Going to college can be an intimidating experience for anyone, and for older black women, the added challenges they face can make obtaining a degree virtually impossible, especially in the area of paying for a degree program. With the availability of scholarships that are now available to this category of women, factors such as age, race, gender and socioeconomic status no longer hinder women of color from pursuing a college degree.
Dr. Wynetta A. Frazier “Sister to Sister” Scholarship
The Dr. Wynetta A. Frazier “Sister to Sister” Scholarship program is dedicated to providing scholarship funds to single African-American women over the age of 30. Candidates must be returning students who are over 30, dropped out of college for family issues, who clearly demonstrate the desire to complete their degrees and who generally show themselves ready to take on the challenge of college once again. Two women are chosen annually to receive a scholarship of $500 each.
Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance Scholarship
Some of the scholarships available to older black women are state specific. The Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance Scholarship, for example, is available only to residents of the state of North Carolina. In addition to being African-American, female and 35 years or older, candidates must also meet the academic requirement of having at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. The application process includes an essay component, in which candidates must write on the topic “Challenges to the Mature Student and How I Overcame Them.”
Women of the ELCA Amelia Kemp Scholarship
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has a number of scholarship programs, and one in particular is geared toward older women of color. The Amelia Kemp Scholarship is for minority women 21 years and older, who are members of the ELCA. Additionally, candidates must have had some interruption in their postsecondary studies. Even though the scholarship is granted by the ELCA, the Amelia Kemp Scholarship is for Lutheran laywomen who are seeking a career in a field other than ordained ministry.
American Association of University Women Selected Professions Fellowships
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) awards financial assistance for higher education through a number of scholarships, grants and fellowships. One program in particular, the Selected Professions Fellowships, seeks to encourage women in areas of study in which women are underrepresented. More specifically, women of color who are seeking a law degree, a graduate business degree or a medical degree may qualify for the award. The amount of the fellowship ranges from $5,000 to $18,000.
Laurel Harper began writing and editing professionally in 1989 and her work has appeared in various publications. Currently, Harper is an online adjunct business professor. She earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from Wharton, a Master of Business Administration from Eastern University and is pursuing a Doctor of Instructional Technology at Duquesne University.