completed, start to gather all of the “easy” information for scholarships with upcoming deadlines. “Easy information” are things like high school transcripts, proof of citizenship, and signatures from your professors. You can easily gather these things by sending a simple email to your high school guidance counselor or making copies at the library.
Once you have this information, your next step will be to organize it into a file system. If you can, use a filing cabinet with a folder marked for each scholarship application. You can also use a travel portfolio if that is less expensive for you. Just make sure that each scholarship has its own designated spot somewhere. This will allow you to refer back to each file instantly in the event that a scholarship committee requests an additional copy of information. Materials can also be easily lost in the mail, so always make copies of everything you send out to a scholarship in an application.
4. Ask for Letters of Recommendation
Gathering the “easy information” is the best way to get started on a scholarship. This way you will feel as though you already have accomplished a part of the application, so you will not be dissuaded from giving up on the application.
The second step is to obtain any recommendation letters you will need from teachers, principals, employers, family, or spiritual leaders. Carefully read the requirements of your scholarship. Some scholarship applications will prefer letters that are only from your teachers, as opposed to employers or family. Never send a family recommendation if a scholarship clearly specifies that it requires recommendation letters from a teacher.
Some young women fret about asking particular teachers for letters of recommendation. The truth is that most teachers are more than willing to provide letters of recommendation, even if you may have received a mediocre grade in the class. A teacher simply wants to know that you tried your best in a particular class.
Of course, smart students will choose to obtain letters of recommendation from teachers who may know of their achievements and support such achievements. For example, perhaps you are the leading point guard on your high school’s basketball team. Maybe your English teacher is also the coach of your basketball team. If you have succeeded in both the class and on the basketball team, then asking this teacher for a letter of recommendation is a very wise idea.
You should always try to ask for letters of recommendation from your teachers in person, as opposed to email or over the phone. This will allow your teacher to associate your name with your scholarship application. At some high schools, a teacher may teach hundreds of students in a given day. Separate yourself from the crowd by having the courage to ask for a letter of recommendation in person. Teachers have written hundreds of letters of recommendation for students before, so they are not at all surprised when students ask for scholarship recommendation letters. In fact, some teachers are flattered by it.
Be sure to follow up with your teachers and let them know about the status of your scholarship, whether you won or lost. Also, be sure to ask for letters of recommendation at least a month ahead of the due date. This gives your teacher the necessary time to write a thoughtful letter in support of your application.
5. Write the Essays
The essays are typically the most difficult part of the scholarship application. For this part, you should plan on setting aside about three hours to complete an essay that is about 1,000 words. Try to write the essay from your heart. Scholarship committees want to hear about how much you desire this scholarship, the obstacles you have overcome in your life, and how this scholarship will help you achieve your dreams.
Scholarship essays can actually be great fun, because they force you to sit down and consider all of your career goals. You have the chance to really think about your education and how it will help you accomplish your life goals.
After you have written an essay draft, be sure to “let it breathe” over the next few days. Take a break from writing the essay. Come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. After you have let it sit for a while, read through it again and correct any grammatical or phrasing errors in it.
You may also want to have your parents read it and spot any errors they see. You can even ask an English teacher in your high school to proofread it. He or she will be more than happy to help you. Catching simple errors, such as grammar or spelling errors, is absolutely essential as you apply for scholarships. Some committees will throw out an essay simply due to one or two spelling errors. Avoid this disqualification by being as prepared as possible.
VII. Stay on Track
Set a goal for yourself every week for how many scholarships you want to complete. Perhaps in the beginning stages, you set a goal of applying to one scholarship a week. This takes off the pressure to complete every single one on your list. As you become more efficient in applying for scholarships, then you may want to increase this number to two or three scholarships a week.
Also, set a monthly goal for yourself so that you remember to set a weekly goal for scholarship applications. This may sound like being a bit over-obsessive; however, you may forget to even set a weekly goal for scholarship applications in the beginning weeks. So many high school students are busy with school, work, and sports, so avoid getting too caught up in all of this by remembering to set one goal for yourself that relates to scholarships every week.
VIII. Follow Up on Scholarships
After you have submitted your scholarship applications, you should be notified within a few weeks of whether you won. Look on the website for scholarships to find out when the notification letters are sent out. Some scholarship organizations may not notify you right away.
If you have not heard from a scholarship organization, then be proactive and follow up on it. Try to contact a director of the organization by using the phone number listed on its website or application. Otherwise, you can also try emailing the director of a scholarship organization.
The reason you should always follow up is because it may not always mean you lost. Just because you have not heard from a scholarship committee does not mean they disqualified you. Instead, it may mean that the directors simply forgot to choose this year’s winner. You will be more likely to win the scholarship if you have been the one to remind the committee. Some scholarships are run by parents or business people who forget that they have applications sitting in a mail box waiting for approval. Not every scholarship is run by a large group of people, so just be sure to remember this as you apply.
Also, as a last bit of advice, do not let the scholarship process get you down. Just because you do not win every scholarship you apply to does not mean you should stop submitting applications. Simply apply to as many as you can. You never know if the one scholarship you win is a full ride to your dream college. Envision success for yourself during the process, and you will win a scholarship that benefits your education.