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About Jeannette Rankin Fund Scholarships

Nadja, 2009-2013 JRF scholar

Jeannette Rankin Fund (JRF) scholarships are awarded annually to low-income women, 35 and older, who are pursuing undergraduate degrees at accredited colleges and universities. The scholarships are for $2,000 each and  may be used for tuition, books, transportation, childcare and other living expenses and will be disbursed over two school terms, starting in Fall 2014. Selection is competitive, which means that meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee that you will receive a scholarship. In 2013, JRF awarded 39 new scholarships from nearly 800 applications. The scholarships may be renewed annually and in 2013, 48 women received renewal scholarships.

Which Students are Eligible?

Women, at least 35 years of age as of March 1, 2014,

  • who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents of the United States,

  • and are pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate’s degree, or a first bachelor’s degree,
    Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and/or will be pursuing a graduate degree in Fall 2014 are ineligible.

  • and are enrolled in, or accepted to, a regionally or ACICS accredited college for the Fall 2014 term,
    To be eligible, your college must be accredited by one of the following:

    -Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
    -Middle States Commission on Higher Education
    -New England Association of Schools and Colleges
    -North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
    -Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
    -Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
    -Western Association of Schools and Colleges

    Applicants should check with their school's enrollment or financial aid office to confirm regional or ACICS accreditation. Do NOT call or e-mail JRF staff with accreditation questions.
  • and are low-income according to the government guidelines below.
    Because you are applying for a JRF scholarship for the 2014 – 2015 school year, your eligibility will be based on your house- hold income during that time period. Compare your estimated annual take-home household income for the upcoming school year (8/2014 – 7/2015) with the maximum income levels by household size below. To be eligible to apply, your annual household income must not exceed the maximum for your household size.

    Household Size Maximum Annual Household Income
    1 $14,856
    2 $24,348
    3 $33,416
    4 $41,250
    5 $48,684
    6 $56,930
    These guidelines are based on a national average of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Lower Living Standard. To adjust for households larger than 6 people, add $7,500 for each additional member.

    You are NOT ELIGIBLE if you do not meet these guidelines. Only students who meet all of these guidelines may create an account and apply for a 2014 JRF scholarship.

Selection Process
Application review will take place from March through June 2014. The process involves an initial eligibility screening followed by three levels of review. The names of the 2014 recipients will be posted at by 7/1/14.​ Applicants who are not selected will receive an e-mail notifying them of their status. Please DO NOT call or e-mail JRF staff with questions about the status of your application.

Selection Factors
JRF scholarships are very competitive. Ideal applicants:

  • have clear academic and career goals and a plan for reaching them, 

  • demonstrate an ability to accomplish goals and overcome challenges,

  • and understand how earning a degree will benefit themselves, their families and their communities.

The quality and completeness of information in your application is critical. The selection committee will consider your goals, your plan for reaching your goals, any challenges you have faced, and your financial situation, among other factors.

Non-Discrimination Policy
It is the policy of Jeannette Rankin Fund to make financial awards without regard to race, creed, religion, color, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, or disability.​

Click here to view a step by step guide for filling out the application or click here to view a list of frequently asked questions. You may also contact JRF by e-mail at​

About JRF

Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress, was an advocate of women’s rights. A bequest from Rankin’s estate provided the seed money for establishing Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund (JRF). Since 1978, JRF has been awarding scholarships to low-income adult women who have a vision of how a college education will benefit themselves, their families, and their communities.

The first JRF scholarship recipient receiving her award in 1978.