P.E.O. District of Columbia Chapter

Scholarships, Grants, Loans, & Cottey College

The P.E.O. Sisterhood proudly makes a difference in women’s lives with six philanthropies that include ownership of an all-women’s college, Cottey College, and five projects – grants, scholarships, and loans – that provide higher education assistance.

In addition, the P.E.O. District of Columbia Chapter sponsors its own projects – the Educational Recognition Award (ERA) available to women who are college-bound high school seniors graduating from D.C. public and charter schools, D.C. Cottey College Scholarship Fund (DCCCSF) for women to attend Cottey College with a preference given to those from the D.C. metro area, and other projects sponsored by local D.C. chapters.

Read on to learn about P.E.O. International philanthropies below, or jump ahead to D.C. Scholarship Info at the bottom.


A revolving loan fund established in 1907 to lend money to women who are securing higher education. Maximum loan: $20,000 to be repaid over 10 years with a low 2% interest rate. We honor the effort and commitment demonstrated by past generations of P.E.O.s to ELF, our Sisterhood’s first educational project.

Learn More About ELF


Cottey College is a nationally ranked, fully accredited, independent, liberal arts and sciences college for women in Nevada, Missouri, owned and supported by the P.E.O. Sisterhood since 1927. Cottey College educates women to be contributing members of a global society through a challenging curriculum and a dynamic campus experience. In a diverse and supportive environment, women develop their potential for personal and professional lives of intellectual engagement and thoughtful action as learners, leaders, and citizens. Ninety-eight percent of all Cottey students receive some form of financial aid, in the form of loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study jobs.

Learn More About Cottey College

2024-25 D.C. Cottey College Scholarship Fund (DCCCSF): Apply Here


Established in 1949 to provide scholarships for international women students to pursue graduate study in the United States and Canada, and for Cottey College international students. IPS has awarded more than $48 million in scholarships to over 7,000 women from around the world. Local Chapters donating $500 ore more to IPS are designated as IPS “Partners in Peace” Chapters and can be paired with IPS students studying locally to offer their connections and loving concern. The maximum amount awarded to a student is $12,500. Lesser amounts may be awarded according to individual needs. IPS applicants do not require a chapter recommendation and may apply directly for scholarships.

Learn More About IPS


Established in 1973 to provide need-based grants to women in the United States and Canada whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to support themselves and/or their families. The maximum one-time grant is $3,000. 

Learn More About PCE

P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA)

Established in 1991 to provide merit-based scholarships for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing terminal degrees or are engaged in advanced study and research at an accredited institution. Currently, 90 scholars receive $15,000 each to pursue their education goals.

Learn More About PSA

P.E.O. STAR SCHOLARSHIP (Scholastic Talent Accomplishment Recognition)

Providing recognition for high school women and establishing a more visible local philanthropic profile were wishes expressed in the 2007 Membership Survey. As a result, the sixth P.E.O. philanthropy was established in 2009. With individual awards of $2,500, the STAR Scholarship will enable high school seniors to pursue post-secondary education at accredited institutions. 

Learn More About STAR

P.E.O. District of Columbia Scholarships

Educational Recognition Award (ERA)

Established in 1986 to provide a one-time scholarship to promising young women who are college-bound high school seniors. Applicants must be D.C. residents and attend a D.C. public high school or charter school. Applications are reviewed, and the selection made, by the D.C. ERA Committee and the awards are presented at the D.C. convention each spring. The Jenny Sexton Stathis Scholarship, created in 2021, also makes its awards through the ERA Committee as funds are available.

2025-26 D.C. Educational Recognition Award (ERA) Application – Available in October 2024

D.C. Cottey College Scholarship Fund (DCCCSF)

Established in 1976 to provide scholarships to women, with a preference to those from the D.C. Metro area, to attend Cottey College. The income from this fund is available for an annual award. As with the philanthropies described above, D.C. chapters identify candidates and submit their names; the D.C. Cottey College Committee makes the selection each year.

2024-25 D.C. Cottey College Scholarship Fund (DCCCSF) Application

Louise S. Henderson and Catharine R. Parrett Scholarship

The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a philanthropic and educational organization interested in bringing women increased opportunities for higher education. The Louise S. Henderson Scholarship Fund was established in 1984 and the Catharine R. Parrett Endowment was added in 1999. This project of P.E.O. Chapter Y, Washington, D.C., awards a yearly scholarship to a deserving woman in the metropolitan area. For more information, please contact HPscholarship2024@gmail.com

2024-25 Louise S. Henderson and Catharine R. Parrett Scholarship ApplicationAPPLICATIONS DUE APRIL 26, 2024

Questions? Contact us at scholarships@peodc.org