Tag Archives: financial aid

Transportation Assistance For The College Commuter

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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.

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Award

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There is a lot of competition for scholarships for college, but that doesn’t mean that the single mom shouldn’t apply. Scholarships just don’t arrive, they have to be searched out and recipients must show that they are qualified and deserving of the award.

Finding a scholarship that you are eligible for may take a lot of research. It’s no use doing the work to apply for the scholarship unless you meet each one of the requirement.

Many scholarships are available to single moms who fall within varied guidelines because they are funded by people who recognize the special needs these women require and know that an education is important to establish financial security in a single parent household.

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation offers 5 Education Support Awards in the amount of $2000 each. The awards are for low-income women with children who are furthering their education.

The awards for the year 2011 are subject to applicants who were enrolled in an accredited program during the 2010-2011 school year and who fall within the following criteria:

  • Women who are at least 17 years old
  • Mother of a minor child
  • Fall within the low-income guidelines
  • Enrolled in skills training, GED program or ESL; or pursing the following degree:
    • Vocational
    • Associate’s
    • Bachelor’s (first only)
    • Professional/master’s/doctoral

Applications for the award for the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Awards must be postmarked no later than July 15, 2011, but will not be accepted before May 15, 2011. The five moms who win the award will be notified in October, and they can use the $2,000 to pay for direct education expenses or for living expenses while they are enrolled in school.

Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first woman of color ever elected to the House of Representatives, serving Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District.  Until her death in 2002, she worked for civil rights, women’s right, civil liberties and economic justice. The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation was established in 2003 to carry on her commitments of support and opportunity for women with low income, especially mother, helping with education access for moms and educational enrichment for children.

The application can be downloaded from the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation website (http://www.patsyminkfoundation.org). Remember that there is a lot of competition for scholarships, awards and grants, so it’s important that your application be filled out correctly and completely. This applies not only to this award application, but for any that you apply for. Check and double check the application before submitting it. Make sure that you meet all of the criteria for the award, and if you don’t, keep looking because the eligibility requirements that are set out for scholarships, grants and other education awards have been designed for a purpose.

What Is A Community College?

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If you are considering going to college to further your education and career opportunities, you may be overwhelmed by the options available and what they all mean. Community college is a popular choice for many just entering, or re-entering, the college scene.

A community college may also be known as a city college, junior college or a technical college. They are open to the public and generally accept students from the local community who can pass minimal requirements. Most community colleges receive state funds and are able to offer affordable tuition costs to their students.

Many people use community college as the groundwork for higher learning they plan to do at a four-year university. You can, however, earn a two-year degree, a certificate of completion, technical training or just further your education according to your tastes at one of these institutions as well.

These schools offer Associates degrees in either Arts or Sciences. Counselors at the college can help you select what subjects to major or minor in based on your skills, prior education and your intended career focus. They can inform you of which elective classes will best help you in a given career field, or which will be required if you plan to transfer to a four-year institution down the road.

They also offer continuing education, which is often more in line with personal interests and keeping abreast of new developments in your career field.

Community colleges offer a broad base of classes designed to make the most of your education experience. Classes run from the typical academics to those more suited to local industry. For example, if you live in an agricultural area or a coal mining area, you may find classes and certificate programs for those industries at your college, whereas you probably wouldn’t find those options at a community college in a large metropolis.

Costs for classes, lab fees and books are considerably lower than for four-year colleges. Discounts are typically given to those living within the college’s geographic range of service. Because it is a local college, no room and board expense is incurred. Transportation to and from class, and the cost of meals you might have to eat while you’re away from home are about the only other expenses you’ll incur.

Scholarships, grants and financial aid are accepted at community colleges. Many also offer class credit or discounted tuition if you accept a job working at the college.

WISP Financial Aid And Scholarships for Single Moms

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The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program is designed to help survivors of domestic abuse obtain an education so that they can secure employment; achieve personal independence and self sufficiency for themselves and their children.

Whether you are a full or part time student this scholarship that is designed for single moms can help you achieve your educational goals by providing the funds needed and assistance with getting a degree in the following accredited programs educational institutions.

  • State supported community colleges, colleges or universities
  • Technical and vocational schools
  • Private colleges or universities
  • Proprietary schools

The application for the WISP scholarships for single moms is a long and overwhelming process. Don’t get discouraged. Take your time and work through it a section at a time. There is no deadline for the WISP scholarship; they accept applications at any time. This makes getting prepared early instead of rushing at the last minute much easier than with some other scholarships.

The main goal of the WISP scholarship for single moms is to help victims of domestic abuse overcome the financial barriers that are keeping them from turning their lives around by earning a degree. Single moms with young children are the primary participants and are assisted with childcare, tuition, supplies and are also given job counseling and assistance with job placement if needed.

In order to qualify for the scholarship you must be a woman who is a survivor of intimate partner abuse. The WISP program of course is against abuse in any form, but the program is in place to assist women (and their children) who are survivors of partner abuse.

The support and financial assistance can help a battered woman rebuild her life and know that she can survive and even thrive without an abusive partner. The independence the scholarship offers is something that many single moms dream of, especially if they have been a victim of domestic abuse.

If you feel that you qualify visit the WISP website for more information and the application. Don’t pass up an opportunity to improve your life and the lives of your children because of pride or fear. There is no judgment passed on your situation, other than to find out if you qualify for the program.

Different Types of Schools for Single Moms

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When a single mom makes the decision to go back to school she has many choices to make. She needs to first decide what sort of school she wishes to attend because this option will affect many of her other choices from the financial aspect to child care and class scheduling.

