Grants for Single Mothers

As a single mother, you are often at an even greater disadvantage compared with other students. You contend with a tougher financial situation due to the demands of parenthood. 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.

Moreover, single moms have busy schedules. You must balance the demands of your job with the needs of your children. Making time for school often means less time to work. This plus the cost of college can be a discouraging obstacle to getting your dream degree.

Despite this, college often holds the key to better opportunities for you and your family. The good news is that there are many grant programs available that can assist you with tuition and other expenses. Getting the right number of grants can make it possible for you to make your college goals a reality.

Mother doing gardening with daughter

The Advantages of Grants

Grants don’t need to be repaid. If you relied on grants entirely, you could go to school for free! Even getting a few grants can go a long way in reduce the costs and debt burdens after college. In addition, grants don’t have the same strict academic requirements as scholarships, which are a relief to busy moms who have too much on their plate.

Educational grants are available from the following sources:

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

As a disadvantaged group, single mothers are eligible for many academic grants. Grants for single mothers aren’t one size fits all, however. One must understand that grant eligibility and amounts are determined by many factors. Careful research can help single mothers identify the grants that best meets their needs.

A single grant is often insufficient to accommodate all your college expenses. You might need to apply and receive several grants to cover most of your costs.

Federal Pell Grant

These have been around since 1972 and have played an instrumental in helping millions of students pay for college. Many students confuse these with other federal programs such as the Stafford loans. One key distinction is that the Pell Grant does not need to be repaid. Funds are available to help pay for tuition. The awarded amount will depend on whether the student will attend full-time or part-time.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete a form that ask questions regarding income and the estimated amount of family contributions. 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

This additional program builds on the Pell Grant and is usually offered to the lowest-income individuals. Many single mothers are able to qualify because their adjusted gross income on tax returns is often significantly less than other students in their estimated income range.

Colleges have limits to the number of students who can receive the this grant. Thus, you should apply as early as possible. The program will pay between $750 and $4000 toward 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 application cannot be completed online and must be done in person at the financial aid office on-campus.

Academic Competitiveness Grant

This grant that is only offered to Pell 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 at first. They can, however, reapply if they have a 3.0 GPA on their first year of college. The grant awards $750 for first year students and about twice that amount for second year students. The funds can be used for any expense incurred by the applicant.

Woman reading on computer trying to apply.

State Governments and Municipalities

Many local governments across the country understand the importance of higher education in combating unemployment and stagnant wages. Recent statistics reveal that an overwhelming majority of the people on food stamps and other support programs had been unable to receive any type of formal education.

Thus, many state and local governments have several programs to help disadvantaged demographics such as single mothers return to school. The grants vary from place to place. Contacting each state’s educational board to learn more about what they offer. Some states, such as Florida, have an office dedicated to student financial assistance.

Military Groups

While many students utilize military benefits to help them pay for school, this isn’t always the case with single mothers. The armed forces is not typically a viable option for single mothers that have young children at home. Single mothers with independent older children are often not young enough to qualify for many military programs.

Organizations and Charities

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

Some daycare 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.

Universities and Colleges

The majority of colleges and universities receive stipends and subsidies from federal and state governments. Thus, they must continually offer grants to qualifying individuals with specific needs or circumstances.

The great news is that they offer several unique advantages for single moms. These programs are fairly easy to apply for directly. Simply visit the school’s financial aid or admissions office. Moreover, The advisers in the admissions department often know the prerequisites of the grants what they offer. Some programs, for instance, are designed only for certain subjects, while others are open to students without any strict guidelines.

The Next Steps

Mother playing basketball with his son.

Single mothers should take pride in their decision to go back to school. This is but one of several steps toward building a better future for you and your kids. The next step is to examine your options.

A trip to a school’s financial aid office can yield several applications and brochures on grants available for single mothers. They can also apply for many state and federal grants in their college or university. Private organizations, meanwhile, have other requirements. Be prepared to do research when applying for these.

Many grant applications ask detailed questions on a prospective student’s financial situation. You should keep several copies of last year’s tax returns handy. In addition, some grant applications will require a resume and essay.

The Department of Education is an excellent resource for single mothers returning to school. You can download many forms and applications are available for download right from the site itself. Check back for any new grant opportunities available.

Even when you’ve secured funding, learning will not be an easy process. Be prepared to face hectic schedules while balancing the needs of career and family. Grants remove the need to worry about paying for tuition, so you can focus on the more important.

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45 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?

  24. Amy wrote:

    Pursuing higher degrees is an expensive affair hence every year several disadvantaged students drop out of college. Single mothers are the sole bread earners, hence managing the huge educational or college expenses become impossible.

  25. Catherine M Young wrote:

    Am applying for any financial aid or grants.

  26. Alyssa wrote:

    Hello! My situation is similar to a lot of other ladies on here. I am a single mother, of one. He is two years old. I was attending college in the fall of 2013 when I had graduated high school. I stopped attending when I got pregnant, focusing on the new journey of becoming a mom. However, seeing as how my son is two years old, I am ready to start bettering myself for our future. I am in need of some financial assisting, I filed my fafsa and have received some help from the Pell Grant. Anyone have any information on grants for single mothers?

  27. Debra Bilson Lewis wrote:

    I am interested in earning a degree in Social Work that specifically involves working with the Youths in our country to help them engage in positive activities that hopefully will aid them in not making bad choices that can effect the rest of their lives. Of course, their families are of utmost importance in this process & I look forward to working with them as well.

    Please E-mail me at the address above. Thank You, Debra Bilson Lewis

  28. charity wrote:

    I am a single mother to one 2 years old boy and posses a degree in social works and social administration but like to enroll for masters in family service and law and the challenge is to fund my course need help.

