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Application Period for Women’s Empowerment Scholarship Now Open

By Gail Hairston

(Oct. 28, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) in the College of Arts and Sciences announced today that the application window for its Women’s Empowerment Scholarship is now open.

“We are excited to open the application period for the 2016/2017 academic year,” said Carol Jordan, the executive director of the OPSVAW. “We know that education can set a woman who has suffered abuse during her lifetime on a path to nonviolence and recovery, and there is perhaps no institution better positioned to advancing that recovery than the University of Kentucky. The education that UK can offer fulfills dreams and puts a woman’s full potential within her reach.”

The OPSVAW created the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship Program to give women access to education as a means of escaping violence and abuse or diminishing the effects of child or adulthood victimization. The ultimate goal, said Jordan, is to fund a total of five such Empowerment Scholarships. Verizon Wireless became the first to support the scholarship program with a $100,000 donation from its HopeLine phone-recycling program.

The OPSVAW’s partners in the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship Program include the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs; on campus the OPSVAW coordinates with the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Undergraduate Education.

To be eligible for a Women’s Empowerment Scholarship, women must:

  • have been served through one of the domestic violence or rape crisis programs in Kentucky, and
  • apply and have been admitted to the University of Kentucky, with plans to secure a bachelor’s degree in a field of their choosing.

The core of the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship Program is a stipend provided by the OPSVAW. The stipend may be up to $4,000 a semester, adjusted based on the level of other grant and scholarship funds available, the need presented by the applicant, and the number of credit hours being taken by the student. The scholarship is renewable.

The UK Office of the Registrar will coordinate access to state and federal financial aid to which the applicant may be eligible, including academic scholarships, Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships, other private scholarships and need-based financial aid programs.

“We have seen the Women’s Empowerment Scholarship dramatically improve a woman’s life. We are looking forward to giving that same opportunity to more abuse survivors,” Jordan said.

Applications may be accessed at  The final deadline for submitting a WES application is Feb. 15, 2016, but applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as close to Dec. 1, 2015, as possible. For additional information, contact Carol Jordan at