Math scholarships for women in the US

Mathematics Scholarships for All Women

Women often have to listen to stereotypes about our math prowess, our driving skills, lack of direction, you name it. That’s why getting math scholarships for women is about as rewarding as having female NASCAR drivers.

Have you heard these before? 

 “Girl’s just aren’t that good at math.” 

“Women are just too emotional to be good scientists.” 

“It’s impossible to be rational during that time of the month!” 

Scholarships for women in math – or STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) exist to combat those exact sentiments. Because the fact of the matter is: 

Women are JUST as good at math as men, they have just enough emotion to be good scientists and are JUST as able to be rational as their male colleagues, any day of the week.  No matter where you are in your degree timeline, there’s a scholarship out there designed to help you stem the STEM gap, because the Boy’s-Club laboratories of yore are so last-century.

A few points to consider:

  • Some scholarships require you to be part of an organisation before you can be eligible for the scholarship.
  • Most scholarships run annually and you should be very aware of deadlines when you begin your application process
  • Most scholarships require some kind of essay to be written
  • Scholarships can be highly competitive, apply early and write clearly to give yourself the best chance at success. 

Scholarships in Math for Women:

1. For undergraduates

Virginia Heinlein Memorial Scholarship

Virginia Heinlein, stereotype destroyer, set up the Heinlein Society in honour of her late husband, Robert A. Heinlein. Both were prominent scientists in the 70s and 80s (they met while both working for the Naval Air Experimental Station, where she was a lieutenant) and Virginia Heinlein acted as muse for many of the female characters in Robert’s science fiction novels. 

 The scholarship set up in her memory offers three $3 000 awards to undergraduate females majoring in STEM, from anywhere in the world. 

Other eligibility requirements are; 

  • Enrolled into an accredited four-year institution
  • Application form filled out 
  • Must complete a 500-1000-word essay based on one of the essay topics given by the society. 

Here is a reference to two fun essay options:

  1. Discuss the advantages to the human race of a permanent settlement on the Moon or Mars.
  2. How might advances in your chosen field of study affect how people live 50 years from now? What changes, good or bad, might society see?

2. For Masters students

Claire Boothe Luce Program

Claire Boothe Luce was a prominent author, politician, ambassador and conservative figure from the 1950s to the 1970s. Her namesake scholarship program is offered to four-year institutions that show a strong commitment to the advancement of women in STEM. The institutions then hand over funds to students.  

When you look for a school to start your graduate degree, ask about this and other programs that run internally through your school. 

3. For PhD students

The Hertz Fellowship

It hurts to know (see what I did there?) that only 28% of people working in science fields are women. The Hertz Foundation has set up a fellowship program to assist women in this barrier to entry into advanced STEM qualifications. 

The Fellowship is more than a simple stipend because demolishing the STEM gap takes more than money, it takes continued support and guidance. PhD students are awarded up to five years of funding, to the value of $250 000, and are encouraged to follow innovative ideas and the plans they have come up with, however, the final results come out. 

The cherry on top of this fellowship is the ongoing support awardees receive. The Herts foundation offers mentorship, symposia, workshops and a community of other scientist and mathematicians from all over the world. 

 Other eligibility criteria are: 

  •           US citizenship or permanent residency 
  •           Focus on solving near-term social problems 
  •           College senior or graduate student with the intention of completing a PhD 

4. For Mathematics teachers: 

Mathematics Education Trust 

Prospective Middle School/ Secondary teach Course Work Scholarship

Math Anxiety is a true psychological affliction and holds many girls back from a successful career in science or maths. Good role models are a fundamental step in getting more girls into STEM, and high school mathematics teachers are perfect for the task. 

The Mathematics Education Trust wants to help future math teachers with two separate scholarships, one for middle school teachers and one for secondary school teachers. 

 The eligibility criteria for both these scholarships are as follows: 

  • Completing your junior year of college, with the intention to continue in the following year.
  • GPA of 3.0
  • First-time award winner 

The application process is quite extensive, but here are the basic steps to follow: 

  1. Proposal 
  2. Essay 
  3. Study plan 
  4. Budget 
  5. Background and Experience 
  6. Letter of support from an academic advisor 
  7. Letter of support from a personal or professional contact 
Not sure how to start your application? 

You NEED to read our article Graduate School Scholarships for Women for tips and tricks on applying for college. 

5. Post-doctoral fellowships:

L’Oreal USA For Women in Science Fellowship program: 

 L’Oreal uses the following tagline to explain their reasons for this fellowship program: 

“The world needs science, and science needs women because women in science have the power to change the world.”

 And they couldn’t be more right, could they? 

Five women pursuing STEM research are awarded $60 000 to continue their research and act as role models for future generations of young female scientists and mathematicians. 

In Conclusion

We hope we have answered all your questions about the scholarships available for women in math. However, for more scholarships for women and single moms, check out this article.

The world is full of untrue reasons why women cannot succeed in STEM. It’s an age-old cliché, that forms part of a much larger and more damaging set of beliefs surrounding women. No matter how many times you hear one of these statements, no matter how many times someone comes up to you explaining why you will not succeed in science because of your gender, do not listen to them! 

 It takes courage, conviction, intelligence and persistence to succeed in STEM.  And you already have all these. 

See, the thing is this; all that animosity, all those stereotypes that women have had to fight against, they have forced women to rise up and overcome.  If you want it, go out and get it! 

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