Tag Archives: grants

Choosing a Grant Program

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Applying for a grant as a single mom who wants to go back to school seems like a pretty straightforward process. But in reality, there are several different types of grants and enough different requirements to give you a major headache. There are a few things you can do to help eliminate and narrow down your options for grant programs. Choosing a grant program is probably one of the most labor intensive aspects of getting enrolled in college.

Before you begin applying for grants, figure out what sort of  educational program you wish to enroll in. Check with your school to find out what their admissions process requires, and make note of all expenses that you will incur by going back to school. Expenses include not only tuition and books, but other supplies: child care, meals, housing etc. Essentially, what you need to do is figure out how much money you need to have coming in while you go to school. Many times, grants, scholarships and financial aid work together to make it so that a single mom can devote herself fully to her children and her classes without having to maintain a job.

Once you’ve decided what program you’re wanting and how much it will cost you to go to school, you can begin eliminating grants from the many lists you will find. Grants that are for specific academic programs that don’t pertain to you, grants for relocation to attend school, grants for abused women, and a huge list of other types of grant programs can be ruled out if they don’t apply to you and your education plans.

Your next trip through the list will be to check the various requirements of the remaining grants that do apply to your situation. Some may require that you do a work study; others may demand a certain number of hours of regular employment while you attend school. Others may be only for parents of pre-school aged children. Each grant has different requirements and is geared toward a certain type of student. Your main job is to find the ones you meet the requirements for before you go filling out applications willy-nilly. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration by finding out the terms and requirements before you apply.

Once you’ve narrowed the list down to the grants that you believe you have a chance at, you can begin following the application instructions. To completely cover your educational expenses, you may need to get more than one grant, and you’ll also need to find out how the grant pays as well. Some pay a monthly stipend for housing and meals, others only pay once a year in a lump sum that you have to budget and manage to cover your expenses. Make sure you understand exactly what you can expect from each grant you apply for, and also that you have completed the application as thoroughly as possible. Keep in mind that grant foundations receive thousands of applications, and you may have quite a waiting period to hear back from a grant. Apply early and be prepared to put off school for a semester if need be.

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Apply for every grant program you qualify for, check with the school to find out if there is a financial aid program, and look into student loans. If you work, your employer may offer some sort of tuition assistance for classes that will benefit you on the job. There are several sources of financial help for a single mom to go back to school. Yes, it takes a lot of work and a lot of time to fill out many applications and repeat the same information over and over, but if it was easy, everyone would be in school earning a degree.

This initial organization period, up to and including the admissions process, is a way for you to see just how dedicated you are to going back to school and earning a degree. It’s a long hard road, but it’s also one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your children. So take the time, research the grant programs and fill out the applications. When you get frustrated, consider how nice it will be if everything comes through and you can dedicate yourself to your education and your children without worrying about finances.

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.

More College Grants for Single Moms

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So you’re a single mom who wants to go back to school, but you don’t know where to start. No worries! College grants for single moms are everywhere. It might not seem like there are all that many, but the key is in the specialization. General grants might be hard to come by, but if you have a particular career path in mind, specialized grants for single moms might be the way to go. Here are a few you might not have considered:

State-sponsored grants. The state you are in might have several grants available. If you live in a state where the lottery is popular, lottery grants are meant to help those who need a hand up, and are often awarded as scholarships based on need. Check with your state department of education to find out exactly what your state has in store for your educational help.

College-sponsored grants. Those who contribute to the college in a meaningful way might be eligible for college-sponsored grants. These grants are awarded for things like environmental consciousness, highest grade point averages, leading your fellow students, or college organizations that address the need of single mothers.

Situation-specific grants. If you are a woman, disabled, in a minority, a non-traditional student, or a single mother, you can often find yourself eligible for grants that you might not have considered before. Did you know there are even grants for those who have a specific disease or illness? There is even a cancer-survivor fund to help those who have survived through cancer to go back to school. If you qualify for any of these, contact the college or talk to the administrators of the charitable organizations that offer the grants.

