Grants for women over 55 are available from the government, foundations and companies throughout the United States. More older women are returning to school to advance their careers. Nontraditional students can receive grants of up to $5,550 through Federal Pell Grant Programs. About 35 percent of nontraditional students are seeking a bachelor's degree, according to FinAid.
Women's Association Grants
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Educational Foundation offers Career Development Grants for women with bachelor's degrees who want to reenter the workforce and advance their careers. This includes women who are of the age of 55 and older. The grants are specifically for women pursuing nontraditional fields. In 2010-2011 $500,000 worth of grants were given to 47 women.
Another organization, The AARP Foundation, offers a Women’s Scholarship Program to provide grants to low-income women over 40 years of age. Applicants must be seeking education to ascertain their financial security. The scholarships range from $500 to 5,000. In 2010 the foundation awarded 200 scholarships.
Foundation Grants for Older Women
The Talbots Scholarship Foundation is for older women who earned their GED at least 10 year ago. This includes women who are over 55 years of age. Applicants must want to earn a bachelor's degree to a four-year college or university. Up to six $10,000 scholarships are awarded, and 60 women are awarded $1,000 annually.
The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation awards grants for mature women, with a majority of the grants going to nontraditional students over the age of 36. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.4 to be considered for the scholarships and have earned at least 60 credits toward a bachelor's degree. Scholarships range from $300 to $10,000 per semester, according to the foundation's website.
The Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund
The Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund provides education grants for low-income women over the age of 35, including women 55 and older. The grants are awarded to women who want to pursue a bachelor's degree, associate degree or get a technical or vocational education to improve their circumstances. The organization has awarded over $1.6 million in scholarships to over 500 women in the United States. The application is available on the foundation's website. Women who apply for the grants must be earning an income below The Department of Labor's Living Standard, according to the website.
The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation awards grants to women in nine state, including Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Scholarships are awarded to women over 50. Women can apply to the grants through the universities they are attending.
Several universities will also offer information about local grants for older women and nontraditional students. More information will be available at the college's registry.