Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Scholar Awards

Nomination deadline:   November 20, 2015

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards program, established in 1991, provides educational awards for women who are pursuing a doctoral level degree at an accredited college or university.

P.E.O. Scholar Awards are one-time, competitive, merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada. In addition to recognizing and encouraging excellence in higher education, these awards provide partial support for study and research for women who will make significant contributions in their varied fields of endeavor. Priority is given to women who are well established in their programs, study or research.

The numbers of awards is determined each year in accordance with the funds available. The current maximum award is $15,000.


An applicant for a P.E.O. Scholar Award is required to be nominated by a local P.E.O. chapter and to be a citizen of the United States or Canada.

She must be within two years of completing her doctoral level degree and she must have one full academic year of work remaining at the time the award payment is made (August 1). She must be enrolled full time in her program at an accredited college or university.


Applicants must first be nominated by a P.E.O. chapter, either in Washington State or in the applicants’ state of residency.

Following nomination by a P.E.O. chapter, each eligible nominee will be required to electronically submit an application by an assigned date.

Selection Criteria

In selecting recipients of these merit-based, highly competitive awards, the Scholar Awards Board of Trustees will evaluate the application using the following criteria:

  • The nominee’s proposal
  • Potential to make significant contributions in her field(s) of endeavor or for a positive impact on society
  • Recommendations from three university professors or advisers
  • Evidence of scholarly activities – publications, presentations, patents, performances, etc.
  • Academic awards and honors – honor societies, scholarships, etc.
  • Academic record – grades
  • Career objectives
  • Unique academic and global experiences

Priority is given to a woman who is well-established in her program.


P.E.O. Scholar Awards are announced annually in May for the ensuing academic year. The number of awards is determined each year in accordance with the funds available.

For complete information about this opportunity, see:

Loan-based aid

P.E.O. also administers an educational loan fund.

Educational Loan Fund, established in 1907, makes loans available to qualified women who desire higher education and are in need of financial assistance. The loan fund is not a scholarship fund. The P.E.O. ELF loan is intended to help a woman attain a degree or certification from an accredited postsecondary educational institution. The maximum loan amount is $12,000 for associate and bachelor degree programs, technical or professional training, and post-graduate certifications, $15,000 for master’s degrees and $20,000 for doctoral level degrees.

For more information about the ELF program, see: