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During high school, it is common for students to begin stressing about how they are going to be able to afford University. But what about the women, especially mums, who are well into their 20’s and beyond, who are looking to going back to pursue their degree?

This is something that puts a lot of stress on women with families who might not be able to afford a University education, but desire to reach their educational goals and improve the quality of life for their family.

One way to overcome this obstacle and avoid taking out massive student loans is by seeking out scholarship opportunities.

There are all different types of available scholarships for women, and it is often not extremely hard to get one if you are willing to work for it. It takes skills, determination, and most importantly, it takes patience. There are several things that any aspiring University student can do to improve her chances of receiving a scholarship that will help pay for her education.

1. Be a Strong Student

When looking through a list of students who have applied for their scholarship, organizations are often looking for students that have a high grade point average (GPA). Most organizations are looking for at least a 3.5 grade point average, although some will accept a GPA of at least 3.2.

All scholarships have different requirements regarding the minimum GPA, so it is important to know the requirements for each scholarship that you are interested in before applying.

2. Research

There is an abundance of scholarship opportunities designed specifically for women. It can take a lot of time, effort and research to learn about all of the requirements of each individual scholarship.  There are often many scholarships that are not as publicised as others. Potential students don't often take the time to learn about these lesser known scholarships, which lessens their chances of receiving financial help for their college education.

3. Learn About Scholarship Sponsors

Once you have learned about the different types of scholarships that are available to women, it is now important to learn each individual sponsor. When you take the time to learn about the sponsors, it will greatly improve your ability to tailor your application to coincide with that specific sponsor. You will learn what they value and understand what their mission statement is to enhance your application as much as possible.  

4. Volunteer

Something that a lot of scholarship sponsors look out for is if the student has spent any time at all volunteering and making an effort to improve their community. It is always important to develop a long term commitment to volunteering because not only are you helping others but it is also something noteworthy you can list on your future job resumes and scholarship applications. This definitely shows the sponsor that you are a dedicated and caring individual as well.

5. Apply to Many Scholarships

One of the most important things that someone can do to receive a scholarship is to apply to every eligible, applicable scholarship available. It is quite frankly a numbers game. While this may seem like a dreaded and time consuming task, it is actually very beneficial. Since there are many other students applying for the same scholarships, applying to all of the scholarships that you are eligible for will greatly increase your chances of obtaining one. And ultimately, in the long run, it’s free money you will not have to pay back after you complete your program.

University is extremely important, but one downfall of it is that not everyone can afford to attend.There are many scholarships just for women including the Women in Marketing Scholarship, Technical Women's Organization Scholarship, and the Girls Impact the World Film Festival Scholarship that can all help you with the cost of a quality University education, just to name a few. It is important to start applying to them early enough in advance before the deadlines pass so you can prepare for your upcoming semester. It is also best to remain hopeful and to not become discouraged if you are not granted the exact scholarships that you were hoping for the most. Just remember, a small amount of scholarship money is much better than none at all. 

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