Scholarships For Women

Written by Tara Peris
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Despite recent progress, women remain under-represented in many academic disciplines. In particular, they tend to be under-enrolled in the sciences, with men significantly outnumbering them in fields such as mathematics, engineering and technology. Many federal and university programs have instituted scholarships for women in order to help bridge this gap and increase female involvement in the sciences.

Gender differences in science participation emerge early. Indeed, as early as first or second grade, boys are observed to take greater interest in math and science and to perform better in these subjects as well. By contrast, girls appear to be drawn to the humanities, outperforming boys in history and writing courses.

Bridging the Gap

Scientists have studied these academic gender differences for decades. The results suggest that they are multi-determined, with early socialization experiences and biological predisposition both playing central roles. That is, male and female brains display slight structural differences that account for variations in science involvement. However, environmental influences matter a great deal, and boys are exposed to more mathematically-oriented toys and encouraged to explore math and science much more than girls.

Over time, these influences contribute to widely discrepant career paths. Both universities and private businesses seek to bridge this gap by promoting female pursuit of higher education in the sciences. Although there are a number of mechanisms by which they do this, scholarships are by far the most popular. To learn more about scholarships for women, consider consulting specific college websites as well as federal programs such as the American Association of University Women.

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