Grants for Single Mothers

While in the past it was quite possible to advance in a career without any type of formal education, many individuals realize that now the path to success almost always includes college.

Whether a prospective student is considering a four year university or a two year community college, the tuition is certainly going to prove to be more than the majority of individuals can afford on their own.

Although there may be scholarships available occasionally, they often have numerous requirements and the competition experienced in obtaining them is fierce. Student loans are a popular choice for many applicants, but it is important to remember that they must be paid back in full and often have high interest rates and other fees associated with them.

Single mothers are often at an even greater disadvantage and face a tougher financial situation because of additional expenses that must be paid in addition to tuition. Childcare expenses are often not covered by scholarships and many student loans are not large enough to cover the costs that come along with a mom returning to school.

Single mothers also have hectic schedules that they must contend with and making time for school often means less time to work and complete other necessary tasks.

Grant Program Availability

Although many single mothers and other prospective students become discouraged when trying to plan their formal education, the good news is that there are many grant programs available that can assist with tuition and other expenses.

Grants for single mothers do not have to be repaid and will not result in an unmanageable debt load that must be dealt with in the future. A college degree may be much closer than most single mothers realize and it is wise to research a grant program designed specifically for students in their circumstances.

Who Offers Grants?

Many educational grants are available from sources such as:

  • The Federal Government
  • State Governments
  • Municipalities
  • Military Groups
  • Private Organizations
  • Charities
  • Public Organizations
  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • The Department of Education

What Grants Are Available for Single Mothers?

When trying to determine what types of grants are available, it is important for students and prospective students to understand that it is dependent both upon individual circumstances and the type of source. Grants for single mothers aren’t one size fits all and are offered by many different organizations and entities.

A single grant may not prove big enough to accommodate all expenses and it is often necessary to combine several different grant programs. A single mother looking to return to school needs to carefully consider and research the following possibilities categorized by source.

The Federal Government

Pell Grant

Pell Grants have been around since 1972 and have been instrumental in helping millions of students pay for their tuition. While many students confuse these with other federal programs such as the Stafford loans, it is important to realize that the Pell Grant does not need to be paid back. Funds are available to help pay for tuition and the amount rewarded will depend on whether the student is going to be attending full-time or part-time.

How to Apply

Any applicants must complete paperwork that asks income questions and questions regarding the estimated amount of family contribution (EFC). The easiest part of the Pell Grant is that it can be applied for at the financial aid office of any college or university.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The FSEOG is actually an additional program that builds on the Pell Grant and is generally offered to the lowest-income individuals. However, many single mothers are able to qualify for this program due to the fact that their adjusted gross income on tax returns reflects their dependents and is often significantly less than other students in their estimated income range.

Each college campus is limited as to how many students can receive the FSEOG, so it is often wise to seek it as early as possible. The program will often pay anywhere from $750-$4000 towards tuition, books, and other qualified expenses.

How to Apply

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is only awarded to individuals that have already applied for the Pell Grant. The FSEOG application cannot be completed online and must be done in person at the financial aid office on campus.

Academic Competitiveness Grant

The ACC is actually a grant that is only offered to Pell Grant recipients that have a 3.0 GPA before entering college. Single mothers that have been out of school for awhile may not always qualify for the program initially, but can reapply if they have a 3.0 GPA after their first year of college. The grant awards $750 for first year students and close to twice that amount for second year students and the funds can be used for any expense incurred by the applicant.

State Governments & Municipalities

Many areas of the country have realized that it is important for them to encourage their residents to achieve a higher education in an attempt to combat low wages and unemployment. In addition, recent statistics reveal that an overwhelming majority of the individuals and families on food stamps and other support programs have been unable to receive any type of formal education.

As a result, many state and local governments have developed multiple programs that are designed to help special groups of people, such as single mothers, return to school. The grants vary largely and can be researched further by contacting each state’s educational board. Some states, such as Florida, actually have an office that solely deals with student financial assistance.

Military Groups

While it is a fact that many students utilize the branches of the military to help them pay for school, the armed forces is not typically a viable option for single mothers that have young children at home. Single mothers that have independent older children are often not young enough to qualify for the various military programs.

Organizations & Charities

Grants for single mothers are often available from public assistance organizations, private organizations, and other charitable groups. Most programs are frequently advertised and additional information can be found directly from each university or college.

Some day care facilities will offer free or reduced childcare without any lengthy applications required and the student financial assistance office at any school can help recommend sources within close proximity of their campus.

Grant: Raise the Nation Foundation

One of the most popular private organizations that offers grants for single mothers is Raise the Nation. The group is specifically dedicated to helping single mothers meet their unique financial challenges when it comes to achieving a better education. An interesting characteristic of the grants they offer is that it will actually repay loans in addition to providing tuition money and funds for other expenses. Their application can be found online on their website and most financial aid offices across the country are readily familiar with the program as well.

Universities & Colleges

The majority of colleges and universities receive stipends and subsidies from federal and state governments and must continually offer grants to qualifying individuals with specific needs or circumstances, such as single mothers. The great news about most of the grants that are available directly from universities and colleges is that they are fairly easy to apply for directly with the school’s financial aid or admissions office.

