Once you’ve made the decision to go back to school as a single mom, you then get to tackle the challenge of selecting a college or university. This may seem to be a simple choice because there are only certain schools nearby. But in reality, there are a few other things you have to consider when planning your education. Take the time to do research and plan ahead, and choose a school that meets your needs for what you want to study.
You’ve probably seen commercials on television and flyers that advertise great education opportunities. Many of these are from online schools. The accreditation status of the school is important to you in several ways. Your financial aid, scholarships and grants could hinge on whether your school of choice is accredited. You will also find out that when you select an educational program that may lead to an advanced degree in the future, you’ll probably need to transfer those credits, and if the school is not accredited, you may find yourself back at square one.
What is your goal?
You need to decide whether your goal is a certification or a degree, because different colleges and universities offer different degree programs. This also helps you narrow down your requirements and classes needed. For example, if you know you want to work with computers and you begin looking at different programs in the computer field, you may find that you will need a degree for some fields, while others will only require a certification. If your local community college doesn’t have the degree program that you need, you’ll need to expand your search to other colleges and universities that do offer the education you need to achieve your goal.
Some specific fields require a specific degree program, such as nursing or cosmetology. For these programs, you’ll need to attend a beauty, business, vocational, trade or nursing school. Whether you are looking to become a paralegal or a mechanic, trade schools may be the key to unlocking your future.
Before you settle on a college or university, you have to first determine what your needs are and how to accomplish your goal. Then you can begin narrowing down your school searches to those that provide what you are looking for.
The nursing field is growing faster than any other right now, and the job opportunities are virtually endless. Hospitals, hospice facilities, and home care organizations need nurses desperately! Now is a good time to get that nursing degree, and you can find plenty of grants for single mothers that will help you get that great job with the great pay.
Federal Grants. These grants can be obtained by the federal government for the purposes of getting your nursing degree. The government realizes how dire the employment situation is for hospitals and medical offices, and they are striving to bring more people into the profession with grants you don’t have to pay back.
- Nursing Scholarships. If you agree to work for two years at a “high need” health care facility – one that is in desperate need of nurses – you could get scholarships that pay for the majority of your tuition, and you would never have to pay them back. Consider those two years after graduation as your “payback” for the loan they generously gave you. After those two years, you are free to go wherever you please and use your skills to make money in whatever medical facility you choose.
- Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students. This program seeks out those who have trouble paying for college and helps them by offering grants to get them on their feet. These scholarships might result in a portion of your schooling fees, or you might get a full ride to a nursing program. The goal of the scholarship is to get more people into college and specifically into nursing school.
- State Grants. Don’t discount state grants! These grants are often more generous than the federal ones and allow you to attend the school of your choice within the state of residence. They are often given per semester, so you might have to reapply every six months. These grants do not have to be paid back and often have no strings attached for work after graduation.
- Professional Grants. Many professional nursing and medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the Emergency Nurses Foundation Association, have specific programs that encourage people to become nurses, and later, encourage nurses to continue their education and advancement opportunities. These grants are given with the understanding that you will complete your college requirements and join the ranks of nurses throughout the United States.
- Hardship Grants. Hardship grants are awarded by colleges and universities that recognize sometimes students do their best, but they still need a little help. These grants are usually one-time grants that are meant to help you over a financial hump in pursuing your new career. The requirements for hardship grants are often stringent, so make sure you have all the information you need before you visit the financial aid office.
This is all basic information on how to obtain nursing grants for single mothers. There might be many more options available to you through your local community college or university. The first thing you should do is simply ask! You might be surprised at all the possibilities to help fund your way through college and into the nursing job of your dreams.