Consider applying for the AARP Scholarships for Moms and Women. Women who are at least 50 years of age with aspirations of furthering their education or upgrading their skills may apply. This women scholarship program, sponsored by AARP, is designed to specifically assist women who are economically disadvantaged and 50+ years of age with obtaining the funding they need to further their education and upgrade their skills. The ultimate goal of the program is to assist such women in obtaining better employment in order to increase their financial security.
The AARP Scholarship for Women program has been in existence since 2007. Since the program’s inception, women scholarships have been awarded to more than 800 women. These scholarships have enabled recipients to gain entry into educational programs that might otherwise have been impossible and have ultimately assisted recipients in recovering from low-income and recession ridden economic problems.
Although sponsored by the AARP Foundation, the AARP Scholarship for Women also receives support from the Walmart Foundation. Scholarships received through this program may be used by applicants for any course of study at a post-secondary school, provided the school is accredited. This includes technical schools, 4-year universities and community colleges. Funding from the AARP scholarships will be paid directly to the school and may be used to offset the cost of tuition, books and fees.
The program initially began through the recognition that the inability to pay for the cost of tuition and books frequently impedes the ability of women 50+ years of age to succeed in furthering their education and gaining more secure employment. Adult women and Moms who have been out of school for long periods of time, frequently to raise families and provide economic support for their families, may also experience difficulty in knowing how to access higher education. This can include registering for and selecting classes.
Many older women may frequently also experience doubt in their ability to reintegrate in the educational environment, including how to successfully compete with younger students. There may also be an unfamiliarity with accessing the latest educational technologies, hindering older students even further.
Furthermore, older students who have been out of an educational environment for an extended period of time may have difficulty in transitioning or even in developing career goals that are realistic. Due to a lack of family experience and role models as well as educational resources, such students may be at risk for leaving their educational goals behind once again without completing a degree.
In order to help meet these challenges, the AARP Women’s Scholarship Program also provides mentors to students for a period of up to one year. The mentors serving in this program are professionals who are specifically trained in retention and assist older female students with setting academic and career goals, working through time-management problems, improving study skills, gaining computer access, understanding and learning how to successfully navigate the social backdrop of college.
The mentoring program also helps to provide effective and sustained encouragement in order to increase the chances of academic progress and success. Mentors will also assist students in learning how to address basic needs while also identifying potential sources for financial assistance. At the same time, mentors provide award recipients with skills to help them build and maintain confidence while undertaking general career planning and overcoming previous negative experiences in an educational environment.
Mentors work to achieve these goals through telephone consultations and through online mentoring; however, in some cases mentors and students may live closely enough to provide opportunities for personal meetings throughout the year. Ultimately, it is hoped that the mentoring program combined with the AARP scholarship assistance will assist older women and Moms of low-income backgrounds with achieving the skills and education they need to attain sustained success.
The program begins accepting applications for these women’s scholarships on February 1st. The deadline to apply for the AARP scholarship for Moms and women is March 30th of every year. AARP Scholarship awards range in value from $500 to $5,000.