Getting to and from the college can be a burden for many single moms when they return to school, but there are often resources available to help them manage. Some are unique to specific colleges, while other resources may be found at the same place you applied for financial aid to pay your tuition.
Even if you have a dependable car, there is the extra cost of fuel that will put a strain on the budget. If the car breaks down, you have to have a better choice than to drop out of school.
Public transit systems usually have stops at the local college. This is a low cost way of getting back and forth. Not only does it save the student gas money, but there is no need to purchase a parking permit on campus. Check with local mass transit to see if they have service to your school.
If you find that the mass transit option will work with your schedule, save even more money on transportation by asking the admissions office if they offer vouchers to students who use mass transit to attend classes.
Because many campuses suffer a shortage of parking spaces, they work with students who find it difficult to travel back and forth to school. In addition to vouchers for public transportation, they can also arrange for discounted parking permits.
Some schools have special grants for transportation funded by alumni or members of the community. This type of financial assistance is unique to the school and eligibility requirements will be different from campus to campus. Contact the business office or financial aid counselor to find out if there are local grants available and how to apply for them.
Arrangements are often made within a college town for a private transportation service company to provide reduce cost rides to college students. Similar to companies that assist the elderly or disabled, many services in this type of program offer customizable routes and pick up times. Again, this type of service would be unique to the community, but the business office will be able to direct you to the proper resource to get more information.
The financial aid counselor will also be able to help you identify other sources of transportation assistance that may be available to you. Many grants and scholarships allow the money to be used for living expenses as well as educational expenses. They can help you identify which category your transportation need falls in to and help you get the money you need if it’s available.
Don’t forget to ask for help from the Department of Social Services. If you have a case worker, request information on transportation assistance. If you are not in the system, call for an appointment to see if there are funds available to help you with your transportation needs as you work toward a degree that will help you take care of your family.