8 Scholarships for Women Over 40

Going back to school at 40 might be a bit of a hurdle, because by now you must have married (or maybe even divorced), given birth to not just one but maybe two or more kids, you have a job, and a boss you answer to. The good news is, you’re never too old to get a degree, and there are even people older than you that are still pursuing their first degree.

Let me even give you a safety net, in 2019, more than 1.6 million adults that are 40 and above went back to college, this is a hopeful statistic coming from the Chronicle of Higher Education. So, you see, you’re not alone, even if you’re a woman.

To even add the cherry on the cake, several organizations have seen your effort to continue pushing regardless of some setbacks, and have decided to provide a handful of scholarships for women over 40. Some even provide specific scholarships for female students in agriculture or even those furthering careers as Helicopter Pilots.

One of the interesting things about these scholarships is that it is giving hope to lots of women, whether a widow that is finding opportunities through education, or a recovering addict who is fighting to achieve her dream of graduating from college.

Without much ado, let’s list these scholarships.

scholarships for women over 40

Scholarships for Women Over 40

Even though we listed 9 scholarships here, that doesn’t mean they are the only scholarships for women above 40, you can still do other research and even apply for other scholarships that didn’t specifically mention women over 40. 

1. EFWA Undergraduate Scholarships

EFWA (The Education Foundation for Women in Accounting) provides several scholarships for women that are 40 years and above that are the primary source of support for their families and enrolling as incoming freshmen to earn a bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Some of these scholarships include;

  • Women In Transition: worth up to $16,000 over four years
  • Women In Need: worth $2,000 per year for two years
  • Institute of Management Accountants IMA: worth $2,000


Applicants need to be US citizens, attending an accredited US school, and pursuing an accounting degree.

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2. SWE Scholarships

This is among the scholarships for women over 40 that are pursuing an ABET-accredited bachelor or graduate student program in preparation for engineering-related careers globally. Some of the criteria you need to meet besides being identified as a woman include; you can either be an undergraduate/community college planning to study an ABET-accredited program.

Or, a Master’s and Ph.D. candidate that must be enrolled or accepted at a school with ABET-accredited programs in engineering, computing, or technology.

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3. The Jeannette Rankin Foundation

The Jeannette Rankin Foundation was created to help women aged 35 and older that are returning to school to successfully finish their college degrees and transform the next chapter of their lives. So far, their scholarship has made 87% of their scholars either graduate or even continue their educational path toward achieving their degrees.

Also, they have awarded $4 million to over 1,300 women across the country to pursue their educational aspirations.

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4. ANSWER Scholarship – Sending Moms to College 

  • Amount: Range from $2500 per year for a two-year associate degree to $5000 per year for a four-year bachelor’s degree

The ANSWER Scholarship is awarded to moms in Mecklenburg and eight surrounding counties in the Carolinas who intend to return to college. And the good thing is that more than 60% of those interviewed are awarded this scholarship.

Applicants need to be “nontraditional” female students that are at least age 25 or older, and can either be married or single. Also, recipients need to be the primary caregiver to at least one school-age child and must be U.S. citizens, including foreign-born U.S. citizens.

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5. Osher Scholars and Fellows Program

Osher Foundation has been providing financial aid since its inception in 1977, and they are affiliated with several institutions like The University of Alabama, Arizona State University, University of California, Berkeley University of Miami, etc.

These awards are meant for women pursuing their first baccalaureate degree and are between the ages of 25 and 50.

To qualify, you need to have experienced a cumulative gap in your education of five or more years, anticipate workforce participation for a significant period after graduation, demonstrate financial need, and more.

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6. Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation was established in 2003 with the core purpose of providing educational access, opportunity, and equity for low-income women, especially mothers. Candidates need to be pursuing a first degree at a post-secondary level of education such as Vocational, Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate Degree. Applicants also need to enroll in a not-for-profit academic institution or program in the U.S.

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7. The Talbots Scholarship Program For Women

This is among the scholarships for women over 40 who want to go back to school to earn their undergraduate degree after graduating from high school or receiving their GED at least ten years ago. The scholarship is eligible for freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior year of college, and you must be a U.S. citizen.

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8. HER Scholarship Program

Since its inception, the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee through the HER Scholarship Program has been supporting women to gain access to economic self-sufficiency and long-lasting financial security through higher education. Recipients need to be women who are non-traditional students, age 35 or older, who are sophomores, and who face financial barriers to obtaining their degrees.

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These scholarships for female students above 40 years we’ve listed are not all, you can still do more research and even check your local community organizations for more related scholarships or financial aid.

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