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Women's Scholarship Program - AARP Foundation

Outline: AARP Foundation call for entries to its annual nationwide Womens Scholarship Program.

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AARP Foundation Announces Women's Scholarship Program - Low-Income Women 40+ in Illinois Are Eligible for Scholarships for Training and Education.

This week, the AARP Foundation announced a call for entries to its annual nationwide Women's Scholarship Program. The scholarships will provide funds to women 40+ who are seeking new job skills, training and educational opportunities to support themselves and their families. In 2010, more than $450,000 in educational scholarships was awarded to 200 women nationwide.

"The AARP Foundation is committed to advancing opportunities for women," said Merri Dee, AARP Illinois State President. "In this economy, it is vital that women have access to the education and job training resources they need to advance their professional goals.

Research shows that women are disproportionately at risk of having insufficient funds in the second half of their lives due to lower earnings and different work patterns. The AARP Foundation created the Women's Scholarship Program in August 2007 to help women 40+ overcome financial and employment barriers by allowing them to participate in education and training opportunities they could otherwise not afford. Since its beginning, the program has helped more than 350 deserving women.

Interested applicants can submit their application online beginning February 1, 2011 at www.aarp.org/womensscholarship. The application process closes on March 31, 2011. Scholarships will be awarded in early summer 2011.

Scholarships are available to women with moderate to lower incomes and limited financial resources.

To be eligible for the scholarships, applicants must:

Be female age 40 or older (as of March 31, 2011);

Be able to demonstrate financial need; and

Be enrolled in an accredited school or technical training program within 6 months of the scholarship award date.

Priority is given to women in three categories: those raising the children of another family member; those in low-paying jobs with no career opportunities and who are missing either a retirement benefit and/or health insurance; and those who have been out of the workforce for more than five years. Scholarships may be used for any course of study at a public or private secondary school, including community colleges, technical schools, and four-year universities. Funds are payable to the institution and may be used to pay for tuition, fees, and books.

Scholarship winners are chosen by an independent selection committee established by AARP Foundation. Selections are on the basis of financial need, personal circumstances and achievements, educational goals, and the likely impact of the scholarship on the women's lives, their families and communities.

The scholarship program is made possible by AARP Foundation with generous support from the Wal-Mart Foundation and AARP.

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