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7 best scholarships for women in 2021

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Scholarships can make a college education substantially less expensive, since they do not need to be paid back. There are hundreds of scholarships specifically for women interested in starting or continuing a higher education, including scholarships for women in STEM, scholarships for moms and more. Here’s where to start your search.

7 best scholarships for women in 2021

When you start your scholarship search, it’s usually easiest to use a scholarship search engine. From there, you can narrow down scholarships based on your circumstances and interests. However, the scholarships for women profiled below are a good place to begin.

1. Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Support Award

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Support Award offers five awards to low-income mothers pursuing their first degree at a postsecondary level of education. Applicants must be at least 17 years old, pursuing a qualifying degree or trade and making no more than $20,000 for a family of two, $24,000 for a family of three or $28,000 for a family of four.

Amount: $5,000
Aug. 1, 2021
Apply here:

2. Multiples of Illinois Scholarship

Multiples of Illinois offers five scholarships awarded at random to Multiples of Illinois members who are the parents of twins, triplets, quads or more. Applicants must be in good academic standing and currently enrolled in a qualifying university or trade school.

Amount: $150
Sept. 1, 2021
Apply here:

3. Women in Music Scholarship

EDM Maniac LLC funds the Women in Music Scholarship, designed to support women who are interested in a career in the music industry. While most scholarships can be applied only to current schooling, this scholarship may be used to help pay down student debt. Women who apply must describe a time in their life when music played an important role, why they’re passionate about music and how they hope to make an impact in the music industry.

Amount: $1,000
Deadline: Aug. 15, 2021
Apply here:

4. The Osher Reentry Scholarship Program

The Osher Reentry Scholarship Program is available to undergraduate students (usually between 25 and 50 years of age) who have at least a five-year gap in their higher education career. The scholarship is not distributed through the foundation, but through participating universities and colleges. While you’ll apply through your college, you can find more information on the Bernard Osher Foundation website.

Amount: Varies by school
Deadline: Varies by school
Apply here:
Apply through your school’s financial aid office

5. GoSkills Scholarship

GoSkills offers scholarships in both the spring and the fall for female students interested in starting their own online business. Within the application, students must describe the reasons they’re scared of starting their business and who their female boss role model is.

Amount: $2,000
Deadline: Sept. 15, 2021
Apply here:

6. Nervo “Revolution” Scholarship

DJ duo Nervo awards one “Revolution” Scholarship to a woman who wants to change the world. Applicants must submit a 200- to 750-word essay describing their biggest artistic ambition and how the scholarship will bring that vision to life. Applicants may also submit a link to one of their original artistic works.

Amount: $3,000
Deadline: Sept. 1, 2021
Apply here:

7. 3Wishes Women’s Empowerment Scholarship

Women who are planning to attend college in the next two years are eligible to apply for the 3Wishes Women’s Empowerment Scholarship. 3Wishes aims to support, uplift and encourage women past systemic and social barriers. Applicants must submit a 400- to 600-word essay on the topic, “How do you think society can most effectively empower women? What needs to be done to ensure these demands are met?”

Amount: $1,000
Deadline: Nov. 30, 2021
Apply here:

How to find scholarships for women

When it comes to finding scholarships for women, it’s important to utilize every resource available. This includes:

  • Contacting your school’s financial aid office.
  • Reaching out to local organizations.
  • Using a scholarship finder.

If you’re a high school student, your school counselor can be a resource for scholarship information as well.

How to pay for college without scholarships

If you’ve exhausted all of your scholarship options and are still overwhelmed by the cost of school, there are other ways to pay for a college education.

Federal student loans

Federal student aid is a common way to fund a degree. You apply through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year, and interest rates are the same for all students each school year. Most federal loans don’t require a credit check, and they come with benefits like income-driven repayment plans and opportunities for loan forgiveness.

Private student loans

Private student loans are a great way to fund what doesn’t get covered through federal loans. You’ll apply for private student loans through banks, credit unions and online lenders, all of which set their own eligibility criteria and interest rates. Interest rates are based on your credit score and can be either fixed or variable. Private student loans don’t come with the same protections as federal loans, but many lenders offer deferment or forbearance options for borrowers who qualify.


Most colleges and universities offer work-study programs for eligible students as a way to help them pay for their education. The jobs are often on campus and part time, and they’re typically more accommodating of class schedules than off-campus jobs. Since work-study is a form of federal aid, students need to submit a FAFSA form in order to apply.

Cost adjustments

There are a plethora of ways to make college more affordable. For example, living off campus and commuting can reduce your cost by thousands of dollars. In-state community colleges and online programs also tend to have considerably lower tuition costs than public and private four-year universities, so you may want to start out your schooling there before transferring to a four-year university.

Learn more:

Written by
Hanneh Bareham
Student loans reporter
Hanneh Bareham specializes in everything related to student loans and helping you finance your next educational endeavor. She aims to help others reach their collegiate and financial goals through making student loans easier to understand.
Edited by
Student loans editor