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Financial Aid for Women's Studies and Gender Studies Majors

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Majoring in women’s studies and/or gender studies provides students with theories, history, and other related topics as well as the influences these areas have in society.

Like many students pursuing a college education, financial aid may be needed to help defray the cost of a good education. That is why students majoring in women’s studies and gender studies have many financial aid options. From federal and possibly state financial aid, to institutional scholarships, to outside scholarships, the opportunities are plentiful.

Federal and State Financial Aid Options

Students majoring in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies can look into federal and state financial aid options through the financial aid office. All students must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Once the form is completed, it can be submitted online for quicker approval.This form is reviewed for federal financial aid before it is automatically sent off for state financial aid review. It is important to note the deadlines for both federal and state FAFSA, which differ in most cases, to ensure applications are received on time.

If accepted for federal and state financial aid, students are eligible for one or more of the following financial aid options: Federal Pell Grants, FSEOG, Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loans, or Federal Stafford Loans. State financial aid is also possible, depending on what is offered by the state where the college or university is located.

College Scholarships

Most colleges and universities which have academic programs for women’s studies and gender studies majors, typically offer departmental scholarships. In addition, the financial aid office also offers general scholarships for all students, usually awarded based on merit or need. Here are some examples of college scholarships:

Illinois State University offers several Women’s and Gender Studies scholarships within its Women’s and Gender Studies program.

  • Women’s and Gender Studies Achievement Award—given to a student declaring a minor in women’s and gender studies in the amount of $250. Applicants must be in their last year of school, and possess a good academic record.
  • Dorothy E. Lee Scholarship—awarded to a female undergraduate student, age 25 or older, who demonstrates financial need.
  • Anne M. Semlak Memorial Scholarship—given to undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in the women’s and gender studies program. Applicants must prove financial need to be considered.
  • Luellen Laurenti Scholarship—awarded to undergraduate students declaring a minor in women’s and gender studies. Applicants must demonstrate good academic standing, and be in their sophomore or junior year at the university. Award amount is $1,000.

The Gender Studies Program at the University of Utah offers a tuition waiver scholarship to qualifying students. This is a one-year award for incoming freshmen or transfer students, as well as undergraduate students admitted to the University of Utah. Applicants must be Utah residents to apply.

Texas State University—San Marcos offers the Multicultural and Gender Studies Women’s Scholarship through the Center for Multicultural and Gender Studies department. This scholarship is awarded to full-time undergraduate and graduate female students with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. A two-page essay along with a letter of recommendation is required.

Oakland University Women and Gender Studies Program offers the Mary Van Sell Scholarship to students majoring or declaring a minor in Women and Gender Studies with a minimum 3.5 grade point average, and financial need.

Outside Scholarships

Besides institutional scholarships, students majoring in women’s studies and gender studies can also seek outside scholarships. Here are a few examples:

The National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) offers the NWSA Graduate Scholarship. This scholarship awards $1,000 to a graduate student in the research phase of writing a thesis or dissertation on women’s studies. The project must be about women and should encourage the NWSA mission.

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation offers a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies. Recipients are awarded up to $3,000 to be used for educational expenses to complete their dissertation.

Key Points about Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Financial Aid

  • Complete and submit a FAFSA as soon as possible to be considered for federal and state financial aid. The sooner you apply, the better your chances of obtaining financial assistance.
  • Check with departmental staff for all scholarship opportunities for women’s studies and gender studies majors.
  • Seek outside scholarships by using the Internet. Several organizations supporting women’s and gender studies offers scholarships specific to that area of study.
  • Loans should be considered as a last resort since they have to be repaid.

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