Older women heading to college can have many concerns, but paying for their education shouldn't be one of them. There are a variety of scholarships geared toward women who are beyond the traditional age of college students. You can apply for these scholarships to help finance your academic pursuits.
AARP Women's Scholarship Program
The American Association of Retired Persons, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people 50 or older, offers several scholarships. With the financial support of retailer Walmart, the AARP awards funds annually to women older than 40 seeking educational training to improve job skills. You must be a U.S. citizen, demonstrate financial need and be enrolled or planning to enroll in an accredited two-year college, four-year university or training program to apply. Greater priority is given to women who are taking care of the children of another family member, have no health or retirement benefits or who have been out of work for more than five years. In 2010, more than 100 scholarships worth $100 to $5,000 were awarded.
Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Scholarship for Mature Women
Named after the late philanthropist, the foundation funds scholarships for women older than 25 at 29 colleges and universities in the United States.You apply for the scholarships through the financial aid office of your school. The foundation allocated $679,500 for scholarships during the 2010-2011 academic year. You must have at least 60 credits toward a bachelor’s degree to be eligible. Your school handles the selection process and disbursement of the money.
Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women
Best-selling author Linda Lael started a scholarship program in 2003 for women older than 25 from the money she receives from speaking engagements. The scholarship is not only for tuition but can be used for transportation, child care and other expenses not traditionally covered by academic awards. To apply, you must be a citizen of the U.S. or Canada. You also must submit an essay explaining why you need the scholarship and your educational goals. Ten scholarships worth $1,000 were awarded in 2009. The award amount for 2010 was $15,000.
Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund
Named in honor of the first woman elected to Congress, the Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund aids low-income women older than 35. You can be enrolled in a vocational program or two-year or four-year university. You must be a U.S. citizen and meet the income thresholds as set forth by the Department of Labor’s Lower Living Standard to be eligible. Your goals, challenges and financial situation are considered during the selection process. In 2010, the foundation awarded 80 scholarships worth $2,000 each.