10 Best Scholarships For Women Over 40

Scholarships for Women Over 40

Are you a woman over 40 who wants to establish a new career and pursue a degree?

Apply for scholarships for women over 40 that many colleges offer to women over 40 to achieve their educational goals without financial stress.

Many women choose to step away from their careers to set up a home and focus on raising children. But, later they want to build their careers by obtaining a higher education degree, which was not possible earlier. But, returning to school at age 40 is not an easy path for women.

On the one hand, there is the rising cost of education, and on the other hand, the options for educational financial aid are limited.

However, to facilitate the educational journey of women over 40, there are now many scholarships available. Discover the best scholarships for women over 40 to cover the expenses of your college education.

Importance of Scholarships for Women Over 40 

Scholarships designed for women over 40 are of vital importance in advancing gender equality and empowering women to pursue education and career aspirations later in life. These scholarships specifically address the specific challenges faced by women over the age of 40, such as career interruptions due to family responsibilities or limited access to earlier educational opportunities.

Financial constraints often pose an insurmountable obstacle, and these scholarships play a vital role in reducing this burden by providing vital financial assistance. This support enables women to acquire new skills, enhance existing skills, or explore new educational paths entirely. 

As a result, women over 40 can re-enter the workforce with updated qualifications, promoting both personal development and economic independence.

Beyond financial aid, these scholarships for women over 40 challenge societal standards and expectations, reinforcing the idea that learning is a continuous and inclusive journey. By encouraging women to invest in their education beyond traditional ages, these scholarships contribute to creating a more diverse and skilled workforce.  

Investing in the education of women over 40 not only enriches individual lives but also contributes to the broader community, fostering resilience, adaptability, and a more equitable society. For women considering advanced education opportunities like MBA programs, exploring specialized scholarships designed for them, such as MBA Scholarships For Women, can offer valuable avenues for their educational pursuits.

List of the Top 10 Scholarships for Women Over 40

1. Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting Awards Scholarships

These scholarships for women over 40 will support women above 40 years of age who wish to pursue an accounting degree at the undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate level by reducing their tuition fees. This foundation offers several scholarships, including Women in Transition, Institute of Management, Women in Need, Accountants IMA, and American Dream.

Except for Women in Transition and Women in Need scholarships, you can apply for multiple scholarships. The scholarship application season for most scholarships begins in January and ends on April 30 each year. The last date for postgraduate scholarship applications is 15th May. You can apply for these scholarships for women over 40 next year, which is very close, to raise funds for your college education. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.

2. SWE Scholarships Support Women Pursuing Bachelor or Graduate Student Programs

Every year, the SWE Society Scholarship program offers several scholarships to women over 40 wishing to enroll in ABET-accredited undergraduate or graduate programs to pursue a promising career in engineering or computer science. SWE awarded over 330 fresh and renewable scholarships totaling over $1,500,000 in 2023.

Applicants just need to complete only one application for all SWE scholarships. These scholarships for women over 40 will be available in 2024. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for a scholarship that will allow you to pursue higher education by covering your tuition costs. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.

3. The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund is a source of empowerment for low-income women ages 35 and over, dedicated to promoting educational opportunities. Named after Francine Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, the fund promotes inclusivity and resiliency. 

It provides scholarships that serve as a transformative tool for women, allowing them to overcome financial barriers and pursue higher education. 

In keeping with Rankin’s legacy, the fund is dedicated to promoting equality by supporting those who are often underrepresented in academia. In addition to financial assistance, this scholarship for women over 40 fosters a supportive environment by understanding the specific problems of adult women returning to school.

The fund, which honors the pioneering spirit of Jeannette Rankin, continues to be a catalyst for good change, encouraging women to achieve their educational and professional goals. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.

4. A Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

FSEOG is a need-based financial aid program in the United States aimed at helping undergraduate students with exceptional financial needs. The award is open to women above 40 years of age. These awards are given to help low-income graduate students pay for their education.

FSEOG, which is administered by the US Department of Education, provides funding in addition to Pell Grants. The FAFSA sets the eligibility criteria for this scholarship for women over 40, with students with the greatest financial need receiving priority.

Personal circumstances, financial need, and available finance at participating institutions all affect the award amount. FSEOG seeks to assist students who may experience financial challenges in post-secondary education. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.

5. A National SMART Grant

National SMART Grants support women over 40 pursuing higher education in STEM fields. Eligible recipients must be US citizens with Federal Pell Grants entering their junior or senior year, maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

The scholarship for women over 40, based on academic merit, awards up to $4,000 per academic year, complementing Federal Pell Grants without exceeding total attendance costs. Qualified majors include physical sciences, computer science, mathematics, technology, foreign languages, or engineering. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.

