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Scholarships for Women the Jeanette Rankin Womens Scholarship Fund

Jeanette Rankin was the first women to be elected to the United States congress, upon her death Jeanette Rankin's will stipulated that a portion of her estate be set aside to provide Scholarships for Women the Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund was formed.

Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Fund

The Jeanette Rankin scholarship fund has awarded more than two million US dollars to low income women who are over the age of 35 and wish to complete a college degree to be able to live a better life, the scholarship is only available for US residents.

Women Only Scholarships

The Jeanette Rankin fund makes scholarships available to all women without discrimination against colour or heritage. Potential scholars must have a low income to be considered for a scholarship (else they would be able to fund the studies themselves), the scholarship fund uses the US Department of Labour Lower Living Standard guidelines to determine if the student is on a low income, low income guidelines mean having a maximum net family income of less than $18,662 if there is one other person in the household right up to having an income of less than $71,508 if there are six people in the household for two children the maximum that you are allowed to earn per year and still get a scholarship is $30,571 (US Dollars).

35 Years and Older

You must be over the age of 35 to claim this scholarship the reason being is that up until this age you should be able to find a way to pay for college yourself, but past the age of 35 life may have taken a different turn and now you may well need assistance to get a college degree and improve your life and the lives of your family as well as the wider community in which you live.

US Citizens

Students will need to be US citizens or have permanent leave to remain in the US (for example by marriage), your also need to be studying for a technical education or a vocational based education at the associates degree or first degree (bachelors degree) level.

ACICS Accredited

The Jeanette Rankin scholarship fund will require that the school or university that you have applied to or been accepted on is ACICS accredited (Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools) which is a 'non-profit education corporation recognised by the United States Secretary of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as an independent and autonomous national accrediting body'.

Jeanette Rankin scholarships need accreditation from any of these bodies in order that you can get a scholarship to study at your chosen school or university Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Only undergraduate (first degrees) can obtain a scholarship and only by study at a college or university listed above as the Jeanette Rankin scholarship fund will contact the college or university to ask about accreditation after you have made your application. Before you make your application check with your school's enrolment or finance department and make sure your school has regional or ACICS accreditation because without accreditation the scholarship cannot be awarded.

JRF Scholarship (Jeanette Rankin Fund)

To be considered for a JRF Scholarship (Jeanette Rankin Fund) your need to document your goals and the actions you will take to achieve your goals, this is because if you are not clear on what you want out of your education and how you are going to get it then you are most unlikely to fail at getting your degree or in using your degree effectively to better your own life, the lives of your children and the wider community who could make good use of an educated women to help them.

Application Form

On the application form applicants will also need to show how they have overcome challenges in their life and obtained their goals, studying can be hard for people who have never really studied before and are coming back to study after a long break, the Jeanette Rankin scholarship fund must make sure that they are giving the scholarship to the best person and that person is liable to have overcome many obstacles to get to where they are in life and know exactly where they want to take their lives and how they are going to get there.

Applicants will need to know how getting a degree will improve their life, it is not just by having a degree that you will be able to get a better paid job or have increased self esteem but by knowing how you will use your degree to achieve these goals.

The application you make is critical to whether you will receive a scholarship, many scholarship programs like the Harvard Scholarship or the Fulbright Scholarship require a great many details about you and many supporting documents before a scholarship will be granted, with the Jeanette Rankin Scholarship it is all about the quality and depth of your written application, this is your opportunity to tell other women on the scholarship committee exactly who you are, how you feel and why this is important to you and how you will improve your life or turn your life around, the scholarship committee want to give you the scholarship but can only do it if your application can paint a compelling picture of who you are and what you are about.

Personal Statement

Potential scholars might want to write in their application about their goals, their financial situation, their background and why this is important to them and how granting them a scholarship will help the community, the idea is that if the scholarship is given to the right individual an individual that is community minded and helps in their own community (and the definition of what your community is can be decided by you), then helping your community after you have graduated means that the money Jeanette Rankin has given you is effectively doubled or tripled as now you are helping transform the lives of others in your local community.

