Standing Out

Diversity within your classes

Just because you’re alone in your major doesn’t mean you have to be a loner. For students in a program of study dominated by the opposite sex, there are resources available to help you feel more at home. From financial aid packages designed with you in mind to on-campus support groups, take advantage of the fact that colleges want to get and keep students like you.

Social Resources

To connect with students adjusting to the same issues, take a peek at your school’s list of student organizations. Clubs and honor fraternities/sororities designed to support a specific major or department offer social outings to help you get to know those around you in addition to academic resources such as tutoring, study groups, advising, and exam review sessions to ensure your success. Statistically speaking, students who stay in close contact with their academic peers have higher grades and healthier outlooks.

Let’s Talk Money

A balanced mix of the sexes in each department means more ideas generated and greater campus diversity. To encourage this diversity, certain schools offer monetary programs including one-time grants, renewable fellowships, and work/study packages as well as partial, full, and study abroad scholarships. If you happen to be a woman studying mathematics, the sciences, and/or engineering, you’ve hit the jackpot. In addition to all federal and private financial aid, you’re also eligible for scholarships offered through national organizations such as The Society of Women Engineers and The Association for Women in Science.

Gents, don’t let the ladies have all the aid. For those in careers such as nursing or teaching, finding monetary encouragement may be easier than you think. As of February 2005, The American Assembly of Men in Nursing Foundation created one of the first scholarship programs aimed specifically at men. To find out what diversity scholarships you’re eligible for, fill out a personal scholarship profile at or or consult your school’s financial aid department.


This article was written by Christina Couch

Christina Couch is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Virginia, and Chicago, Illinois. She is the author of Virginia Colleges 101: The Ultimate Guide for Students of All Ages (Palari Publishing, 2008). Her byline can also be found on,, and, and in Wired Magazine.

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