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- Paying for College
Top Single Mother Scholarships
About Finding Grants and Scholarships
In my research for the methods for paying for college,
I came upon a unique group of people who experience many difficulties in returning to school. the single mother. It was my intention to list 10 or so grants and scholarships for moms going back to school. But I soon discovered that finding them in general was not as simple as it looks.
Unique Challenges in for Single Moms Going to School
Before further exploring obtaining grants and scholarships for single mothers.
Let's reflect on some of the difficulties in mothers returning to school. All adults find it very difficult to return to school after holding a full-time job or taking time-off to start a family. But the single mother has additional factors like childcare and time management issues which ultimately equates to more expenses. The following are factors that the single mother must solve and budget for before applying for a scholarship:
- Scheduling and financing appropriate childcare services. Can my classes be scheduled while my children are in school? What happens when my upper level courses are only at night? How do I afford daycare? Many campuses offer daycare services but are they appropriate for my child's age?
- As with all students, single mothers must factor transportation costs into the equation. Even if you are lucky enough to be accepted to an online university, there will come a time in every college career when you will have to venture into the internship arena and need reliable transportation.
- Time management is crucial for all single moms. From scheduling play dates for the children to managing a few hours alone everyday for studying.
Finding a Grant or Scholarship
Finding and Writing Those Pesky Grants and Scholarships
As I began to do my research in finding scholarships and grants for single moms;
I started to feel some to get a lethargic feeling. This familiarity and frustration came from once having a job researching grants for arts organizations and artists. In my attempt to find the top 10 (everybody likes top 10 lists) grants and scholarships for single mothers, I have to admit that I have failed miserably. But what I can provide you with is all my best advice that I used to teach my artists. You could even call it a to do list.
- Begin your search for grants and scholarships at the local level. Search the internet, purchase a book or call your local community agencies. Your local library is a great source for grants and scholarships, some even have databases devoted to this subject alone. While I did recommend books, I do not recommend services in which you have to pay for finding grants. In my experience, you are only paying for information that is already out there.
- Do not be afraid to broaden your search! The reason that I recommend at least starting with a cheap book is so that you can get a sense of what grants are out there. So, let's say your area does not have any grants for single parents, maybe they do have a few for practicing Catholics and you happen to qualify.
- Take the first leap of faith, choose a grant that you qualify for and begin the application process . Nowadays, most applications are done online but many do require you to provide additional copies by mail.
- Fill out the application. Answer all questions exactly as required using proper English and no misspellings. If the answers require 100 words or less, do not write 101. If grammar is not your strong point, get someone else to write it for you.
- Save all of your supporting documentation. Most grants will ask for proof of income, essays and transcripts. Always save copies on your hard drive. It will make the next scholarship you apply for that much quicker and easier.
- Complete the application process at least 2 weeks ahead of the deadline. If possible, meet with the Program Administrator in person to discuss your application. They are often willing to give advice about the specifics that should be included in you application.
- Don't worry if you don't get the scholarship the first time around, many do not. Follow-up with the Program Manager and find out exactly why you did not get the grant so that you may improve it the next time.
Grants for Everyone
First, grants for single mothers on the federal level are the same as any other student. In fact, as a prerequisite in applying for private grants for single mothers; they have to use the usual financial aid for any student. These are the standard federal grants for any student applying for Federal aid:
1. The Pell Grant is based on financial need. You may be eligible for between $400 and $5350 per semester.
2. The Academic Competitive Grant is available to freshmen and sophomores who have achieved a high level of academic excellence. The award is $750 for first year and $1300 for second year students.
3. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant is for students with dire financial need. Students can receive rewards between $100 and $4000.
4. National Smart (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent) Grant is for 3rd and 4th year college students majoring in the fields of math, science, enginering or a foreign language. Students can receive up to $4000.
Completing Student Federal Aid Forms
Single Mothers Grants for College on the Federal Level
The following are single mother grants on the federal level. These are all very specialized and competitive. I strongly advise you to find the grants and scholarships on the local level, apply for all that you can, then apply for some at the state level. And then after being rewarded some scholarships, apply for some at the federal level.
I had a friend who literally funded his entire private education this way. He forced himself to apply for 3 scholarships a month. He said that it seemed just as the money ran out from one scholarship, he was accepted for another one.
Denny’s Single Parent Student Scholarship
Denny’s Single Parent Student Scholarship administered through the Hispanic College Fund provides needs based grants of $500 to $1500 for women of Hispanic origin.
Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund
The Jeannette Rankin Women's Fund awards scholarships to single mothers over the age of 35. It's vision is to end the circle of poverty for women and children. The recipient must have a clear idea of how her education will not only helps herself and her children but how it will benefit the community as well.
The Emerge Scholarships Program help a small number of stay-at-home Mom's whose education was interrupted. The grant is for women re-entering the workplace and need special training.
Being Awarded a Grant
When you are awarded a grant, there are some facts you should understand:
1. Grants and scholarships money are taxable income.
2. You will most likely have to sign a contract document outlining what the money is for. Make sure that you understand all the stipulations before cashing the check.
3. If you do not fulfill the requirements of the contract, you will be responsible for returning the money.
Have You Ever Researched Scholarships?
Pursuing grants and scholarships is not for everyone! It takes dedication and plain old hard work to receive a grant. I think one of the biggest misconceptions out there is that grant just fall out of the sky and into your bank account. But if you are a single mother and have perseverance, good organization skills, and a great story then grant writing may be a way to pay for college. It can be done!