Profession-specific grants. This is where you can find the most help with college grants for single mothers. Each profession wants to help its young stars blossom, and to that end, certain professions will offer grants to those who show promise. For instance, if you are into agriculture and intend to work in the farming industry, grants from the Future Farmers of America might help you. National Geographic is known for giving very specific grants to those who have a certain course of study that could lead to scientific breakthroughs. If you are an artist, that perfect gallery showing could be your ticket to a large grant to help pay for the remainder of your schooling.

It’s important to get creative and look into grants that are very specific — who knows? You might qualify!

Even More Grants for Single Mothers

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Do you want to go back to school, but don’t know where to get the money? College grants for single mothers is a great way to get back to school and get that degree, without jeopardizing your family’s financial well-being.

Where do you find these grants? College grants for single mothers are everywhere, and they are always changing. Find out more at the links listed here:

Raise the Nation. If you are in a serious financial bind, Raise the Nation is interested in helping you. The organization looks for single mothers who have too many obligations that would keep them from raising the money to attend school. They will help you obtain financial aid, especially grants, that will keep you in school while helping to provide for your children’s welfare.

Women’s Opportunity Awards. As a single mother, you are the head of your household, and the buck stops with you. The Women’s Opportunity Awards, sponsored by Soroptimist, recognize that you give all you have to your children and have very little left over for yourself. These competitive grants recognize financial hardship and going above and beyond to make a better life for your kids. http://www.soroptimist.org/

Jeanette Rankin Foundation. Are you over 35 and think you’re too old for school? Think again. The Jeanette Rankin Foundation seeks out those mothers who have been out of school for a while but need to go back thanks to life changes, such as divorce or widowhood. It’s a great way to start a whole new career! http://www.rankinfoundation.org/

The American Association of University Women. Aimed at putting women back in school to help their families, the AAUW offers grants and scholarships that will get you back in the classroom. Remember, the higher your education is, the better your job opportunities will be, and this organization recognizes that fact. http://www.aauw.org/

The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund. This fund offers grants to those who want to further their education, not only to help their children, but to help their home country. This grant is sponsored by the World Bank and offers help for all areas of education, as long as you have intentions of returning to your native country to use your education in helping others. http://www.worldbank.org/

The opportunities for grants are endless, but you have to be willing to do some deep homework to find those that best suit your situation. Grants for single mothers are tailored to help you, and they don’t cost you a dime. What are you waiting for? Find the grant that works for you today!

The Best Online Grants for Single Moms

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Just a few years ago, going to school online seemed like little more than a gimmick. You would pay an outrageous fee, get a certificate that meant nothing, and have nothing but a pile of expensive books to show for the “education” you paid to get. For a while, online education had earned a terrible reputation.

But today, the situation is very different and can be very beneficial for single moms. Online education has opened up a whole new world of learning opportunities for those who might not be able to attend a traditional college setting. Colleges have taken to the internet to offer their classes, and they aren’t fly-by-night universities that promise a great job in only six months. Places like University of Kentucky, Notre Dame, and University of Illinois are just a few examples of reputable schools that offer their courses online.

Traditional college grants are available for online courses. There are a few caveats to obtaining them, however:

Accreditation. The school you choose to attend online must be accredited before you can receive grants or loans of any kind. To find out more about accreditation, visit the website of the school you want to attend, give the admissions counselors a call, or visit the Department of Education website for more information on which schools are accredited, and what it means.

Credits. Do you have credits from another school that will transfer to your new one? Have you gone to college in the past but for whatever reason, you didn’t graduate? The more schooling you have already had, the lower your chances of getting a grant. Why? Grants are money give to those who need it for education, and if you have already used up several years of grants, it is unlikely you will be eligible for much more. Check with the admissions office of the school you want to attend to find out what their policies are.

Finances. Some grants are based on income. To know if you qualify, get together all your financial information, including your tax returns and paycheck stubs. When it’s time to fill out the applications for Federal Student Aid, you will be ready.

Special Grants. Many schools will offer special incentives for those who need to go back to school but might not have the finances to make it happen. These special grants are awarded by colleges and universities based on financial need, community service, intentions after graduation, and many other factors. Check into the school of your choice and ask about special grants or scholarships that are tailored for busy single moms.

As single moms it’s important to help get the financing you need in order to get your education. With these opportunities for online grants you can get the education you deserve.