Supporting the Community

The idea of helping your local community and leadership within your local community is very reminiscent of Free Will Baptist Scholarships, NAACP or AB540 Scholarships.

Potential scholarship students often ask if online study is acceptable as coursework for a degree where you want to get a scholarship for Jeanette Rankin, online study is perfectly acceptable as long as the institution providing the online study is accredited this means that mothers bringing up children who are unable to leave the children with someone else whilst they study on campus can take their degree online without having to attend classes, women with disabilities will also find Jeanette Rankin's enlightened attitude towards online study makes their online educational goals achievable.

The reason that college or university accreditation is so important to the Jeanette Rankin fund and why you will not get a scholarship for a non accredited college or university is because the strict standards imposed before accreditation is granted means that the Jeanette Rankin foundation can be assured that the money they spend on course fees is not going to be wasted by a non accredited college or university that will ultimately be unable to deliver the quality teaching women deserve.

In previous years the Jeanette Rankin scholarship program would accept scholarship applications through the mail (postal service) more recently the JRF has changed to only allow online applications, this ultimately makes the process quicker and easier for all applicants and the administration at the JRF.

Application Process

The application process will take several hours, as the scholarships are only available to women over 35 on a low income its understood that applicants may not even own their own computer and for this reason using a computer at a public library is perfectly acceptable for the online application. Scholarship applicants will need to create a free account on the scholarship application website and provide an email address as part of the registration process, free email address are perfectly acceptable if the applicant does not have a current college or university email address.

The JRF are very keen to hear all about your volunteering and social support work in the community it is one of the major factors that determines if you get a scholarship, but sometimes applicants have done so much community work that there is not enough space in the online application form to list all their experience or accomplishments it's for this reason that the JRF advises only writing about the most recent or best (most satisfying, most rewarding, most helpful to the community) community work you have undertaken.

If you enter any details into the online application that suggest you are not eligible for the award like you entered you where under 35 years of age when only those over 35 years old are eligible or that you entered your college or university which is an unaccredited college or university then the online application will warn you of this and not let you proceed until this is rectified (if it is a mistake).

It's tempting to upload to the online application additional documents or photographs for instance showing you undertaking community work or videos or scans of other certificates, training or qualifications you might have, but which it might be possible to upload such documentation those documents will be deleted and disregarded by the scholarship assessment team, if it was not a document that the online application had requested that you upload.

There are many questions that are asked about you and your experience, its tempting to want to upload a resume (CV Curriculum Vitae) to bypass these questions as the questions are probably answered in the CV, but again a resume or CV will be deleted leaving you with many questions unanswered.

Financial Statement

It's worth noting that when scholarship seekers complete the sections about their financial income they should answer about the coming year and not last year, so your salary is this year's salary rather than last years, your expenditures are this year's costs rather than last year's etc. Students are not requested and should not upload any tax forms as all questions will be about the upcoming year rather than the previous year, this is a very different type of application for a scholarship than the Pell Grant or Harvard Scholarship application which does ask for tax documents and financial records to be uploaded.

Two Year Scholarship

The scholarship is provided for two years so that scholars can undertake a two year degree program at college or university with all course fees paid for by the JRF. Interestingly unlike just about every other scholarship application form the JRF do not want you to upload your FAFSA (Pell grant) form, scholarships like Wake Tech Community College or UMSL will require to see your FAFSA documentation (which shows how much state funded grant a student is entitled too, usually because the scholarship funding would be reduced to take account of any state funded award).

Students must provide a figure for their estimated income for the coming year, note that this is an estimated figure were you must take account your current working situation, questions to ask yourself to come up with a figure for your earnings are am I employed, have I been made unemployed, have my hours at work been increased or reduced, have I got married or divorced or am I now responsible for more children (a new birth perhaps) these sorts of questions will help you think about how much money you will have to account for on the JRF application form.

If after having calculated your income for the coming year you earn more than the guideline amounts stated above then you are ineligible for a JRF scholarship and should consider other forms of funding like the Sallie Mae loan.


Applicants will need to find several references who can write a letter to the JRF scholarship committee commenting on the students personal or professional character and how a free scholarship to study at college or university would be suitable for them.