For single mothers, a college education can be a financial struggle and a juggling act. Fortunately, financial aid for single moms, especially in the form of scholarships and grants, may be easier to find than they may realize. Here are some strategies for single mothers to find the financial aid for college they need.
Scholarships and Grants for Single Mothers at Local Colleges and Universities
When searching for an affordable college, single mothers should take the time to learn about scholarships and grants like Nancy Etz that local schools award to single mothers. Single moms can address questions to the financial aid offices at schools they are considering attending. Important questions to ask include:
- How much money is offered through these scholarships and grants?
- How many scholarships and grants are available?
- How do single mothers qualify for these scholarships and grants?
- How much competition is there for these awards?
- Are these awards for multiple years or semesters, or just one?
- Are there criteria for maintaining eligibility, such as maintaining a high GPA?
Some schools are more inclined than offers to offer scholarships and grants to single mothers. It can be helpful to investigate schools that cater to older, nontraditional students, including online universities. On the other hand, if a traditional college or university does offer financial aid of this kind, there may be less competition for these scholarships and grants than at schools with a larger percentage of single moms.
Women’s Organizations That Offer Scholarships and Grants for Single Mothers
Another helpful place to look for scholarships and grants for single mothers is at women’s organizations of all kinds, including feminist organizations, women’s religious organizations, and business women organizations. For example, Soroptimist, an organization of business women who advocate for women’s issues, offer three annual awards of $10,000 to women who are the primary wage earners for themselves and their families.
Local Scholarships and Grants for Single Mothers
As is the case when searching for college scholarships of all kinds, it’s easier to find financial aid for single mothers from local organizations and municipalities than it is on the national level. Thus, it’s useful to start a scholarship search by finding out what resources are available in one’s state, city, or immediate community. Here are a few places to look for these kinds of local scholarships:
- State Departments of Education
- Local newspapers and other media outlets
- Corporations and companies that have a strong presence in a state or community
- Local churches and other religious institutions
- Local nonprofit organizations that have an interest in educational issues
- Local nonprofit organizations that work with single mothers or single parents in general
In addition, it’s always a good idea to talk with high school guidance counselors and college financial aid counselors about financial aid opportunities in the local community.
Financial Aid Help for Single Mothers
Like all students who are looking for financial assistance with their education, single mothers need to do some research to find out what financial aid opportunities are out there. Students should start by looking at scholarship and grant opportunities at schools themselves, especially at schools that cater to nontraditional students, and they should also look at women’s organizations and local organizations. While the task of paying for an education may seem daunting for a single mother, there are organizations out there that are committed to helping single moms achieve their educational goals.