AARP Foundation Women's Scholarship Program

Helping Women Win Back Opportunity Through Education

Senior students graduate-AARP Foundation Scholarship Opportunities

The AARP Foundation Women's Scholarship Program is helping win back opportunity for low-income, 50+ women by funding education, training, and skills upgrades that can lead to better employment and increased financial security for women and their families.
Since 2007, The AARP Foundation Women's Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to more than 800 eligible women — facilitating their entry into programs they could otherwise not afford, and ultimately assisting in their recession recovery efforts.

How to Apply
The scholarship application period for the 2012-2013 academic year will last from Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at 9 a.m. CST until Friday March 30, 2012, at 5 p.m. CDT.

Note: Read the instructions carefully and use the correct combination of uppercase and lowercase letters when completing the application. Click the "Save" button often to save your work and do not use your Web browser's "Forward" or "Back" buttons.


Eligibility Requirements

An applicant for the AARP Foundation Women's Scholarship Program must be:
  • Women, age 50+ by March 30, 2012
  • Low-income
  • Pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associates degree, or a bachelor's degree
  • Enrolled in a U.S. Department of Education accredited school or techinical program within 6 months of the scholarship award date
*An applicant, when taking into account income and family size, must be at 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or less to qualify for a scholarship. If an applicant does not meet this criteria they will not have access to the application, because they are not eligible for the scholarship.

Selection Factors

Scholarship winners are chosen by an independent selection committee established by the AARP Foundation.
Priority is given to women in these categories:
  • Those who have been unemployed for more than one year
  • Those in low-paying jobs with no career opportunities
  • Those who are raising the children of another family member
  • Those who are women veterans

In addition, the following factors are considered for each applicant:
  • Financial need
  • Personal circumstances and achievements
  • Educational and career goals
  • Challenges faced in life
  • Impact of scholarship


Scholarships may be used for any course of study at a U.S. Department of Education-accredited public or private post-secondary school, including community colleges, technical schools, and four-year universitities. Applicants should check with their schools enrollment or financial aid office to confirm U.S. Department of Education accreditation.
Scholarship funds are paid directly to the institution and are used for tuition, fees, and books.
Please visit the database of accredited postsecondary institutions and program provided by the U.S. Department of Education to see if your school is accredited.

Mentoring Program

The AARP Foundation Women's Scholarship Program provides mentors for one year. The mentors are trained retention professionals who help the women:
  • set academic and career goals
  • work through time-management issues
  • improve study skills
  • understand and navigate the “hidden curriculum”/social mores of colleges and universities
  • provide sustained, effective encouragement and guidance to ensure academic progress
  • Challenges facing low-income, high risk adult learners, including addressing basic needs and identification of other sources of financial aid for school
  • Building and maintaining confidence
  • General career planning

The mentors achieve these goals through online mentoring and telephone but there could be cases where the mentor and student live close enough to provide opportunity for face-to-face meetings over the course of the year. Learn more about the Mentoring Program.

Important Dates:

Dates Action
February 1, 2012                              Application Opens at 9:00am CST
March 30, 2012                             Application Closes by 5:00pm CST
June 2012                             Awards are announced via email
August 2012                            Scholarships available for disbursements to institution
December 2012                             Deadline to be enrolled in an accredited institution

The scholarship program is made possible by AARP Foundation with generous support from Walmart Foundation and AARP.

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