What every single mom should know about universities and colleges is basic information that will allow her to arrange financial aid, schedule classes and make a plan for child care, goals and other aspects of going back to school. The type of degree or certification she chooses to obtain will also affect which type of school she needs.

Community College

For continuing education community college is often the first step. Most community colleges offer 2-year associates degrees which can be transferred to another college or university in order to obtain a bachelor’s degree. While community colleges don’t typically offer dorms or student housing plans for a single mom the lower cost and flexible scheduling for both physical and online courses make them a viable option to get started.

Undergraduate Colleges and Universities

Undergrad colleges and universities generally allow students to earn a BA or BS degree in a 4-year program. There are different levels of undergrad colleges and universities all across the country.

  • Public- are funded by the state and often offer lower tuition for state residents.
  • Private – are not state funded and provide equal tuition costs regardless of state residency.
  • Specialized- private colleges and universities that specialize in offering single sex education, religious education or a specific topic of education such as culinary arts or engineering.

These colleges and universities offer hundreds of classes related to many different majors unless they are specialized schools.

Graduate Colleges and Universities

Graduate schools allow students to earn the next level after a bachelor’s degree which is known as a masters or a doctoral degree.

A single mom needs to evaluate the benefits of each type of school and decide upon a course of action determined by what type of field she wants to work in and what sort of degree she wants to earn.

Pell Grants Ease The Costs of College

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The murky waters of financial aid for college can be daunting waters to tread. There are so many options and so many hoops to jump through that it can be intimidating. Pell grants are one of those options, but what are they and how do they work?

What Is a Pell Grant?

A Pell grant is a form of financial aid provided by the federal government, usually to low income students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. In some cases, awards might be made to post-baccalaureate students pursuing advanced degrees in specific fields. Pell grants are not loans and do not have to be repaid at all. Other forms of financial aid can be combined with Pell grants to ease the cost of college tuition.

How Much Money Is Available?

The amount of money available to any individual student students but the maximum anyone can receive is $5,550. Some of the criteria used to determine the final amount are your status as either a full-time or part-time student, your financial need, the costs you have to pay to attend college, and whether or not you plan to attend school for a full year or not. Additionally, the full amount is guaranteed to any student who lost a parent in due to military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept.11, 2001. To qualify for this military service condition, you must be under 24 years of age or enrolled in college on at least a part-time basis at the time of the parent or guardian’s death.

Currently, the award of two consecutive Pell grants may be made in a single year to speed up your degree process. You need to be enrolled a minimum of half-time in a program that results in either an associate or a bachelor’s degree.

How Do You Apply?

To apply for a Pell grant you will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will identify the college you are attending and all of your financial information in this application. The application is evaluated by the U.S. Department of Education. When the evaluation is completed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR indicates whether or not you are eligible for a Pell Grant and other requirement such as your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward your education costs, if you are still considered dependent on your parents.

The current administration’s budget concerns are causing the Pell grant system to be evaluated for upcoming years. The parameters as outlined here are valid throughout June 2012.

Tips on College Financial Aid and Admissions

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Financial aid and admissions are often specific to the school you plan to attend. Learn how to use the school as a resource to find financial aid, with various programs and possibly scholarships available through the school, as well as how to show your interest in the school you wish to attend so that they can see why you should be admitted.

Financial Aid Grant Information : Where to Fill Out a Federal Pell Grant

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Here is a straightforward account of where to find the FAFSA, and what filling it out can mean for you in terms of whether you qualify for grants or loans. Also, learn what you’ll need to complete the application, like tax documents or other documents.

How to Pay for College

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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be intimidating. But here, you can find information about when to fill it out, how to increase the amount of aid you’re eligible for, and what documents and information you’ll need to have on hand to complete the application.

Filling out the FAFSA has many benefits when it comes to paying for college. find out more on how to apply for fafsa loans

Free College for Single Mothers?

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Is free college for single moms a reality, or just another fiction that can get your hopes up without delivering anything at all? The answer to that is not simple, but we’ll try to sort it out:

First, you’ve probably heard the saying “There is no free lunch.” That saying is very true, and if someone promises a free ride through college simply because you are a single mother, they are probably trying to convince you of a scam. Free college almost always involves a few strings attached.

But there are options that can help bring down the cost of college, and many of them don’t require that you pay the money back. Here are a few things you can consider to get “free college” for single mothers.

College Work Study is a good option. Do you want to go to college and get work experience at the same time? College work study can help pay your tuition while giving you the skills you need to move into a new job. Those who are in college work study can often qualify for college daycare as well, meaning you might have the best of all worlds. The work study might not pay for everything, but it will definitely make a sizable dent in the cost.

There are many government grants available, such as the Pell Grant, and are available to everyone. There are also special grants available through the government that focus on single mothers, those who want to start their own business, and mothers in other situations that require a bit of help to get started in a college education. Start with the Financial Aid Office and go from there.

The fact that you are a single mother trying to further your education will look very good to those who award scholarships. Many organizations, clubs, schools, and companies offer scholarships, and they are always looking for someone who not only needs the money, but can show exactly what they will do with their degree. Your degree will help out your children, and that will catch the eye of those who award the scholarships. Apply for any you can find and meet the qualifications for — you never know what you might get!

These are the three most popular ways to find “free college” for single mothers. There are other options that can help you. Start with your DHS office, talk to the financial aid office, and scour government sites on the internet for further information.