Another great advantage is that the advisors in the admissions department are normally able to predict accurately what will be necessary to achieve such a grant and what exactly will be offered. Some programs are designed only for certain subjects, but others are open to students without any strict guidelines as to the expected course of study.

What is the Next Step?

Single mothers should be proud of themselves for taking the necessary steps to return to school and achieve a better education, but the process is only beginning. A trip to a school’s financial aid office can yield multiple applications, brochures, and additional information. Most of the grants for single mothers that are available from the federal or state governments can be applied for with the college or university, but the other private organizations have other requirements for application.

Many grant applications ask detailed questions on the financial situation of any prospective students and it is often advisable to keep several copies of last year’s tax returns handy. In addition to financial information, some grant applications will require that a resume and essay be attached with the packet.

The Department of Education can prove to be an excellent source for single mothers looking for available grants and other programs that can help them return to school. Many forms and applications are available for download right from the site itself and there are new grants being added frequently. The decision to obtain a formal education is an important one and single mothers know that it will not be an easy process. Sacrifices will have to be made and it may be necessary to endure a hectic schedule for awhile, but at least a single mother doesn’t need to worry about paying for their education.

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23 Comments on “Grants for Single Mothers”

  1. Susan Cook wrote:

    How can I find out about grants, scholarships, etc., available for a single monther who recently graduated from an accredited Physical Therapist Assistant Program, but is unable to afford the $400 fee to sit and take my Indiana State Board Exam so I can get licensed to practice? My college is unable to assist me on finding money available, and all websites reference money available only if an individual is pursuing going back to school. I have already filed my FASFA for 2011-2012. Thank you.

  2. Tiffany Hawkes wrote:

    My name is Tiffany Hawkes, I have a 18month old son and just started to take classes in Bucks Community School for nursing. I work full time to pay right now and everything seems so tight right now. I was wondering if you had any further assistance? I do not want to drop out although I am barely making all my bills and school at the same time. If there is anything i can do extra? Please let me know. Thank you very much for your time.

  3. Katie Halbur wrote:

    Hi. My name is Katie. I am just now getting into online school. I have a 2 year old daughter and I need help finding grants. I have been looking for 2 hours or more for info for single mothers and everything seems to be a dead end anyone know of anything that can help me?? Thank you.

  4. She'Quita Williams wrote:

    Hi, I am a single mother of one. I am now attending Job Corp and trying to further my education to make a better living for my son. I want his life to be better than mines ever was. I have applied for colleges, community colleges, and any other schools. I know i cant afford it but im looking for a job to provide for my son and somehow pay for school. If you could help me with any information about schlorships or grants that would be great. Thank you Have a nice day!

  5. melanie kilbury wrote:

    I am a single mother of 3 children ages 21,17 and 9.I quit school the beginning of my junior year.When I was young I did not think of the impact of not having my diploma,now and for years I have been living it.I became a mom at 17,ND THEN AGAIN AT 21.Still not realizing the impact of not graduating would have on my life.I went through some hard,trying times my mother had custody of my two oldest.Well in her own words she could do so much better so she was granted guardianship.What a joke,my life has been back on track for 6+ years.So in the meantime she allowed my oldest daughter to drop out as well as my son,there is so much more to the story but in short now I have my 9 year old that over my dead body will she rop out but I think her seeing the importance of me finishing my school would be great for her to see so If you could shoot me some ideas I would be so greatly appreciative Thaank you Melanie Kilbury

  6. melissa wrote:

    A single mother of two young little boys. I’m looking for information on hoe to get a grant so that I can attend nursing school.Everywhere I looked you have to pay and i can’t even afford to do that. I’m wondering can anyone help me pay for school so that I can provide my babies with a better life and help my grnadma out with he bills. Thanks

  7. Katlin Reichle wrote:

    I am a soon to be mom due in June. I am currently unemployed and struggle with my bills and putting food in the house. I really want to go to college but I just dont have the financial capability to do so. I dont want to get tangled up with a bunch of student loans. I am wondering if i can recieve any help so my child will have a better life without all the struggles I had growing up. Thanks.

  8. trishenia wrote:

    Hi i am looking For a grant that will help me open up drop in center for kids with down syndrome so parents can spend time and regain there intrest and passion for each with needing that one on onewith each other i love working with them please reply i want,,,to have on skill traing ,learning//computer traning//socil training//acting//sports//danceing//adventure discovery///on site beauty and barber palor and more

  9. Anna wrote:

    I am a single mother of a 3 year old little girl. I moved back from my home town to get away from my abusive husband and basically to hide out. I am finally getting my life back on track and also out of fear of him finding me. I recently decided to go back school so that my child can have the life that I always had growing up. She deserves every bit of that life. Every where I turn to ask for help for school I am told NO!!! I can not afford to pay for school on my own, but I want it more than I could ever explain. Not only do I want it for my daughter but also for myself. What kind of grants are out there that I can apply for to help me go back to school and give my child the life she deserves!

