Foundations as well as government agencies offer education grants for women. Many philanthropists feel that women are held back when pursuing higher education for both financial and cultural reasons. Foundations may offer grants to pursue specific interests, such as computing or technology, or they may simply focus on education as a goal.
Organizations such as the American Association of University Women (www.aauw.org), the Association for Women in Mathematics (www.awm-math.org)or the Third Wave Grants for Women (www.thirdwavefoundation.org/grantmaking) offer education grants for women that assist women in receiving an education comparable to their male peers.
Corporations are also very active in providing assistance in the form of women education grants. Major corporations such as Verizon (http://foundation.verizon.com) recognize that they will need qualified employees in the future and feel that the best way to achieve that goal is to offer education grants for women.
There are education grants for women targeted to specific demographics. Some funders highlight groups such as minorities, or they may limit applicants to a geographical area that coincides with their corporate divisions. Some may target only low-income women, such as the Jeannette Rankin Foundation for Low Income Women (www.rankinfoundation.org).
Women who need education grants for women specifically, should contact schools in their area, or schools that have curriculums they want to pursue to research what help is available. Networking with other college students in your area can lead to finding grants as well. Contact local charities, and of course, the internet offers databases that can have substantial leads.
After locating a list of possible funders, try to visit each website. Some may outline their application requirements right on the website, while others may only offer contact information. Most foundations will also list the dates they will be accepting applications. If not, use the contact information given and simply tell them you would like to know when to apply, if the RFP’s will be posted publicly, and ask whether you can submit a letter of inquiry. You may also be able to include a very short synopsis of your specific interests and need for funding. Read their mission statement carefully and try to show how your request coincides with the mission.
You may send of dozens for inquiries, but it will all be worth it when you find a compatible funder.