No one doubts that being a single parent is tough. Trying to balance work and paying the bills makes life a real challenge, let alone having the time and money to complete higher education.
The government, colleges, corporations, non-profit organizations, and private providers all offer scholarships and grants to help financially-strapped students pay for a college education.
Unlike student loans, neither a scholarship nor a grant requires any repayment as long as you keep “your end of the deal” – many scholarships require that you meet a certain GPA while in school.
What is the difference between grants and scholarships?
What makes scholarships differ from grants is the criteria used to determine who receives the money. In most cases, a grant is “gifted” on the basis of financial need and not something like grades.
Scholarships, on the other hand, are merit-based awards1 – you are given money based on something you have achieved – high marks during high school, first year of college, overall GPA while at college, exceptional volunteer work, etc.
Of course, you probably stand a better chance if you do happen to boast a 4.0 cumulative GPA or ace the ACT or SAT, but these are not the only criteria by which scholarship is awarded these days.
But are there any real scholarships for moms available?
The answer is yes! While the majority of scholarships are awarded only to deserving students based on merit, talent, major, ethnicity, etc., they do not discriminate against single parents, meaning any eligible single mothers, working mothers, and women in general may also apply.
Some of the best-known scholarships for moms are, but not limited to,
1. The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship
2. Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund
3. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
4. Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Scholarship
5. Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP)
6. Read more…
Scholarships for Minorities (Scholarships for African Americans) and private scholarships (Bill Gates Scholarship) offered by fellowships, businesses, for-profit schools are also available as a way of getting money for single mothers to pay for their college expenses.
The Department of Education has a large database of scholarships at Student Aid on the Web; primarily from private organizations and individual colleges where you can search for any scholarship opportunities that you may qualify for.
College Grants for Single Mothers
To help single parents pay for their education expenses, financial help is also available in the form of college grants which, unlike scholarships, award eligible single mothers on the basis of financial hardship.
Pell recipients may also be eligible for the following programs
1. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
2. Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) – (discontinued)
As a single mother who want to continue your education, a scholarship or grant may be just what you need to go back to school and further your career.
Granted most grants and scholarships for which you may qualify come with a set of criteria, so be sure to pay attention to the details and do your diligent research before you apply.
- Keep your Grade high. Most merit based scholarships require a GPA of 3.00 or higher, which is a B average [↩]