By Sunny Lim
When domestic violence survivors escape abusive relationships, it can be difficult to find the financial means to pay for schooling and other career training programs.
Whether you’re interested in enrolling at a graduate program, trade school, or any educational program for vocational training, there are scholarships and grants available for survivors.
For survivors, education is another step toward empowerment. The abuser might have told the victim that they weren’t intelligent enough to do well in school. The abuser might have also prevented the victim from pursuing higher education to keep them from escaping.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 full-time workers who graduated from high school earned a median weekly wage of $718 while workers with a bachelor’s degree earned a median of $1,189. Higher education in the United States guarantees higher wages, which is important for survivors who are looking for ways to become financially independent.
Our list of scholarships and grants are predominately geared toward survivors, but individual scholarships and grants might have additional eligibility requirements.
Remember to ask the financial aid office at your school about special aid or scholarships specifically for survivors. Sometimes schools might have additional aid or provide more depending on your personal situation.
Scholarships and grants:
The site’s FAQ states there is no cutoff date but to apply as soon as possible. Eligible applicants must meet the following requirements, including:
- Be female domestic violence survivors,
- Be separated from the abuser for a minimum of one year but no more than seven years,
- Demonstrate desire, commitment and ability to complete an educational program, degree, or vocational training,
- Have a critical need for financial assistance,
- Have a concrete plan to use the educational program to gain skills for career advancement or to re-enter the job market,
- Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States or have a status that makes her eligible to apply for FAFSA,
- Be accepted into an accredited program at a U.S. institution,
- Have sought help from a non-profit agency that serves domestic violence survivors and has assisted the applicant for a minimum of six months; the agency is also willing to sponsor the applicant by being a mentor.
The application cycle has closed but will open in November 2019. Eligible applicants must:
- Be a woman and 35 or older,
- Be low-income,
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States,
- Be enrolled in or accepted to a not-for-profit, accredited institution,
- Be pursuing a technical/vocational education, an associate’s degree, or the applicant’s first bachelor’s degree.
The scholarship fund also has a separate scholarship for Georgia residents only. The scholarship’s deadline is February 28, and the application cycle will open in November 2019. The eligibility requirements are the same as above except applicants must be 25 years old or older before the application cycle starts.
The application cycle has closed, but information about deadlines and the online application will be available on May 1, 2019. In order for an applicant to be eligible, they must:
- Be a woman at least 17 years old,
- Be a mother with children aged under 18,
- Be enrolled in a non-profit, accredited institution or program in the U.S.,
- Be low-income,
- Be pursuing a first degree or certificate in vocational programs, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral.
The application cycle is closed but will open on August 1, 2019. Applicants can submit their applications from August 1 until November 15, 2019. All eligible applicants must:
- Be a woman who needs financial assistance,
- Provide the primary income for herself and her dependents,
- Not have a graduate degree,
- Not be a previous “Live Your Dream” award winner,
- Be enrolled or accepted to a vocational/technical or undergraduate program,
- Be motivated to achieve goals in her chosen career path and education,
- Not be a Soroptimist member, employee, or immediate relative of either,
- Reside in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guam, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, United States of America, Venezuela.
BTSADV also provides scholarships to survivors and others personally affected by domestic violence.
Our application cycle has closed, but please check our page in early spring 2020 to apply.
- Have a minimum 2.0 GPA,
- Have been personally affected by domestic violence,
- Have volunteer experience with non-profit organizations helping survivors.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org or chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777.