  29. veronica Hernandez wrote:

    My name is Veronica Hernandez. I am a single mom to a 3 year old little boy. I just graduated from East Stroudsburg University two weeks ago with my bachelor’s degree in psychology. I have been in school for 5 years and I am no longer receiving assistance. I am in a great amount of debt already, but I am now taking summers classes and have plans to further my education. I have plans on finishing up a few required courses and applying to grad school for physician assistant. I am currently struggling to work, pay my bills and take continue with school, and care for my son on my own, so I am looking for any grants that may be able to help me in any way.

  30. Evelyn Fox wrote:

    Hi Im 47 and single parent of 4.I’m back in school and looking for scholarship to further my education to get a degree in BS early childhood.

  31. Deborah Rowe wrote:

    Good Morning, my name is Deborah and I reside in Selma, AL, I attend college at Colorado Technical University Online. I am a single mom of two young adults ages 19 and 23, I am working on finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Business,when I suddenly realize, I am in the the final semester and I have exhausted all of my funds(Federal Pell Grant&Student Loans), to complete. I am asking will you please give me a chance and give me some type of funding to complete my final four courses. I am trying to set an example for my children and to show them that no matter what obstacle is put in your way, never give up on your dreams. I am 41 and on disability, but I am still pushing on, because one day I may need my knowledge and experience to gain employment, because the future of this society is in a scary place right now. If you can “believe in me” and I will do my best to make you proud.
    Deborah Rowe

  32. Lauren Howze wrote:

    I would like to finish my cosemetology school. I have 4 months left & have to pay 2500$ out of pocket for remainder of time left. I’m a single mother with no support or help. Can someone one guide in right direction to the help I need to finish my education so I can better provide for my 2 babies?! Thanks

  33. Samantha wrote:

    Hi! My situation is close to Josie’s except I am not considered middle class. I currently work two jobs and struggle, but I am trying to do everything in my power to provide for my children and their college educations. Is there any information available?

  34. Shelli jo ness wrote:

    I am a single minority mother who is in jeopardy of loosing my job if I can not get a degree. I need help fast please let me know how I can apply for your grant



  36. Jacqueline Denise Campbell wrote:

    Hey my name is Jacqueline. I’m a single mom. I currently live in Winona,MS. I have received several certificates Life Help as a Day Treatment Assistant ,PCA(Personal Care Assistant), First Aid CPR/ Heart Savior License. Also I have worked at Adults Day-Care, Hospice/Homemaker. I serve my community with gift baskets n soup though out the summer n weather month. I want to be able to give more. Just need help to do so. I know this is my calling to To Be A Servant to my community. Having a Youth Center will be a great way to teach n help give back. Teaching moral, humanity,n love will help our community.

  37. MARTHA BAUTISTA wrote:

    can you mail me more info please 1693 w Jefferson blvd APT# 101A los Angeles CA 90018 about single mother grant,woman grants all grants if possible. Thank you

  38. Inderjit wrote:

    I love in brampton in Canada looking grant for my education I’m.single

  39. Ashlee Ward wrote:

    I am a single mother attending nursing school through nightingale college. I am looking for additional help. I work full time and I go to school full time.

  40. Lilian wrote:

    I am a single mom of four kids; ages 13, 10, 10 and 5. I am an undergraduate but I wanted tor read further in order to get a sound job that will feed and send my kids to school. I will appreciate any information that will grant my kids scholarship in school. I am in Nigeria. Thank you

  41. Kayla wrote:

    If it is your first time in school or you are an undergraduate, there are many financial aid opportunities. Go to your local library and ask one of the librarians to help you find opportunities. If you are in grad school the options are more limited, but there are many subject specific aid for women. Start with your FAFSA and then look for grants and scholarships. Many only require a short essays and they write you a check. Check at your institution in your major and online.

  42. Dakota wrote:

    I am currently enrolled into CTU for online classes. I am a single mother of a 4 month old daughter. Im a stay at home mom, as there is no one around my area that accepts children under 1 year old. Money is obviously tight due to her needs. I am looking for grants and scholarships that will help me get the stuff I need for school. such as Laptop, note books, school supplies, etc.

  43. Ashley Aguirre wrote:

    Hello! Im a single mother to a beautiful baby boy, and want to continue my education for the both of us. I am currently a student at Hillsborough Community College for Sonogram Technician. I live with my parents and I’m currently not working. I want to finsh my career, but the only thing stopping me is the money, if I could get a chance to apply for a scholarship or grant, I would sure take it!

  44. Megan Bailey wrote:

    Hello, I am 29 and a single mom to my wonderful 9 year old daughter madison. I fight through epilepsy, everyday and its struggles. Its not easy. I got divorced over a year ago from my controlling abusive ex husband and have been slowly healing since. I was established in a medical career when my ex sabotaged everything and our relationship. I am currently still rebuilding my life. I recently decided it was time to get my bachelor degree. I have always wanted it and I don’t have a reason to not go for the stars now. I have been accepted to Colorado technical university. I need a little extra help financially. I have never asked for grants before but I truly hope you consider someone like me as a recipient. I am passionate and driven. I’m also not like fresh new students starting after high school. I’m almost 30 with a 9 year old. I’m established, I have life experiences and I know I have what it takes to finish my degree with the right people helping me find my education. Thank you for allowing me to request the help.

  45. Katherine Hernandez wrote:

    I am a single mother of a two month old. I am currently unemployed and struggle with bills and buying pampers for my baby. I really want to go to college but I just don’t have the financial capability to do so. I don’t want to get tangled up with a bunch of student loans. I was wondering if I could receive any help so my child will have a better life and I can provide for her. Thank you.

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