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P.E.O. International Scholarships

Women helping women reach for the stars


P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) has championed the education of women since it was founded in 1869 (yes, that's 1869!) by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. All these years later, P.E.O. has almost 250,000 members in chapters across the United States and Canada, who call their organization a sisterhood and are passionate about encouraging women to realize their potential "in whatever worthwhile endeavor they choose."

Nearly 88,000 women have benefited from P.E.O.'s educational scholarships, grants, loans, awards, special projects, and stewardship of Cottey College, a fully accredited, private liberal arts and sciences college for women in Nevada, Missouri. Cottey College occupies 14 buildings on 11 city blocks, and offers two-year and four-year programs for 350 students.

Adrienne Dellwo is one of those students. Adrienne is About.com's Guide to Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue.

P.E.O. International is a finalist for Best Scholarship for Adult Students in Continuing Education's 2013 Readers' Choice Awards!

Visit the P.E.O. website for complete information: peointernational.org.

The organization's six scholarships:

1. P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund

The Educational Loan Fund, referred to as ELF, makes loans to qualified women who seek higher education and need financial assistance. Applicants must be recommended by a local chapter and be within two years of completing a course of study. The maximum loan in 2013 is $12,000, except for doctorate degrees, which is $20,000. More information is available at peointernational.org.

2. P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship

The P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund, or IPS, provides scholarships for international women who want to pursue graduate studies in the United States and Canada. Cottey College is associated with this scholarship. More information is available at peointernational.org.

3. P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

The P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education (PCE) is designed for women in the United States and Canada who interrupted their education for at least two years and wish to return to school to support themselves and/or their families. There is a maximum one-time grant of up to $3,000, depending on available funds and financial need. This grant may not be used for living expenses or to pay past student loans. It is intended to help women secure employment or job advancement.

More information is available at peointernational.org.

4. P.E.O. Scholar Awards

P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA) provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctorate at an accredited university. Policies and procedures are available at peointernational.org.

5. P.E.O. STAR Scholarship

The P.E.O. STAR Scholarship awards $2,500 to high school seniors wishing to pursue post-secondary education. Eligibility requirements include excellence in leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, academics, and potential for future success. Applicants must be 20 or younger, have a GPA of 3.0, and be a citizen of the United States or Canada. Other requirements apply. More information is available at peointernational.org.

6. Cottey College

Cottey College's mission statement is impressive. It reads: "Cottey College, an independent liberal arts college, educates women to be contributing members of a global society through a challenging curriculum and a dynamic campus experience. In our diverse and supportive environment, women develop their potential for personal and professional lives of intellectual engagement and thoughtful action as learners, leaders, and citizens."

The college awards several types of academic scholarships, including:

  • Trustees' Scholarship: $9,000 per year
  • President's Scholarship: $6,500 per year
  • Founder's Scholarship: $4,500 per year
  • Achievement Award: $3,000 per year

Visit the Cottey College scholarship page on its website for more information: Cottey College Scholarships. Grants and loans are also available.

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