College Grants for Single Mothers

If you’re a single mother, you may feel as if earning a post-secondary education is a far reaching dream. Many single moms wonder how they can afford the cost of college when they’re living paycheck to paycheck and are struggling to supply their children with the basic necessities.

If you’re a single mom who would like to attend college but can’t afford to on your own, you’ll be happy to know that there is hope! Thanks to grants, your dream of a college education can become a reality. Whether it’s your first time going to college or you’ve already completed some courses, with the funding offered by public and private grants, you can further your education, advance your career, and provide even more for your children and yourself.

What is a Grant?

A grant is similar to a loan or a scholarship in that they provide funding that can be used to pay for a college education; however, there are differences between these sources of money.

Loans are offered by universities, financial institutions, and even government agencies; however, you must meet stringent terms in order to receive this funding, and you are expected to pay the money back – with interest. Scholarships also provide funding for school, but the monies do not have to be repaid. However, in order to be awarded scholarship money, you have to meet specific requirements, such as academic performance or proven leadership skills.

Like scholarships, grants also provide money for college, and that money does not have to be repaid. You do have to meet certain requirements in order to receive grant money, but typically, those requirements are not based on merit; instead, they are based on financial need. Therefore, as a single mother, if you can demonstrate that you are in need of financial assistance, you may be able to receive the free money that grants provide.

College Grants Programs

Grants are funded by public and private entities, including the federal government, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations. Examples of grants that single moms can take advantage of include:

Pell Grants

This federal grant issues money for college to recipients that demonstrate a financial need. Specific criteria are used to determine the need for this Pell funding, such as the financial need that extends beyond your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the total cost of college, and your enrollment status at an academic institution

State Grants

States also provide single mothers with the funding that is needed for college. The requirements for state grants are similar to the requirements for federal grant in that applicants must demonstrate a financial need for financial assistance; however, some states also provide funding for those whose circumstances strictly reduce their ability to attend college, such as single mothers.

School grants

Many universities and colleges also provide grants for single parents who are struggling to afford the cost of school. The requirements for these grants mirror the requirements for federal and state grants in that applicants must demonstrate a financial need for funding assistance. Check with the financial aid office of the school you are considering to find out if such opportunities are available.