6. The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Award

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation, established in 2003, presents the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Award to low-income women with children for pursuing higher education. The program, which focuses on helping women overcome financial barriers, assists recipients in financing tuition and other educational expenses.

The award helps break the cycle of poverty and promote educational equity by empowering women to achieve their educational aspirations.

To qualify for the scholarships for women over 40, you must be a mother enrolling in a vocational training program or working towards an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Your income must not exceed $20,000 for a family of two or $28,000 for a family of four. Selection for the $5,000 scholarship is based on financial need, future aspirations, and personal history, with five recipients chosen annually. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.

7. ANSWER Scholarship

ANSWER Scholarship provides financial assistance to women who have overcome adversity and wish to pursue higher education. This scholarship for women over 40 is awarded to mothers who wish to return to college in Mecklenburg and the eight surrounding counties of the Carolinas. ANSWER scholarship is awarded to more than 60% of the candidates who appear for the interview. 

Applicants must be nontraditional female students who are at least 25 years of age and may be married or single. For individuals pursuing a two-year associate degree, the scholarship provides an annual amount of $2500. For those pursuing a four-year undergraduate degree, aid increases to $5000 per year. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.

8. Osher Scholars and Fellows Program

Since its establishment in 1977, the Osher Foundation has provided financial support to various universities, including the University of Alabama, Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley University of Miami, and others. These awards are for women between the ages of 25 and 50 who are pursuing their first graduate degree.

To be eligible for this scholarship for women over 40, you must have a cumulative span of five years in your schooling, expect to work for a significant period after graduation, and demonstrate financial need. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.

9. Alpha Sigma Lambda Scholarship

The Alpha Sigma Lambda Scholarship honors academic achievement among non-traditional students pursuing higher education. Women over 40 years old can apply for this scholarship. This award was created to help adult learners balance their studies with employment and family obligations.

It rewards effort and devotion. Applicants often demonstrate dedication to both academic achievement and community service, exemplifying the concept of lifelong learning. 

The scholarship for women over 40 aims to empower those who return to school later in life by creating a sense of community and encouraging non-traditional students. Recipients often demonstrate a desire for continued personal and professional development, representing the principles of Alpha Sigma Lambda, an honor society that recognizes the achievements of adult learners in higher education. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.

10. Society of Women Engineers Scholarship (SWE)

The SWE Scholarship is a unique opportunity to promote and encourage women to pursue engineering education and employment. This grant provides scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 for women pursuing careers in engineering and computer science at the community college, undergraduate or graduate level.

By providing financial support to outstanding female students, this scholarship for women over 40 strives to promote diversity and achievement in the profession. Academic achievements, leadership potential, and demonstrated passion for engineering are often used to evaluate applicants. 

Successful recipients not only receive financial assistance but also gain access to a supportive community of like-minded individuals through SWE. 

By offering this scholarship for women over 40, SWE seeks to encourage women to overcome barriers in the engineering profession and contribute their unique perspectives to the constantly evolving landscape of science and technology. To learn more, visit the scholarship website.


1. Are there specific scholarships exclusively for women over 40?

Yes, several scholarships are available for women above 40 years of age. The purpose of these scholarships is to assist women in their pursuit of higher education or career advancement.

2. What types of educational programs do these scholarships cover?

Scholarships for women over 40 can cover a range of programs, including undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, vocational training, and professional development courses.

3. How can I find and apply for these scholarships?

Research scholarship databases, women’s organizations, and educational institutions. Websites like Fastweb and can be useful for finding scholarships for women over 40. 

4. Do I need to be enrolled in a full-time program to qualify for the scholarships?

Requirements vary, but many Scholarships for Women Over 40 consider both part-time and full-time enrollment, accommodating the diverse needs of women balancing education with other responsibilities.

5. What criteria are typically considered during the selection process of scholarships?

Eligibility criteria for scholarships for women over 40 may include financial need, academic achievement, career goals, and personal challenges. Each scholarship will have specific eligibility criteria outlined in their application guidelines.


Scholarships for women over 40 can help break down obstacles and enable women to seek higher education later in life. These possibilities not only promote personal development but also help to create a more varied and inclusive academic landscape. These scholarships reflect a commitment to equality and lifelong learning by recognizing the unique barriers faced by women returning to education after the age of 40. 

Additionally, these scholarships serve as catalysts for positive transformation as women in this age range handle professional shifts, family responsibilities, and personal aspirations.

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