  10. Janelle wrote:

    I have been in college for going on six years. I am working on my Bachelors Degree and have two quarters left. I have no funding left tohelp me finish, the funding I have barely covers my tuition. I am looking for a scholarship to help me finish my education. I am a single mother of my six year old daughter, and I am on government housing. I was in a domestic violence relationshiop that I got out of three years ago. I work part tim and struggle to get by, with no child support to help out, but I am determined to be sucessfull! Not too sure how this works, but I am going to continue on to try and find a company who will help me find a scholarship to support helping me finish.

  11. Leta Echelbarger wrote:

    I am a single mother of a 13-year-old and a special education teacher. I am two semesters from completing my doctoral degree, and I am being told that I have maxed out my student loans. I have no way to pay for this final year of school, and no way to pay these back without finishing my degree. Please help!

  12. Cheryl wrote:

    You sound like me, only twenty eight years later. Keep going. I have five children, now all grown. I remember getting my Master’s in Science with a physics concentration, while pregnant, working, and still with my abusive husband. I stayed long enough to get my degree to become a teacher. Now, going back to get my Doctorate. You qualify for Pell Grants if you are getting an undergraduate degree, this is how I got started. I knew that if I did not earn a professional salary, that I would forever be working two to three jobs just to break even. Do it now while you are young. Get a support system of relatives, babysitters etc. to help with your children while you are in school. Yes, you are on the correct, good path. Keep going. I know it is hard. But you must.

  13. Michelle McLeod wrote:

    Hi, I am a single mom and unemployed. I currently attend a radiology program in New York and I have on year left. I am in dire need for tuition assistance. Ive been in this program for 2 years and I do not want to drop out (being a senior) because of financial reasons. I will like to to obtain more information on grants available for Single moms. Thank you!

  14. Sarah Thompson wrote:

    i would love information on how i can get grants to help me further my education for the better for me n my children.i want to become a nurse. im a single mother of four. i need help to pay for school i plan on starting in the spring. any help will be great. all i have is Financial Aid and that doesnt pay for much. pleae help thanks


    HELLO im a single parent with 3 girls under the age of 4. I am currently going to seminole state college for my associates in science for nursing but planning to graduate with my bachelors. I am desperate need of help. I take care of my girls by myself while going to school 4 days a week. Please if theres any help that i can get involving housing or grants i can apply for please contact me.

  16. Tiffany Jackson wrote:

    I’m a single mother of two small kids. I’m try a plan a better life for them . I have been working my job for 5 years With no possibility of advancement.. I need help finding some grants that will allow me to do online classes. Being a single mother will not allow me to attend campus course. Really really trying to make a better life for my kids please help..

  17. Vanessa May wrote:

    Im a 40 single black mother of 3 children, 2 of my children are in college and I have one in middle school. I am returning back to school at the end of the month. I am working two jobs trying to make ends meet and need help with paying off my student loan. I was already accepted for a full Pell grant but I need help in paying that loan and I have been searching the web and need help please write me back. Thank you

  18. cassie wrote:

    hello, i am a single mom of two. A 7 1/2 year old and a 3 yr old and i am going to attend Marywood University to get a jump start on my BS in persue of going to medical school to become an obsetrics doctor. I need help with grants because there is no way i can afford $30k a year on my own. Can someone please help me find grants that can help reducemy amount considerably!. Its tough as it is now let alone this large amount. Please!!!!

  19. Ruby wrote:

    I’m a single mother of two children and currently looking to continue my education but i have no funds! I’m only 22 and really wish to get started on something asap!

  20. melody fennell wrote:

    I have recently been accepted to SCAD student #001677555 and am having a hard time to find funding to even register for school, also I am a single mother of a 14yo daughter and a survivior of domestic violence with PTSD. How and where can I find funding for a person with disabilities, and for relocating expenses?

  21. tonia thola wrote:

    Hello I have just finished with my associates degree and just started at ud university I have maxed out my loans and I have no funding for living expenses. I’m a single mom of a 7 year old and he is my life I am going to college to better. Both of our lives and get a better education and make a better living for the both of us. I need help with my expenses right now I don’t even know how I am going to get to class next week. Please I’m in desperate need of help I have 1 and half years left for my major in psychology and minor in criminal justice. Thank you for your time and I hope I find something that can help.

  22. Lacey H. Reyes wrote:

    My name is Lacey H. Reyes. I am currently looking into attending Glacier Aviation’s helicopter training and degree in aviation science this coming summer.
    I am a single mother of an 11yr. old son, and am looking into adopting my niece. It is my goal to apply for as many scholarships and grants that are applicable to being a minority, a single parent, and women in aviation. The question I have for you is how can I contact someone from this website whom is knowledgeable in grant writing, and can help towards planning as well as preparation? Thanks for you time. -Lacey H. Reyes-

  23. Josie wrote:

    Hi! My situation is the same but different. I too am a single mom of two. While I didn’t attend college, I was lucky enough to find a good entry level job in which I have made a career. My goal is to get my graduating senior additional assistance to attend college in the Fall. I had taken on a second job to help with the costs of the extra-curricular activities my girls participate in. After filing my taxes, and completing the FAFSA for the first time, I believe my desire to help myself will hurt me/my daughter in obtaining financial aid. Anyone have information on scholarships for the children of middle class single mothers?

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