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There are many professional organizations dedicated to providing educational, networking, and career development opportunities for women in the workforce. Many of these organizations sponsor scholarship programs. Two of the most long-standing and successful association based scholarship programs are those sponsored by the Business and Professional Women's Foundation and the American Business Women's Association.
Business and Professional Women's Foundation
The Business and Professional Women's (BPW) Foundation has provided Career Advancement scholarships for women since 1969. These scholarships are intended to assist women who are pursuing education for the purpose of entering, re-entering, or advancing in the workforce.
Funds are awarded on a competitive basis. The criteria evaluated include financial need, academic merit and achievement, work experience, and volunteerism. Applicants must be 25 years of age or more, and must be accepted to begin studies at an accredited institution. Numerous scholarships are awarded each year.
The BPW Foundation was established by the Business and Professional Women/USA (BPW/USA), a professional association dedicated to promoting and advocating equity for women in the workplace. There are more than 1,300 BPW chapters located throughout the
American Business Women's Association
The American Business Women's Association (ABWA) awards both interest-free loans and college scholarships for women through the Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund (SBMEF), which was established in 1953 in memory of the son of ABWA's founder.
Educational funding awarded through the SBMEF is earmarked to provide assistance to women who are pursuing education for the purpose of career advancement. ABWA chapters can nominate members for a loan or grant each year, provided the chapter made a contribution to the fund in the prior year. Scholarships and interest-fee loans may be awarded for degree programs and non-degree skill development training.
In addition to the SBEMF scholarship fund, ABWA also awards a number of school scholarships for women that are not limited to members of the organization. Two $3,000 scholarships and one $10,000 scholarship are awarded each year. The organization also awards corporate scholarships upon availability of funding from program sponsors.
There are a number of charitable and professional organizations dedicated to empowering black women. Many of these organizations sponsor scholarships designed to help minority women pursue their educational and career goals.
Some of the membership organizations offering scholarships for black women include:
BISA Inner-City Scholarship Program
Black Women in Sisterhood for Action (BISA) funds scholarships for black women from inner-city areas based on financial need, leadership, academic potential, and career goals. The goal of BISA's scholarship program is to help young black women with economically disadvantaged backgrounds pursue undergraduate college educations in preparation for pursuing successful careers. The BISA scholarship program is unique in that it goes far beyond simply providing financial assistance. A BISA representative stays in monthly contact with scholarship recipients. Participants are provided with transportation, tutoring, mentoring, counseling service, and opportunities to network with distinguished black women.
NHBW Minority Scholarships for Women
The National Hookup of Black Women (NHBW), a charitable organization that serves as advocates for women and their families sponsors the Sister to Sister Scholarship program. Each year, a minimum of two minority scholarships for women are awarded, on a competitive basis, to women who are going back to college without any assistance from a spouse or other family members. The organization also sponsors scholarships for black women who are transitioning from high school to college.
The Association For Women in Science Foundation (AWIS), awards of number of scholarships for women in science each year. Scholarships are available for graduating high school seniors, as well as undergraduate and graduate students.
AWIS Graduate Scholarships for Women in Science
Each year, AWIS awards between 5 and 10 fellowships to outstanding graduate students in various fields of science, including biochemistry, life science, physical science, pharmacology, physics, and plant biology. The various awards made under this program include designated scholarships for women returning to school to pursue graduate studies after being away from school for at least three years for the purpose of raising their families.
AWIS Undergraduate Scholarships
AWIS awards undergraduate scholarships each year to deserving sophomore and junior women majoring in physics or geoscience at a US college or university.
AWIS High School Scholarships
Several academic scholarships are awarded to high school senior women each year. The program is open to female high school seniors planning to major in the behavioral, life or physical sciences or engineering at a US college or University. Applicants must earn a minimum score of 1200 on the SAT (combined) or 25 on the ACT (composite) and have a GPA of 3.75 or higher (4.0 scale).
The Talbots Charitable Foundation funds $100,000 in scholarships each year to women who enroll in accredited undergraduate degree programs ten or more years following completion of their high school diploma or GED. This unique program primarily funds scholarships for women over 30, rewarding their determination to complete degrees as nontraditional students. Five Bachelor's degree candidates will receive $10,000 scholarships each year. Fifty additional women, who may be working toward Associate or Bachelor's degrees, will each receive $1,000 scholarships.
Millions of dollars in cash scholarships for women have been awarded to through this program over the years. Additionally, hundreds of colleges and universities offer college scholarships each year for America's Junior Miss scholarship program participants.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) awards several graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships for women in engineering annually. Each year, the organization disburses several hundred thousand dollars in Fellowships and scholarships for women engineers at the national level. Individual awards vary from $1,000 - $10,000. Some of the SWE engineering scholarships for women are funded by corporate sponsors, and others are disbursed from endowed scholarship funds.
Eligibility Requirements include:
There are many different scholarship programs designated for women who are pursuing MBA degrees. Many schools offer institutional scholarship programs. MBA candidates can find out about funding opportunities at their own schools by inquiring about funding opportunities through their academic department and the school's financial aid department.
Many MBA scholarships for women are funded by professional organizations. Examples of such programs include:
C200 Scholars Award
The Committee of 200 (C200), self-described as the most high-powered organization you never heard of MBA scholarships for women to outstanding female MBA candidates. The scholarship program is open to first-year women MBA students who are enrolled in one of the prestigious business schools selected to host a C200 Outreach Seminar. Participating schools program select finalists based on a variety of criteria, which include GPA, work history, recommendations, and student essays.
Finalists are interviewed by a committee of C200 members, who make the final determination of award. Each recipient receives a $25,000 scholarship, has an opportunity to complete an internship at a C200 member's business, and is invited to attend the organization's annual conference. C200 members are entrepreneurs and corporate executives representing more than 100 different industries.
Financial Women's Association Scholarship
The Financial Women's Association awards scholarships each year to a second-year MBA student enrolled in each of several participating New Your City graduate business schools. Participating institutions include New York University, Fordham, Columbia, and others. Winners are selected by their respective schools, who evaluate applicants based on a combination of academics, leadership, and financial need.
Forté Foundation Fellowships
Female MBA students who are enrolled full-time in one of the many participating business schools may apply for a Forté Foundation Fellowship. Criteria for selection include demonstrated leadership abilities and a commitment to women's issues. Fellowships are awarded to applicants by representatives of their institutions. The foundation encourages diversity among nominees.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|