Educational scholarships may be the answer for the overworked and financially strapped single mother. The responsibilities of being a single mother are plentiful. There is child care, maintaining the house, errands and a career. The burdens are overwhelming and make going to college seem like an unattainable fantasy, particularly when close to 40% of all single moms are living at or below the poverty level.
Stretching their income to cover all their living expenses leaves little for the single mother to use for career development such as attending college. They are forced to seek financial aid in the form of student loans, grants and educational scholarships.
What Are Scholarships?
Scholarships are monetary awards made to students to help offset the cost of attending college. Scholarships can be awarded based on a variety of criteria as set forth by the administrator of the scholarship fund. It may be on the basis of financial need, academic excellence or other criteria. Often there are requirements scholarship applicants must meet to be considered eligible for monetary awards. Sometimes community organizations will out up a scholarship awarded to the best essay or to a student who has shown exceptional community spirit.
Where To Find Scholarships
Many websites help student locate scholarship money. Fastweb.com is such a a site. They compile information about scholarships from all over the country. Users can browse the listings, read the particulars of a specific scholarship program and apply. You can also talk to the financial aid department at the college you plan to attend. They can often point you in the right direction. Check with community officials and organizations as they often provide scholarship assistance.
Scholarships are not always reserved for the best athletes and scholars. Often they are offered by groups promoting special interests. Perhaps a single mother has a knack for creative writing or photography. There are organizations that will sponsor them for college with scholarships because they are pursuing degrees in those fields. Search out organizations aside from the usual Kiwanis or Elks Club types. Look for writing guilds, photography clubs, kennel or garden clubs. Any of these may be willing to sponsor a college scholarship for a single mom.
Applying or educational scholarships is time sensitive business. Most are geared toward a particular semester or year of schooling. As such, they have application deadlines that must be met. This allows the administrators time to review the applicants and make decisions about awards. Check the deadlines for applying carefully for each scholarship applied for. As soon as you begin to think about attending college, start seeking out scholarship information so that you don’t miss an important deadline.