Married women who want to begin or return to college have options, such as scholarships, when it comes to financing their college education
Since married students are a minority in college, scholarships specifically for married women are not that plentiful.
Married women who need help paying for their college education should apply for scholarships they qualify for that are open to all students, since it is illegal to discriminate based on marital status. Key words to look for in seeking scholarships are “preference given to married students.” Many colleges offer scholarships that contain this wording, so it is important for women to check with the college they plan to attend. One such scholarship is the David H. Runyon Scholarship offered at Indiana University East, Richmond, to students who live in Richmond. (http://www.iue.edu/finaid/types/returningstudents.php) Another example of a scholarship that gives preference to married students is the Ed Bacome Scholarship offered by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. (http://cfaes.osu.edu/current-students/scholarships-financial-aid/college-scholarships)
Additionally, since single students are the norm, married women should search for scholarships that are for non-traditional and returning students as well as for older women.
A woman’s job is another potential source of money for college. Many employers offer financial assistance to employees for coursework that will allow them to advance within the company. Women should also check with their husband’s employer as many also offer assistance to spouses. One employer that does this is Lowe’s, which offers 50 Carl Buchan Scholarships of $5,000 to employees or their spouses. (http://careers.lowes.com/college_recruiting_scholarship.aspx#2)
Women whose husbands are on active duty with the U.S. military also qualify for up to $4,000 total from the U.S. Department of Defense through Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts. (http://www.military.com/education/content/money-for-school/military-spouse-career-advancement-accounts-financial-aid.html) The military spouse must be in certain grades. The money can only be used for associate degrees, certificates and licenses.
Women’s organizations, such as the P.E.O. Sisterhood and the American Association of University Women, also offer scholarships. Professional associations made up of women also offer scholarships to women planning a career in that field.
Married women should plan on filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, which most colleges as well as many private sponsors require when assistance is based on financial need. Since a married woman is no longer a dependant of her parents, the incomes she and her spouse earn will be considered instead.