Top Scholarships for Women or Single Moms Over 40

Last Updated on July 14, 2023 by Lori Pace

Women over 40 can leverage some excellent scholarships just for them.

40 is as good an age as any to get a degree. And, funding should not be the reason not to realize that goal. Moreover, the decision to start your education is powerful!

Many organizations see the value in your completed studies and want to help you by giving you money! We have listed some of our favorites and the eligibility and selection criteria for each.

Scholarships for Women Over 40:

Jeannette Rankin Women’s scholarship:

Jeannette Rankin – a Suffragette Superwoman of note, was the first-ever US Congresswoman, going into Office in 1916. (YES, QUEEN!) 

The scholarship she set up is specifically for women over 35. Besides, they must pursuing an undergraduate degree or trade skill within the USA. Any funds received go directly to the student. Therefore, they can be used for school funds or support other aspects of your life while pursuing your studies.

Seriously, she was a Superwoman. We salute you, Jeannette Rankin! *cue marching band*

Eligibility criteria:

  •         Woman over 35 (woman refers to any person who identifies as such)
  •         Has a low income

This metric is based on a scale that you can easily find in the link below.

  •         USA citizen or permanent resident
  •         Must be attending a regionally accredited Not-for-profit institution.

Selection criteria:

  •         Your goals
  •         Your plan to achieve the above-stated goals
  •         How your education will give back to the community.

These questions will need to be answered in an essay attached to your application. So, be sure to write clear, concise, and honest essays for it!

(Find tips for writing in our Graduate school scholarships for Women article!)

You can start your application and find anything else you might need to know on the Jeannette Rankin Fund website. 

The Patsy Takemoto Mink education support award:

Patsy Takemoto Mink, another political powerhouse, became the first woman of color to enter congress. *marching band re-enters scene*

The foundation set up in her honor offers scholarships of up to $ 5 000 to low-income mothers. At the beginning of each semester, these scholarships are given directly to the applicant in two parts. (That’s you!)

Eligibility criteria:

  • Woman of at least 17
  • Mother of minors
  • Pursuing 1st undergraduate, associate, vocational degree
  • Have a low income (less than $20 000 for a family of two, less than $24 000 for a family of three, and less than $28 000 for a family of four)
  • Accepted into a Not-for-profit institution
Not sure if you’re going to a Not-For-profit school?Take a look at this great list of Top Not-for-profits Universities.

 Selection criteria:

  • Your level of financial need
  • Any personal circumstances you have
  • Your education path
  • Goals when your tuition is complete
  • Any civic or service goals you will achieve with your education

For more information on this great foundation and the great woman it started with, go to The Pasty Mink website. Scholarships for women over 40 are there. You need to know where to look!

Soroptimist Live your Dreams Award:

The Live Your Dream Award is one way Soroptimist helps women reclaim their life and bolster their future. The award is presented at three levels:

  •         Club level – $1 000
  •         Region level – $5 000
  •         International finalists – $ 10 000

Applying for one of these awards involves connecting with Soroptimist online and creating an account for yourself. (Part of the team, so to speak.)

There is online eligibility for you to fill out and reference forms to send off to any references you have.

Other eligibility criteria for the award:

  • Show genuine financial need
  • Primary caregiver to a family
  • Applying for an undergraduate or vocational degree
  • Reside in a member country (the USA included in this)
  • No previous graduate degrees
  • Not a previous recipient of an award from Soroptimist.

Along with the online account, eligibility, and reference forms, you are going to need to write two essays explaining;

  1.     Your career goals
  2.     Challenges you face and how the award will help you overcome these

Make these essays count! Prepare for them early and write honestly and clearly. There is more information at the bottom of the article on how to write super application essays.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Career Development Grant:

A Woman’s advocacy Super-group!

AAUW career development grant is focused on applications in education, health science, and social science, It gives funds from $2 000 – $12 000 directly to the winner of the grant.

However, it is a one-time-only award that works only with accredited 2-4 year universities.

Eligibility criteria:

  • US citizen that identifies as a woman
  • Doing their first degree, or an undergraduate, different from any previous studies.
  • Courses applied to must have professional significance (no studies in Latin grammar, unfortunately) and be in Education, Health Sciences, or Social sciences.
  • Women of color are favored.

Selection criteria:

  • Demonstrates commitment to the education and equity of women (Girl-power ladies)
  • Potential for success and job finding after your degree
  • Feasibility of your study plans and its consistency with your career objectives
  • Validity of your proposed budget
  • Ethnicity, demographic, and gender
  • Level of financial need.
Some different scholarships and grants for you to take a look at:

  1. The Displaced Homemaker Scholarship
  2. National SMART grant
  3. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Preparation is the secret weapon of any successful scholarship application.

So, having solid reference letters and your FAFSA completed before you will cut time and save you stress later on. Most applications will have a similar deadline, so staying on top of them is vital in successfully applying!

Other grants and scholarship

For Single Moms and Single Parents, they can find more information about the Scholarships offered from Scholarships for Single Moms and Children of Single Parents.

Furthermore, as mentioned, we have a great list of ways to prepare yourself for your applications, essays, and interviews in our Graduate school scholarships for women article

Scholarships for Women Over 40 is just the start

Remember also that we have hand-picked these four for you, but plenty exist out there that have not been mentioned! Be tenacious and apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can find. Sometimes, women over 40 may feel like their time to shine is over, but with these scholarships, it’s just the beginning.

Only good things can come from hard work, but you know that already, or you wouldn’t be here. 

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!