If you are a single mother you may wish to improve your skills and go back to college. With the rising cost of tuition these days, there is no need to pay for the full amount out of your own pocket as there are many college grants for single mothers out there, you just need to know where to look!
You may already know, a grant has a huge advantage over a student loan – you don’t have to pay it back! This makes it a fantastic and preferable choice for many individuals, especially single mothers who are at an economic disadvantage to other fellow students.
There are a number of ways a grant can be funded – it can be received from educational institutions, professional individuals or associations and private organizations. One of the most common sources for college grants for single parents is via the Federal and State Government. They have several grant programs available for single parents as well as other programs that are not necessarily aimed solely at single parents but they will still be useful for you.
The first step is the Federal Pell Grant. This is available to anyone regardless of their age, provided they are pursuing their first degree and you are a U.S Citizen having already achieved a high school degree or GED. Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and non-federal sources might be added. The amount you get each year depends on the program funding and can change each award year. Also, the amount you get will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less. Fill out the form as you start the process of looking for other financial aid.
The second place to look is Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, (FSEOG). If you are already receiving a Pell Grant, then you have priority to also receiving the FSEOG. This grant is geared towards individuals with the greatest financial needs and is intended to promote postgraduate study. You can expect to a maximum of $4000 with the amount you are actually awarded at the discretion of the college. It works in a similar way to the Federal Pell Grant, your College will have to apply for you and you need the following:
- to be a US citizen
- already have a bachelor’s degree
- not have defaulted on a federal student loan
- have filed for FAFSA
Other College Grants for Single Mothers
Raise the Nation Foundation – This is a fantastic foundation dedicated to giving women grants or loan repayment support. The purpose of this foundation is so that single mothers can get the education they need to be more independent and have more resources available to them to raise their children. Women can use the grants to cover the costs of tuition, books or childcare.
Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) is another major source of college funding for single mothers. These grants are dedicated to women who have been the victims of spousal abuse and who now need financial help in rebuilding a new life for themselves and their children. Private sources of funding are also available, especially to women who are entering a male dominated field like engineering or the sciences.
If you are over the age of 35, you may wish to consider a grant for a mature age students. The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation is one of the organizations that offers this type of grant. This grant is offered through several universities and colleges across the country and the amount of the award varies according to the school and individual. On average, the amount you could receive is approximately $2,000.
College grants are also offered at a state level. While we can’t go through every single one, you should explore your state’s higher education website for need and merit-based grants. They often offer more help than you think.
We strongly advise you to speak to your financial aid officer at the college you wish to attend for more information on your eligibility for grants and other types of financial aid.