Considering a women's college?

You're about to make the best decision of your life.

If you are a high-achieving young woman looking for a living and learning community where you can develop your full potential, The Sunflower Initiative can help you make a choice that’s right for you. Our renewable annual scholarship can be applied at a women’s college that you choose to attend. In addition to our financial support, you will join a network of accomplished women who are passionate about your future success.

“The atmosphere of connection and innovation permeating the campuses of the women’s colleges I visited and the palpable enthusiasm of the students and faculty in these colleges was exciting and inviting. Their visions of positive change and missions to empower women to improve the world set them apart from all other colleges I visited."

Applicant for The Sunflower Initiative Scholarship

Let us help you find your fit. Apply today.

The Scholarship

$10,000 for the 2021-2022 academic year to a woman attending an undergraduate women’s college in the US in the Fall 2021


Applications, confidential letters of recommendation, transcripts and official standardized test scores to be uploaded to our website by February 1, 2021 by 11:59 pm EST.


The Scholarship Selection Committee will notify the winner of the award in April 2021.


The Sunflower Initiative pays directly to the college each term after verification of enrollment.


Awarded for one year with annual renewal based on continued high academic performance


When was the scholarship established?

Originally established by alumnae and friends of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, The Sunflower Initiative has grown its membership to include alumnae and friends of other women’s colleges also. The Scholarship, named after a distinguished alumna of R-MWC, Harriet Fitzgerald, provides a promising young woman with financial support to attend a women’s college where her intellect and talents will be nurtured and where she will receive an education preparing her to participate fully in public life.

Who is eligible?

The Scholarship Committee welcomes applications from highly motivated women who are passionate about learning and desire to attend a women’s college in the United States. The successful candidate must:

  • Possess a stellar high school record
  • Provide outstanding references
  • Express a sincere desire to make a contribution to society
  • Demonstrate strong character and leadership qualities, as well as breadth and depth of interests

For best consideration, applicants should have:

  • An unweighted GPA of at least a 3.7
  • Either a composite SAT score of at least 1900 (scoring through 2016) or 1350 (scoring since 2016), or a composite ACT score of at least 27 with no single ACT score below 25. International students should be able to arrange to take the SAT or ACT in their home countries. For the 2020-2021 application year, test scores may be provided and are optional.

All women expecting to start their first full term of college at an undergraduate women’s college in the Fall 2021 term are eligible to apply including:

  • Graduating high school seniors
  • High school graduates currently taking a one to two gap year
  • Matriculated women who left prior to the completion of their first semester and now plan to start college again
  • Dual enrollment candidates who have enrolled in a college course(s) while completing high school

Women who have already completed one or more college semesters are not eligible.

What application materials are required?

  • An application form completed online (in PDF format only) at our website, including
    • An essay [in PDF format] uploaded within the online application form
    • Responses to questions about your activities, achievements, awards and any other information to support your application. You may answer these questions on the form or, alternatively, you may upload an optional résumé [also in PDF format] within the online application form.
  • Three (3) confidential letters of recommendation on letterhead and in PDF format
    • At least two of the letters must be submitted from teachers and/or counselors who can comment on your academic qualifications.
    • A third letter may be submitted from someone who can also comment on your extracurricular activities and personal character (this could also be a teacher or counselor, or perhaps a community member, club advisor, employer, or other non-family member).
    • Letters must be submitted online to our website directly by the letter-writer.
  • Official high school or GED transcripts uploaded at our website by your high school counselor or registrar
  • Optional for 2020-2021: Official reports of SAT (code 7230) or ACT (code 1715) scores sent to us electronically by the testing service or uploaded by your high school counselor or registrar
  • Incomplete applications and late materials will not be considered.

How should application materials be submitted?

Applicants may not send letters, test scores, or transcripts to us directly.

  • Materials will be accepted only directly from letter-writers, testing services, or high school counselors or registrars.
  • Letters of recommendation should use official letterhead to verify the authenticity of their affiliation and must be submitted in PDF format. Please communicate these requirements to those submitting materials in support of your application.
  • Forms for submission are located on our website at
  • Applicants are responsible for monitoring the status of materials to ensure they are submitted before the deadline.
  • Since letter-writers, counselors, registrars, and testing services are extremely busy during the college application season, applicants should make their requests several weeks ahead of the due date, and follow up to ensure the documents have been submitted.
  • From early January of 2021, applicants will be able to view the status of supplementary materials received. This information will be updated every two or three days until the deadline of February 1.