Not long ago, college was a stronghold for wealthy, white males, and women were excluded from receiving an education. Though this is no longer the case, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 only 29 percent of women over the age of 25 in the United States had completed a bachelor's degree, and employed women earned 9 percent less than what men earned. In an effort to close the gender gap, several organizations offer college grants to women. They are available to any woman who knows how to look for them.

Determine what type of grant you are searching for. Since women are in the minority in technical, engineering, math and science fields, there are several grants available for women who wish to pursue an education in those fields. There are also several grants available for women in writing, art history, and visual art. Determining what type of grant you wish to pursue will significantly narrow your choices and make the search easier.

Search local college or university sources. Oftentimes you can find relevant grants available in the chosen department of the college or university you attend. You can either go to the department of your major and ask for the available grant opportunities or schedule an appointment with your academic adviser.

Search grant sources designed for minorities. There are several grants available for women who are African American or Hispanic. These grants can be found from both private and public organizations, including the United Negro College Fund and the American Association of University Women.

Search for family- and child-rearing-based grants. There are grants for women who left high school or college because of pregnancy and are seeking to return. There are grants for women who experience extra financial stress because of the responsibility of raising a family.

Join a local or professional organization. You are more likely to receive and win grant opportunities if you join an organization that fits your educational and professional goals, such as the Society of Women Engineers or the American Association of University Women. Find out what type of education and grant opportunities your organization offers and become active in the organization to increase your chances of receiving a grant.