Research has shown that anyone with a college degree could easily earn five times more than a non-degreed individual. As a result, returning to school could provide single mothers with a step up to a better job and improved circumstances for their children.
“In a 21st-century economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, education is the single best bet we can make,” – Barack Obama.
Under Obama’s initiative, the federal stimulus money is allocated to help those who are out of work and want to go back to school; and the Obama “Moms Return to School” or “Back to School” program is often cited as one of the most advertised “grants for single mothers” programs to lure “prospective students”.
These ‘Obama’s Scholarships for Moms‘ programs purportedly promise any single mother who want to pursue their higher education a $10,000 scholarship from a private company that they can use to pay for pay for tuition, books, and supplies.
The truth is, “There is no such thing as an Obama grant for moms,” said Robert Shireman, who until early this month was deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education. “Moms are eligible for federal financial aid generally – Pell Grants, student loans and other aid – but nothing specific to moms or single moms.”1
Is Obama’s “Scholarships for Moms” A Scam?
On the surface, it looks like a legit well-funded educational opportunity where you sign up for the scholarship free and get put in the running for a $10,000 scholarship giveaway every month to be used for education purposes. (There is even a similar $10k scholarship for dads as well that single dads can apply for.)
But instead it is a ploy to supply all your personal details to lead generating affiliates who help finding potential students for colleges, mostly for profit.
Scholarship Scams from FinAid.org provides advice on how to identify scams, how to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent organizations, how to protect yourself from scholarship scams, and what to do if you are scammed.
For this reason, we’ve compiled a genuine list of scholarships for single mothers (and women in general); each with its own set of eligibility requirements, application processes, and award amounts.
The Pell Grant
The most common type of college grants for single moms is the Pell Grant which covers the books, tuition etc. and even better you don’t have to repay the amount as long as you stay in school.
The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2011-12 award year (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012) is $5,550.2 Single moms can apply for this Federal grant and if they qualify, this free money does not have to be repaid.
Unlike a loan, grant money is given out free based on financial need and does not require repayment, lifting a huge financial burden from single mothers. The money can be used for education at a local college or university or an online institution of higher learning.
In addition, the American Opportunity Tax Credit3 program provides tax benefits for some out of pocket expenses.
To apply for the scholarship or Pell Grant, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. This form can be completed online or a paper form can be requested via mail or picked up at a local higher education institution. You should have prior tax year information and identifying documents on hand to use when completing the document.
A scholarship or grant for higher education may be just what you need to go back to school and further your career. Do your diligent research before you apply, be smart and decide the right one that best suits your unique financial situation.
- Source: www.propublica.org [↩]
- The Federal Pell Grant [↩]
- You will receive a tax credit based on 100% of the first $2,000 of tuition, fees and course materials paid during the taxable year, plus 25% of the next $2,000 of tuition, fees and course materials paid during the taxable year via IRS [↩]